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If you have an emergency where mobile reception is poor you can text 999 or 112. But you need to
register first.

We are all familiar with ‘999’ as the emergency number in the UK. 112 does the same job and works
in other parts of the world as well.

Key points:

  • 112 or 999 will try to get through on any available carrier, not just your own service;
  • You can normally make a 112 or 999 call from a locked mobile phone. So even if your own phone is out of action you should be able to use a colleague’s or passer-by’s phone without knowing their security code.
  • Finally a text might be able to get through when the signal is not strong enough to make a call. But for this to work you need to register your phone first. This is easily done by:
    • Text the word ‘register’ to 112 (or 999).
    • Wait for a reply which tells you to text the word ‘yes’ to 999.
    • You then receive a text to acknowledge your registration and that’s it.

Once registered you can text details of an emergency to 112 or 999. The text needs to say which service is required, describe the emergency briefly and give as precise details as possible of the location – including any local landmarks which might help.

A phone call will always be better, but if a call can’t get through a simple text could prove to be a lifesaver in a remote rural location.

There are more details about Registration at this link to the emergency SMS website.
It’s worth adding that there are a few apps which can also be used to give your location on a
smartphone, like OS Locate which will give your six-figure (100 metre) grid reference.

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