silver echo on nightstand

If you have an Alexa-enabled device, you’re not alone in an emergency situation. Along with Alexa’s laundry list of concierge services, like sharing local news or weather updates, it can also request help in the event of an emergency.

In the event of an emergency, Alexa’s Emergency Help feature is a godsend for those who have limited mobility or can’t reach their phones due to injury. Today’s instant connectivity options, like having a mobile phone on hand or an emergency bracelet, could malfunction or simply be forgotten in the moment. Although authorities should be contacted before emergency contacts in the event of a serious emergency, look to Alexa’s Emergency Help feature as an additional safeguard whenever life throws an unexpected obstacle your way.

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You’ll need to set Alexa up with emergency contacts ahead of time to make the feature useful. After that, calling for help is simple, as you’ll find out below.

How to Set Up Alexa to Get Help in an Emergency

To use Alexa’s Emergency Help feature for the first time, download the Amazon Alexa app from Apple’s App Store for iPhone or from the Google Play Store for Android

From there, open the app and tap on “Communicate” on the bottom menu bar.

tap communicate button on add devices screen

Tap the group silhouette “Contacts” icon in the upper-right corner.

group button on communication screen

To add a new contact as your emergency contact, tap on the blue “Add New” + icon, and tap “Add Contact.”

Type in the person’s first name, last name, nickname, relationship to you, and mobile phone number. You also have the option of adding a second or third phone number. Once all of this information has been entered, tap “Save.”

On the next screen, scroll down under “Permissions” and choose “Add as Emergency Contact.” This will prompt a dialog box that asks you to confirm that Alexa is OK to attempt to call and message the contact for help. Tap “OK.”

add as emergency contact prompt

To add an existing contact as an emergency contact, visit the Contacts page, search for or select any contact, go to “Permissions,” and tap “Add as Emergency Contact.”

add as emergency contact screen

In either case, Alexa will send the contact a text to confirm them as an emergency contact. This allows them to call and message you through Alexa on an Alexa-enabled or non-Alexa-enabled device.

For a list of all Amazon Echo and Alexa-enabled devices, visit Amazon Echo and Alexa-enabled devices.

How Do I Use Alexa’s Emergency Help Feature?

To call for emergency help, simply use the wake phrase “Alexa, call for help.” This wake phrase automatically dials your emergency contact on any Alexa-enabled devices, including the Switch, Echo Show, and Echo Dot.

Can Alexa Call 911?

Due to emergency access communications rules and for technical reasons, Alexa can’t call 911 directly. These rules require that any device calling 911 have access to a registered address, adhere to a monthly 911 service charge, and others. To get around this, you can pair Alexa with a third-party dialing service like Ooma’s Telo smart home phone service.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to use the emergency help feature. However, it wouldn’t be the first time that Alexa has saved someone’s life.

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Ray Prince is a freelance writer with more than four years of experience covering automobiles and technology, writing for publications such as Gadget Review, Hybrid Cars, Auto Guide, and Vehicle History.
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