Lately, with the Toronto attack and other such sudden incidents, accidents or tragedies, it is the emergency number that one thinks to call or notify as soon as possible about the safety or danger of a person. You would like to seek help from an ambulance, police or fire. These emergency numbers are different all over the world. But in US and Canada, the number is the same and that is 911.
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Canada uses the same system as the USA as the country’s telephone system is closely integrated, so 911 is used everywhere in Canada. So instead of having to know the local emergency service number, or waiting to be redirected from the number you’ve just called (like 911), you can be directly connected to the emergency number wherever you are and have your location shared in the Canada or US. (in iOS 12) using a shortcut on your iPhone. This feature is called Emergency SOS, and here are the ways to activate it on your iPhone.
Activate Emergency SOS on your iPhone
Apple makes it very easy to activate Emergency SOS without having to look at your screen or speak to another person. If you’re in a situation where you can’t move a whole lot, you can activate it by pressing some physical buttons on your iPhone.
In iOS 12, when you make a call to emergency services, you’ll also be sending your current location to the 911 center to improve response time. Your location will only be shared with 911 and not with your emergency contacts.
Use Emergency SOS on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X
Remember that by default, the Emergency SOS required is set up so you have to press both the side button and one of the volume buttons to activate.
Press and hold the Side button and either volume button on the sides of your iPhone.
Continue holding the Side button and volume button as the SOS emergency countdown begins.
You can also swipe right on the Emergency SOS switch to activate the call immediately.
Your phone will now automatically start a countdown and then call emergency services.
Use Emergency SOS on iPhone 7 and older
On iPhone 7 or older all you need is to rapidly press the side button five times.
Your phone will automatically start a countdown and then call emergency services.
Use single-press Emergency SOS on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X
If you’d prefer to only have to use one button to use the Emergency SOS feature on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone X, you can change the settings to allow it.
All you need is to launch Settings from your Home screen.
Then tap Emergency SOS.
Next tap the Call with Side Button On/Off switch. When the switch is green the feature has been turned on.
When this feature is enabled, you can activate the Emergency SOS feature by pressing the Side Button five times in quick succession. It’s much easier to do inside a pocket. You will still be able to activate Emergency SOS by pressing and holding the Side Button and volume buttons.
Ending an Emergency SOS call
Though this doesn’t happen if you by chance activate Emergency SOS by mistake, you can stop the call, even after the countdown ends, by tapping Stop. You’ll then be asked to confirm that you want to end the call.
If you have your emergency contacts listed in the Health app, you’ll also be asked if you want to stop sending notifications to your emergency contacts.
If you’re worried you might accidentally make emergency SOS calls regularly, you might consider disabling the auto-call option, which will always automatically call emergency services after the SOS countdown ends, whether you manually make the call or not.
Remember, with Auto Call off, you can’t secretly or as easily call emergency services, so make sure the convenience outweighs the risk.
Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
Tap Emergency SOS.
Toggle the switch for Auto Call off.
Disable the countdown sound for Emergency SOS
While the SOS countdown sound can be useful in alerting you to a false positive, it’s not the greatest if you’re trying to use the feature in a dangerous situation where audio could get you in trouble. If you don’t want your iPhone to make a noise when it’s about to call emergency services, you can turn off the countdown sound.
Launch Settings from your Home screen.
Tap Emergency SOS.
Tap the Countdown Sound On/Off switch. When the switch is gray the feature has been turned off.
Also note that if you have an Apple Watch, it can also make SOS calls.
All you need to do in App your le watch is press and hold the Side Button on your Apple Watch. Release it when you see the Power Off slider.
Swipe right on the Emergency SOS slider. SOS will then activate, calling EMS and sending a text message to your emergency contacts.
Remember finally besides 911 you can add up to three emergency contacts from your group of friends and family to be automatically notified should you enable SOS. Your iPhone or Apple Watch can automatically find the number of your local emergency services department by finding your current location, but it can’t automatically pick your emergency contacts: If you want to alert any members of your family or friends in an emergency, you’ll have to designate them yourself.