NEW YORK Residents of several states, including New York, will soon be required to dial 10 digits to make local calls within their area codes after the Federal Communications Commission adopted 988 as a new three-digit number for use throughout countries to reach the National Crisis Line for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health.
The change of hotline number does not take place for more than a year; Until July 16, 2022, people should continue to dial 1-800-273-TALK to reach the crisis hotline.
The three-digit number 988 that will be used to reach the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline had previously been assigned as a prefix in 82 area codes in 35 states and the U.S. territory of Guam.
In New York, the following area codes are affected by the change to 10-digit dialing:
As a habit, phone users in affected areas should start dialing the three-digit area code when making local calls before April 24, even if the person they are calling lives across the street.
Many people already have to use 10-digit dialing because of area code “overlays”, that is, areas where more than one area code is assigned due to the demand for phone numbers.
Indeed, the 10-digit numbering must be well established before moving to a three-digit crisis line, the FCC said. It is mandatory on October 24, when callers who dial only seven digits are likely to receive the familiar “your call cannot be terminated as dialed” message.
Here is the FCC list:
Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Louisiana;
Also, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
Making the switch isn’t as easy as adding the area code to local calls.
You will also need to reprogram automatic dialing equipment, for example, life safety systems or medical surveillance devices; fire, burglary and security alarm systems; abbreviated dialers; cell phone contact lists; call forwarding services; voice mail services; and other similar functions.
You will also need to change your electronic signature or stationery if they do not include the area code. You literally have to think of anything with your address on it, including your pet’s ID tags, and include the area code in the contact number.
People making calls to landlines will continue to dial 1+ for long distance calls.
Emergency service calls to 911 and 711 (a relay service used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing) will be made as is, by dialing three digits. All the 211, 311, 411, 511, 611 or 811 services available in your community are always accessible by dialing their three-digit code.
Learn more about the 988 hotline in the event of a suicide crisis.
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