Why you should set up iOS 11’s Emergency SOS now

Do you ever have that nightmare where you’re trying to call 9-1-1, but your fingers just don’t seem to work? Or do you ever fear that you won’t have the time or ability to call for emergency services in the middle of an act of terror?

If so, you should consider setting up the “Emergency SOS” capability (which is available in the new iOS 11 operating systems) on your iPhone. With this new technology, you can call for help as quickly as possible, and you can do so discreetly. This could come in handy if you ever need to call 9-1-1 but you don’t want to alert your attacker(s) that you’re calling the police. All you have to do is click the “Power” button five times, and emergency services will be alerted that you need help, and will be given your location.

So how do you get this life-saving tool on your own iPhone?

First, make sure you’ve installed the latest update so that you’re working with iOS 11. Next, go to Settings and click on “Emergency SOS.” From there, you can turn on the “Auto Call” option. Now that this is on, you will be able to receive help with just the hit of a button…or rather, clicking the “Power” button five times. After hitting the power button five times you’ll see this screen pop up.

If you’re concerned that your kids might get a hold of your phone or that you might accidentally butt-dial the cops, no worries. You can set it up so that a “Countdown Sound” will alert you that a phone call to 9-1-1 is about to be made. It will give you a 3-second window to stop the call from happening, and it will play an extremely loud alarm to get your attention. (It’s worth noting that this will prevent your emergency call from being discreet, if that was part of your goal with downloading the “Emergency SOS” technology, so you’ll have to weigh the risks against the benefits here.)


Additionally, while you’re in this “Emergency SOS” window, you can also fill out your list of emergency contacts. Not only can medical staff and law enforcement officials use this information in the event of an accident, but when you make an emergency call, these contacts will immediately get an alert to their phones letting them know that you’re in trouble, along with your location. Pretty cool, right?

Here’s to technology that helps to keep us (and our loved ones) safe, even in the event of an emergency.

[h/t: Lifehacker]