Change is coming to the 662.

People living and working in the 662 area code, including Alcorn County, will soon be required to dial 10-digit numbers when calling locally.

The change was approved by the FCC this week and is happening to allow for the use of 988 as the three-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

According to a release from Somos, the country’s phone number registry manager, for 988 to work in the 82 area codes in 36 states affected every customer with a number in those area codes with seven-digit local dialing will be transitioned to ten-digit dialing by July 16. This will ensure everyone can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline using the three-digit 988 code.

Because those 82 area codes use 988 for the first three numbers of some seven-digit phone numbers, the FCC ordered 10-digit dialing. Otherwise, phones won’t recognize when someone is trying to call the 988 suicide hotline.

The change will begin April 24 and customers should at that time begin dialing 10-digits, which would be the area code plus the telephone number. The transition is scheduled to be complete by Oct. 24. On and after that date, local calls dialed with only seven digits may not be completed, and a recording may inform you that your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you get this recording, you must hang up and dial again using the area code with the seven-digit telephone number.

Somos warns that medical alert devices and alarm and security systems may need to be reprogramed to support the ten-digit change.

Since 2008, suicide has ranked as the tenth-leading cause of death in the county. Suicide claimed the lives of more than 48,000 Americans in 2019, resulting in about one death every 11 minutes.

Currently, the only way to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is by calling 1-800-273-8255 or through an online chat feature at suicideprevention lifeline.org.

Staff Writer

Zack Steen was first hired in 1999 as a junior in high school to work in the Daily Corinthian design department. After several years away, he returned in 2014 as staff writer. He's married to the love of his life Brandy and they have 5 wonderful fur-kids.

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