How to Make Your Phone Emergency-ready

phone pic.pngby Kristie Burk

This past Tuesday, the Central Administration Office met with Chester County first responders to do a crisis simulation.  The session was extremely informative.  One important reminder from a first responder was to remember to identify emergency contact information on your phone.

There are a few thing that you can do on your Smartphone to make it easier for first responders in an emergency. First, label one (or more) of your contacts with “ICE” in the front.  For example, my husband is in my contacts as “ICE – spouse.”  If someone finds my phone in an emergency, they will know whom to contact.

However, what happens if, like me, your phone is password-protected?

There are many ICE apps for the iPhone, Android or Windows phones that will allow rescuers or doctors to get emergency information from your phone even if it’s locked. You can find these apps with a quick search in the app store.

If you have an iPhone, you can also set up your emergency medical ID.  (Thank you to Kevin Parks in our technology department for showing me this one!)  Here are the steps:

  1. Swipe down on your iPhone and search for the “Health” app.  Apple installed this app and it cannot be deleted.
  2. Click on the “Medical ID *” icon at the bottom of your phone.
  3. If you click “edit,” you can enter any information that may be needed by a rescuer, including medical conditions, allergies, medications, medical notes, blood type, weight, height, etc. You can also add emergency contact numbers here.
  4. Make sure you have the emergency access at the top set to “show when locked” if you lock your phone with a password.

What’s great about this app is that it can be accessed even while your phone is locked.  To verify, click your phone off.  Slide to unlock the phone, but do not enter your passcode.  Notice the “emergency” link at the bottom of the phone.  Clicking on this link and then clicking on “medical ID” will allow any person to find your medical information and/or emergency contacts quickly.

One word of warning: This information can also be available to anyone who might steal your phone, so think twice about what information you want to make readily available.

Finally, I read about a pretty cool “hack” that would work on any Smartphone.  If you take a picture of whatever emergency information you want, you can set the picture as the wallpaper on your phone.  Then, the information is available even if your phone is locked. Clever, huh?

Be safe out there…



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