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(HOUSTON) — You can now text 911 for emergencies in Harris and Fort Bend counties.

The county’s emergency network has started phasing in the service with two of the four cell phone providers.

SEE ALSO: Have an Emergency? Soon You Can Text 911

Texting 911 is similar to writing a normal text message, only you don’t use abbreviations or slang.

You type “911” in the “to” field, and then the message in the “text” field, but Sonya Lopez-Clauson of the Greater Harris County 911 Emergency Network says you should only text when you can’t call.

“Voice calls are still going to be the fastest and best way to contact emergencies,” she said.

Only Verizon Mobile and T-Mobile offer 911 texting at this time, but Lopez-Clauson says two other carriers will soon make it available.

“We do anticipate very soon that we will also have that service available with the other two major wireless carriers, AT&T and Sprint,” she said.

Lopez-Clauson also says don’t think you can get away with sending fake 911 texts. As with 911 calls, the emergency network can track you, and sending prank texts is a crime.

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Have an Emergency? You Can Now Text 911 in Harris, Fort Bend Co.  was originally published on