Phone Fix-Up Needed

South Alabamians need to adjust contact lists before Sunday

This illustration, provided by Somos Inc., shows area codes that need to transition to 10-digit phone number.

It’s hard enough each fall remembering when to reset clocks for the end of Daylight Saving time. Now you also have to remember to start using 10 numbers instead of seven.

Beginning October 24, people in the 251 area code of South Alabama have to use 10 digits instead of seven for local calls. It’s part of the nationwide change to establish a three-digit suicide prevention line.

If you live in the 251 area code, you probably got a note from your phone company way last spring urging you to begin using 10 numbers. But the deadline for the change was still months away.

Now it’s time for the procrastinators to get around to it. If you use only seven numbers to make a call on or after October 24, the call won’t go through.

While it may be easy to remember to use 10 numbers when you’re placing a call to a seldom-used number, the hard part is going through your list of contacts and changing all those numbers to 10 digits.

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Registry management company Somos Inc., which is handling the reminder for the Federal Communications Commission, also suggests checking your medical alert devices, as well as alarm and security systems, call forwarding settings, voicemail messages, business website, advertising, checks, pet ID tags and more — anything with a phone number.

Beginning July 16, 2022, calling 988 will route to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline,

FYI, change your clock back on November 7.

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