Important 3-digit Phone Numbers Everyone Should Know
Did you know that you can get important information by dialing 3 simple digits on your landline phone? Whether you are working at home, looking for help, or trying to file a complaint…the following 3-digit phone numbers can be of use to almost anyone, anywhere, anytime. Some wireless phone service providers have begun to incorporate these numbers into their system as well. And most of these numbers provide their information in both English and Spanish.
211 – Social Services: For families in need, this number will connect you to information and referral for everything from food stamps and insurance for children to evacuation procedures for the disabled and social security. It really cuts through the red tape of endless menus and you actually get the information you need to apply for a wide array of programs. During “normal business hours”, at some point you can even speak to a human being that can provide you with phone numbers to most of your local health and human resources and answer questions that don’t have menu options.
311 – City Services: Most major cities use this number to provide city information about permits, department calendars of events, and filing complaints about potholes or code violations. There are often menus providing other department telephone numbers for your city too.
411 – Information: Need a phone number or physical street address? Just dial these three numbers. While this is no longer a free call in most states, you can get up to two phone numbers and two addresses during one call. If you mumble your answer to the “city and state please” request, you will be connected to a live operator who can help you more thoroughly. This is especially helpful if you are uncertain about the location of a particular person or business. If you dial 1(800) FREE 411, or 1 (800) 373-3411 from most phones it IS free. (It’s more than three digits, but I figured I would include it anyway).
511 – Traffic or weather information: A large number of cities provide a local overview of traffic situations and/or weather and is usually updated once an hour. Try dialing 511 in your city and see what happens. The worst thing that can happen is the service is not provided in your area and you will be advised via recording that the number is not in use.
611 – Your cell phone provider: Okay, this is not for landlines, but it’s worth mentioning. It’s a short cut to reach your provider and makes reporting issues with your service simpler.
711- Telecommunications Relay Service: For TTY users in most states: This code allows those that are deaf, hearing-impaired, or speech-impaired to connect to a normal telephone or another TTY terminal. This service enables impaired individuals to “speak” over the phone using their keypad device and is similar to texting.
811 – Where to dig: Homeowners and contractors can call this number to have local underground utilities providers to come out and mark where it is safe to dig. Whether you are planning to fell a tree or install a sprinkler system, call this number first!
911 – EMERGENCIES: If you need immediate help from the Police or Fire Department, this is the number to dial. Also if you or someone with you needs an ambulance, this number will get the EMT (Emergency Medical Team) deployed to your location quickly.
Print out and put this note on the side of your refrigerator and you’ll have these numbers handy the next time you need information of almost any kind.