In Case of Emergency Readiness

It’s pretty common for your work to ask you to provide emergency contact information and even update it once a year.  While I was updating my emergency contact information the other day it got me's great that this information is at work but what about when I'm not at work? What if my emergency contact needs to be reached when I'm not there? Furthermore, what if I had a medical condition/life threatening allergy and had an emergency situation occur and I'm by myself? 

By now, your phone should be part of your Every Day Carry (EDC).  It’s not that I always need to be connected but there’s a sense of security in knowing that I can text the husband if I need something or call 911 in case of emergency.  Alternatively, my phone could save my life. 

I want to provide you with easy ways to incorporate an ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact or medical needs into your mobile device or the use of apps to keep your lifesaving medical information.

  • Health App on iPhone: As part of the Health app on the iPhone, they have a 'Medical ID' section where you can input information such as your ICE contacts, medical conditions, or special instructions. Additionally, it gives you the option to display this information on your phone's lock screen. To access your medical info from your lock screen, tap the 'Emergency' link on the bottom left and then tap 'Medical ID'. This will bring up a screen with all the medical information you entered in the Health App.

  • Road ID App: This app is great for people that run, hike, cycle, or spend a lot of time on outdoor trails & excursions. The main purpose is to allow your chosen friends & family to track you while you're out using your phones GPS. I know we have all heard those stories of hikers who get lost & family members don't know where they are. This is a great option for that even if you’re not going long distances. This is also a good option for late night dog walking or if you have kids that walk to school. The Road ID app also allows you to create a personalized lock screen that includes up to three ICE contacts.

  • Medical/ICE Phone Apps: There are tons of apps you can download (some free & some paid) that ask you to input key medical information along with ICE contacts. This information can range from allergies, medications, health conditions, doctor information, and ICE contacts. Some of these apps even have settings that allow you to display this information on your phone's lock screen as well. If using an ICE or medical app, it's a great idea to keep the app on your home screen either at the top right or bottom so it's easy to locate.

  • ICE Contact: In your phones contact list, add a contact with the name 'ICE'. This is probably the one you are most familiar with & the most widely used method.

  • ICE/Medical Note Screenshot: If you want a real simple option that doesn't require downloading any apps, then use a notes file. Open your phones note app and write out your ICE information along with any important medical information. Take a screenshot of this note and then make it your lock screen.

Now having these options on your phone may not guarantee that civilian or medical personnel will be able to better assist you. Not everyone has app driven phones or has the knowledge on how to use these new phones.  But I hope as these methods become more widely used it will be common practice for someone helping you to check your phone. 

There are definitely privacy & accessibility concerns to think about if you decide to allow apps to display this information on your phones lock screen. The point of these suggestions is to make the information easy to find for anyone helping you in an emergency. However, it also means that it's just as easy for people with dishonorable intentions to access this information so long as they have access to your phone.  Take into consideration your medical condition(s) and their severity when reviewing these options. If you have life threatening condition, maybe you only provide the essential information on your lock screen without divulging personal information. Based on your needs & comfort level, weigh the risks and benefits of having this information accessible. 

There are also other non-phone options to utilize such as a medical id bracelet/necklace, card in your wallet, or keychain.

What methods do you use or what apps do you think work best for this type of information? 

Disclosure: The information provided is based on my opinions and for informational use only. I am not an expert in this field and any items/services listed here should be used at your own discretion. You can read more about my privacy & disclosure policies here.