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Wouldn’t it be helpful if Alexa could call 911 for you in an emergency? Unfortunately, due to specific regulations, Alexa cannot contact the police or emergency services directly. So instead, we dive into the 9 ways Alexa can help when its needed most.

Option 1 – Trigger Alexa Emergency Contact

How it works

If you are a proud owner of an Amazon Echo, you can communicate with Alexa using voice commands. Thus if you need help, for example, you can tell Alexa to call for help. Select one of your contacts as your emergency contact for Alexa, and it will call or send a message to your emergency contact when you need it. 

This solution is not ideal because your emergency contact might not pick up or see the message, leaving you stranded with no other options. Also, if your Echo is not connected to Wi-Fi, this workaround won’t be useful at all. 

How to setup an emergency contact

  1. Open your Alexa app.
  2. Click on “Communicate”.
  3. Click on the contact icon.
  4. Click on the menu and then select “Emergency Contact”.
  5. Input your emergency contact from your phone contacts. It has to be a US number. It cannot be an emergency service number, premium-rate number, three-digit number, or dial-by-letter number.
  6. Address Alexa and say one of the following phrases: “Call for help”, “Call my emergency contact”, “Call my contact for help”, and “Call my help contact”.
  7. Alexa will attempt to connect you to your emergency contact. Keep in mind that they might not respond.

Option 2 – Get a monitored Alarm System where the panic alarm can be triggered by Alexa

Alexa activated panic alarm

You can get an alarm system that will call the emergency number for you. The trick here is that it can be triggered by Alexa commands. If you connect your Abode security system to Alexa, you can create routines that will trigger Alexa. For example, you can use the Abode system to call for help.

Together, Alexa and Abode offer great capabilities in terms of security. Control the devices that are connected to your Abode system, like lights, doors, windows, sensors, locks, and more. Create routines that will record security videos when needed, call for help, lock doors and windows, and so on. 

You communicate with your Abode system through Alexa using voice commands. You can ask it whether or not the door is locked and make requests to lock the door, close windows, and more. 

Option 3 – Use the “Ask My Buddy” Alexa Skill

Ask My Buddy

Ask My Buddy is a personal alert network. It allows you to ask for help using voice commands. You can reach out to your contacts through Ask My Buddy and Alexa. Create a network of emergency contacts that you want to notify when something is wrong. Then, simply tell Alexa to “Ask My Buddy to send help”. 

The simple voice command will notify your network that they need to check on you. You can choose to notify your whole network or just one person. Premium users can also specify what the problem is. The people in your network will be notified via message, phone call, and email.

Unfortunately, Ask My Buddy cannot call 911 for you either. It is the next best thing, as it calls your personal emergency network. The more people you contact when you’re in danger, the higher the chances of actually getting a response. 


How to setup “Ask my Buddy”

  1. Visit the AskMyBuddy.net website and set up your personal account there.
  2. Access the Contacts page to add all of your emergency contacts.
  3. Open your Alexa app and link your account to the Ask My Buddy account you just created on the website.
  4. Press “Enable Skill” and log into your Ask My Buddy account through the Alexa app.
  5. Now that you’ve linked the two accounts, you can start using Ask My Buddy.
  6. Say “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to send help” to alert all of your contacts.
  7. Say “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert {Name}” to alert a specific person.

Option 4 – Use the “My SOS Family” Alexa Skill

My SOS Family

My SOS Family is an alert system that you can access using Alexa. The way it works is that you have to select your SOS Family contacts that will be notified when something is wrong. Then, you can trigger the alert using voice commands via Alexa. The first person in your SOS Family that responds will receive the responsibility of helping you.

The contacts are alerted by the My SOS Family app and not the Alexa app, which makes for a faster response time. The app actually calls and texts all of your emergency contacts to ensure a response. 

Option 5 – Use the “SafeTrek” Alexa Skill

SafeTrek

SafeTrek is another skill that allows you to ask for help using voice commands. Unlike other skills, SafeTrek doesn’t reach out to your family or emergency contacts. It sends a SafeTrek agent your way that is going to help you get out of whatever danger you’re in. This is safer and more efficient than contacting a friend or family member, as they may overlook the alert or see it when it’s too late.

In order to use SafeTrek, you need to create a SafeTrek account. You also need to share your device address with Alexa or home address with SafeTrek.

Option 6 – Call a Family Member or Friend who can then call 911

Alexa Calls

Another option for calling 911 is asking someone to call it for you. In that case, you need to first call a friend or family member and ask for their assistance. Luckily, you can make calls through your Echo speaker.

The way it works is that you actually have to connect Alexa to your phone through the Alexa app. You then have to confirm your phone number, so that you can use it in the future. The catch is that you can’t just call anyone in your phone’s contact list. You can only call a person who has also enabled calls through the Alexa app. That list of people will be significantly shorter. You can find the exact contact list in your Alexa app.

To call, simply tell Alexa to “Call {Name}”. The person’s phone and their Echo device will both ring. They can pick up the phone or tell Alexa to answer.

Option 7 – Try saving the emergency number or regular police landline as a contact and ask Alexa to call that

Save Police as a Contact

If you haven’t tried it already, you can add 911 to your contact list. Simply create a new contact with the mentioned number and name it “911”, “Bob”, or anything else that comes to mind. Then, you can ask Alexa to call that contact. 

The main issue is that Alexa cannot call landlines. For some reason, this hack works for some people, but not for all. If you’ve been using this hack, keep in mind that Amazon may ban it at any point. And if you haven’t tried it yet, then you should give it a go!

Option 8 – Use Alexa Guard

Alexa Guard

Using Alexa Guard, you can ask Alexa to call for help and communicate with a trained agent, who can actually help you. Communicate with Alexa using voice commands. Once you’re connected to an agent, explain the type of emergency to them. They can call the police, fire department, or ambulance for you! 

Besides trained agents that can help you out in any situation, Alexa Guard can keep your home safe when you’re out. For instance, it will send you an alert when it hears glass breaking, footsteps, or a door squeaking. If Alexa detects anything suspicious, you will know.

Option 9 – Use Echo Connect

Echo Connect

The Echo Connect is a separate device that is compatible with Echo. Unfortunately as of August 2021 it seems to no longer be available and may be discontinued. You can check the current status of it here.

It serves as a connector between your home phone and your Echo device. Through connecting it to both, you gain the opportunity to use Alexa to call any number. You can bypass Alexa’s inability to call landlines, as you’re technically calling from a real phone.

This is perfect for when you can’t physically pick up the phone. Let’s say you’ve fallen and you can’t get up. Ask Alexa to call an ambulance or emergency services for you through your home phone. You can also reach out to your family members. 

The Verdict

Even though Alexa can’t technically call 911 for you in an emergency, you can bypass this limitation with a number of apps, skills, and hacks. Depending on your requirements and abilities, choose the option that appeals to you the most. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Alexa won’t let you down.

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