Expat911 is a mobile app that has been developed to assist English speaking Expats to report their emergencies. Mexico’s 911 does not have full-time English speaking operators, although some tourist areas do employ part-time bilingual operators; however, there is no guarantee that one will be available during your emergency.
There is also no guarantee that your area employs a part-time bilingual operator. This is something that many of us Expats do not consider until we are already facing an emergency. There have even been reports of Expats being hung up on while attempting to report an emergency, because they did not speak Spanish.
Another major issue that many fellow Expats have reported recently is that dialing Mexico’s 911 does not work at times. There have been numerous reports of people attempting to call 911 and either no one answers, or they receive a busy signal. This has been happening more frequently lately as they seem to be understaffed for the number of calls that they are receiving.
The final issue that we would like to touch base on is in regards to location services. Mexico’s 911 services do not have the ability to locate you when you are calling in to report an emergency. The system was not set up this way since most users are now predominantly using cell phones. If your location on your phone is turned off, then there is no location signal being sent out. Since most users keep their location turned off, Mexico’s 911 decided not to implement this into their system. So unless you can explain exactly where you are in Spanish during your emergency, they will not be able to arrive at your location.
This is why the smartphone app Expat911 is so important. They employ operators who are native English speakers and are also 100% fluent in Spanish. So you never have to worry about the language barrier during your emergency. The app also has built-in location technology. So when you send an alert through the app, it will send your location to their system which allows them to pinpoint your exact location. This way you are covered at home and on the road and can report your emergencies even when in an unfamiliar area.
Also, Expat911 has direct lines of communication with Mexico’s C4 and C5 offices nationwide which are the government agencies in charge of Mexico’s 911. So the Expat911 operators do not have to call 911 as a normal user would, and can call direct lines that are more accessible.
They can also call nearby offices if one is overwhelmed with calls, or even call an ambulance service provider directly during medical emergencies.
Expat911 has 3 simple buttons in the app which are labeled Police, Fire, and Ambulance. So they will cover any emergency and all you have to do is push the corresponding button, and they will call you immediately to verify any additional details.
Expat911 does have a cost. It is a private company that uses the fees paid by its users to fund the project. This allows them to keep a staff on hand 24/7 and 365 days per year that are awaiting your emergency needs. They also have a customer service team that is available to set up your account for you. The customer service team is available from 9 AM to 8 PM PDT 6 days per week. Wednesday is the only day that the customer service team is not available to help set up new accounts.
The cost of the service is $ 99.00 per year. The average cost of a home alarm service in Mexico is $240.00 per year. Considering that this app covers your well-being while at home or on the road, the cost is quite reasonable. They also offer a family discount which is 50% off for additional family members who would like to have their own account on their own smartphone.