How to get the emergency SOS feature on your phone

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The sad death of Sarah Everard has made many people think about their personal safety recently, with some people sharing this really useful method of using your phone to automatically get help.

Both iPhones and Android phones both have emergency SOS features which automatically send out alerts to chosen contacts if you find yourself in danger.

Some phones will also automatically call emergency services for you.

Here’s everything you need to know:

What is the emergency SOS feature?

Most phones have emergency SOS features, but what they do varies slightly depending on what make and model phone you have.

On an iPhone it will auto-call emergency services and send any emergency contacts you’ve set up a message giving your location details.

On Android phones it will send a message to your emergency contact with your location and an ‘SOS’ message.

How to use the emergency SOS feature on an iPhone

On the iPhone 8 and later

  1. Press and keep holding the side button and either volume button to start an emergency call
  2. Swipe the Emergency SOS bar to call emergency services
  3. If you continue to hold down the side button and Volume button, instead of dragging the slider, a countdown will start and an alert will sound. If you hold down the buttons until the countdown has finished, your iPhone will automatically call the emergency services.

On the iPhone 7 and earlier

  1. Rapidly press the side (or top) button five times. The Emergency SOS slider will appear.
  2. Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services.

All iPhones will send your Emergency contacts a text message with your current location, after the call has finished, unless you choose to cancel this option.

If Location Services is off, it will temporarily turn on. If your location changes, your contacts will get an update and you’ll get a notification about 10 minutes later.

You can adjust lots of these settings by selecting ’emergency SOS’ in the Settings part of your phone.

How to set-up emergency contacts on an iPhone

  1. Open the Health app and tap your profile picture.
  2. Tap Medical ID.
  3. Tap Edit and then scroll to Emergency Contacts.
  4. Tap the add button to add an emergency contact.
  5. Tap a contact, then add their relationship.
  6. Tap Done to save your changes.

How to set up an emergency SOS message on Android phones

Android phones vary slightly depending on their make and model, but the easiest way to find it is to search for ‘SOS messages’ in settings.

On Samsung phones, this is under the ‘Advanced features’ menu. Once you’ve clicked on ‘send SOS messages you will have to agree to terms and conditions, but then you can add contacts who you wish to be notified in an emergency.

When the Samsung SOS feature has been turned on, you press the lock button three times to automatically send out a message saying “SOS” followed by a link that when opened will show the coordinates of where you are.

You are able to add to this feature with photo and/or a voice message to also be sent out with the message to help provide more evidence of where you are and what is happening.

Other ways to get help

The hand signal for help

The Women’s Funding Network created this simple hand gesture so people could ask for help without arousing any suspicion.

The silent 999 call

If you’re in danger and need help but can’t speak, the Silent Solution system means you can call 999 and all you have to do is cough or tap the handset if you can to alert the operator that you need help. You may also need to press 55 to let them know it’s a genuine emergency call

Asking for ANI in parmacies

Pharmacies launched the codeword scheme in January to help domestic abuse victims during the lockdown. You just need to ask for ANI to get help.
The scheme is in place across Boots stores and private pharmacies.

Ask for Angela in pubs and bars

Asking for Angela at the bar is another secret way of asking for help if you feel unsafe. First run in Lincolnshire, it’s been picked up by police forces across the country, including the Met Police in London.

Source: Sky News