HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Companies are preparing this month for Kari's Law to go into effect across Texas. Senate Bill 788 will make it easier to reach 911 from just about any phone system in the state.
More than a half million people have signed the change.org petition to make the law a national standard. Even big names, like Sean Hannity, have added their support.
"Most people with a business phone system can't just dial 911," said Will Taillac, a Systems Engineer at Omnipotech. "They are definitely probably directly affected by this law."
According to the change.org page, in 2013 Kari Rene Hunt was meeting her estranged husband at a motel in Marshall, Texas to drop her children into his custody for a visit. He ambushed by her, pinning her in the bathroom.
Hunt's daughter, just 9 years old, attempted to call 911 just as mom had taught her to do in emergencies. But she had not been taught hotel phones require you dial 9 before an external number. Her mother was killed.
From this tragic loss has come action.
Kari's father Hank Hunt has since led a national campaign - testifying before legislators and rallying support - to require hotels and other companies to allow 911 calls with no prompts or additional instructions.
By September 1st, multi-user phone systems in Texas must be able to directly call to 911.
To get complaint, companies will have to call their service provider. Taillac told FOX 26 that will be, "whoever they would call if they needed to buy a new phone, or forgot a voicemail password. That person is probably the person who can change the phone system's behavior."
But if you aren't sure, ask. Will says many systems can be reprogrammed remotely.
Will adds that, "if you don't know who your service provider is, or your system is so old that no one knows how to reprogram it, there is a process to apply for a waiver."
Those waivers are available at texas911.org/karislaw and require the submission of an affidavit for approval. The waiver gives you one year to become compliant.
By summer 2017, emergency response will never be more than three buttons away in Texas.
The husband of Kari Hunt is currently serving a 99 year jail sentence for first-degree murder.