Crisis: When You Need Help Now

Tips when calling/texting 911

close up of emergency screen on cell phone

Ask someone else to call if you do not have access to a phone, or have your hands full.

Give your name, where you are, and what kind of emergency you are having: Medical, mental health, fire, domestic violence, intruder, car accident, flooding, etc.

If there is physical danger, remove yourself and any other potential victims from harm, by either leaving the scene or locking yourself into a room.  A bathroom usually has a lock; a chair wedged under a door knob can prevent or slow entry.

Get help from neighbors or bystanders.

In a medical emergency look around the scene for clues. What happened?  If it is safe, perform basic first aid in place. If there is a fire, gas, or other hazard move the person to safety before starting first aid.  Try to preserve or collect evidence that might help first responders know what happened. Some things to look for are a medical ID bracelet, medication, burns or bruises, or other clues. 

If this is a mental health emergency ask for a CIT officer. Crisis intervention team officers have training in mental health crisis.

Take deep breaths, it will help you stay calm enough to handle the situation.