Here is both why you should add an ICE app to your smart phone, that shows on the lock screen, and how to do it, as well as back up ways to provide information in the case of an emergency.
No one wants an emergency situation to occur, but unfortunately they can happen, and it is best to be prepared, especially when that preparation is relatively easy to do.
Today's Declutter 365 mission is to fill out an emergency contacts list and post or store it in some strategic locations around your home and inside your car.
In addition, though, if you are unable to communicate, you should also have certain information, known as ICE information (which stands for "in case of emergency") available where people have been trained to look for it, your wallet and smart phone.
This information would include the main person to contact for you in the case of an emergency, and any pertinent medical information medical personnel would need to know quickly.
I've actually seen a lot of people suggest that you add ICE as one of the contacts within your smart phone, and that's not a bad idea except when you think it through how can emergency personnel, or strangers, get into your smart phone contacts without your pass code for the lock screen?
Most days it's more important that your phone have a lock screen, and that you need a pass code to open it up and access information than it will be to have your ICE information, so I would never suggest you keep your phone unlocked.
Therefore, if you want to add your ICE information to your smart phone it must be accessible to everyone even on the lock screen.
Because you need everyone to be able to access ICE information even without knowing your smart phone pass code, you should use a special type of ICE app to provide medical first responders and others with this information.
You will need to be careful to choose an app that does allow access even in the lock screen, because unfortunately there are some apps available, especially for Android, that are not designed this way.
If you've got an iPhone adding your ICE information to your phone is simple, and you use the free app which comes pre-installed on your phone (and cannot be deleted) called "Health." Once you add the information in the "Medical ID" section of the app it is programmed to show up even on the locked screen when someone clicks the "emergency" button on that screen, as long as you have marked you want it to appear that way.
If you've got an Android or Windows phone you need to be more careful which ICE app you choose since those companies have not created an easy solution for you the way Apple has.
I found a very helpful article with information about how to add an emergency contact to the lock screen of several different types of phones from PC Magazine, here. Check out the instructions in that article for more details and suggestions of which apps or hacks might work best for you. The article also has more information about how to add information to the Health app for iPhones.
I got this comment on the Facebook page recently, which showed why having this information on the lock screen is so important.
A reader, Cynthia, said:
I have a line on my lock screen that says, "If found, please contact (xxx) xxx-xxxx." I'm so glad I had it when I got in my motorcycle accident. Bystanders were able to call my husband who got to me before the ambulance left the scene. Definitely worth the few minutes it took to complete. (Although I was knocked unconscious for a bit, the accident wasn't too bad. Nothing broken, just cuts and scrapes on exposed skin. As always, I was wearing my helmet, leather jacket, jeans, gloves, and boots.)
I'm so glad Cynthia ended up being OK, but while she was unconscious it was her earlier actions, to put the information where it could be accessed, that helped her communicate at that moment. Make sure you do the same!
Of course, when all else fails you can always rely on alternative methods for conveying ICE information, and that includes the trusty ICE card that you place in your wallet.
If you're a belt and suspenders type of person who wants a back up method beside your smart phone to convey this information (such as if your smart phone is damaged in the emergency), you don't want to be bothered trying to add information to your smart phone, or you don't have a smart phone, I encourage you to add an ICE card to your wallet.
Really, you should have an ICE card or enter smart phone information for every member of your family who has a smart phone or carries a wallet!
You can get ICE cards for your wallet here, through my referral link on Amazon.
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I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!