Did you know that your Samsung Galaxy smartphone can save your life?
And it’s not just Galaxy but any kind of smartphone, like the iPhone, Droid Incredible or Nokia Lumia.
The secret is letting your phone do the talking for you in an emergency. And the way to do that is with iCE.
What is ICE?
During Hurricane Katrina, so many people were injured, unconscious and separated from their families that emergency workers came up with the idea of putting an iCE – In Case Of Emergency – Contact in their cell phones. Now, when a patient who is unconscious or unable to speak comes into the emergency room, hospitals worldwide check their smartphone for an iCE contact, to help them locate their next of kin.
Everyone in your family should have an iCE contact in his or her smartphone. In fact, they should have two just in case the first contact is unavailable. If you have our book Get Your Stuff Together you should already have at least one iCE contact. So let’s learn how to set up an iCE contact on your Samsung Galaxy.
Before You Begin…
…you’d better decide who your iCE Contacts will be.
The first one of course will be your spouse, partner, best friend or close relative. Someone that you want there with you at the hospital or, if need be, making decisions on your behalf. But what if that person is also injured, or is out of town or forgot to charge their phone? Why not choose one additional person to be an iCE Contact – someone very close to you, who you know will drop everything to race to your side and handle things until your significant other can be reached.
Let’s set up your first iCE Contact.
Touch the Contacts Icon on your Galaxy to open up your Contacts. Click on the plus sign + to add a new contact and touch the First Name Field. Don’t put the name of your contact in this field, only the word iCE. We’re doing this because your Galaxy sorts contacts by their first name by default and you want your contact to show up as iCE, not as your contact’s actual name.
Next, touch the Last Name Field and enter your contact’s full name, ie. John Jones. Now when you save the contact, not only will it be alphabetized as iCE, but it will also have your contact’s name right next to it – easy to read and easy to use. Do the same thing when you set up your second iCE contact. The only difference is that you’ll name it ICE2.
Time To Make Your Galaxy Do Some Heavy Lifting…
The best thing about a smartphone is that you can put everything that you need to communicate, right inside this one contact. Here’s the basic information you need to include:
Put all the information you possibly can into your two iCE Contacts. For example:
- Your emergency contact’s Main Number/Cell number/ Work number, Relationship to you
- Email Address & IM, Twitter and Facebook address (in case landlines are down & you need to send an emergency message )
- Other info, for example, days that the contact is at a certain location
- Add extra fields if you need them.
- Use the Notes Section to list your Allergies, Current Medications or the Names & Numbers of your Physicians.
- Be sure to include every piece of information you can. Why? Because you never know what type of communication will or won’t be working. For instance, after the Japan earthquake, many people were able to reach each other via Twitter or Facebook even though their landline phones and Wi-Fi weren’t working.
Adding And Using Fields
Like most smartphones, your Samsung Galaxy lets you change, add or create fields inside the contact, so that you can customize it as much as you like. To add fields to your contact, press and hold the field name until the menu appears, then check the boxes next to the field/label you want and clicking OK.
One great field to add is Relationship, to tell emergency personnel who your contact is to you.
But what about information that doesn’t fit into a field on your phone? That’s when you turn to your new best friend – the Notes section. Notes holds quite a bit of information, so simply put the miscellaneous information you need to communicate, in there.
What Other Types of Information Should I Put In My iCE Contact?
A list of Allergies, the Medications you’re currently taking, Names and Phone Numbers of your Healthcare Providers and contact information for your Insurance Company. Just make sure you don’t put any member numbers, social security numbers or financial information in your phone.
Or, let’s say that two or three lines of Current Medications and Allergies isn’t enough. Then why not create a medical history form for yourself and every member of the family, put it in a password protected online folder, and place the link to it in the Notes section of your iCE Contact. This way a doctor can access your, your spouse’s or your kid’s basic medical history, while you’re en route to the hospital.
If you don’t have your own Medical History Form, go ahead and download ours. Just right click on the link and save it to your desktop.
And while you’re at it, you can put medical treatment release forms for your children in the folder as well, and place the links to those forms in their ICE contacts. You can also put in links to a full list of contacts or emergency numbers, or links to your family’s evacuation plan and gathering locations, so that every member of your family always has all the information they need, right at their fingertips.
Let’s Make Sure No One Misses It!
Make your ICE contacts stand out by using the Add Photo function to upload a graphic like the ones on this page.
You can make your own, or download ours free. Right click this link then choose Save Target As, to add it to your desktop. Save the graphic to the photos on your phone. Open your ICE Contact, Touch the little photo icon, Choose Image, pick the graphic you want and Save.
What About The Rest of The Family?
Every family has one person who keeps everyone else organized. And since you’re reading this post, something tells me it’s probably you!
If that’s the case, it’s up to you to ensure every member of your household not only has iCE Contacts set up on his or her phone, but that everyone’s phone contains all of the contact information for every other family member. That way you’ll be able to get in touch with each other as quickly as possible in an emergency.
And don’t forget that you can always put an iCE Contact in your family’s iPod Touch or MP3 devices as well. Just because you don’t have a phone with you while you’re running doesn’t mean you can’t stay safe!
What If Your Phone Is Password Locked?
I know what you’re thinking. iCE contacts are great – as long as emergency personnel can actually see my iCE information. But what if you lock your Galaxy with a password?
Believe it or not, in many cities emergency workers aren’t allowed to break into a password protected mobile phone, even in an emergency. Which means that having an iCE contact on a password protected phone is useless, right?
As long as you set up your lock screen and your iCE contact correctly, all an emergency worker has to do is glance at your locked screen to find your iCE Contact. Here are two different ways to set it up, depending on the model Galaxy you have.
Most Samsung Galaxies have an Emergency Dialer on the Home Screen. Simply set up your ICE contacts and then press and hold your first ICE contact until the menu appears, then add it to the ICE Emergency Contact Group. Now it will appear on your Emergency Dialer.
If your Galaxy doesn’t have this feature, but you normally password lock your phone, all you have to do is add your ICE information directly to your Lock Screen. Here’s how you do it:
Go into Settings and touch My Device and then Lock Screen. Then touch Lock Screen Widgets. Now on the very bottom of the menu you’ll see Owner Information. Touch that and a window will appear. Simply type in “ICE CONTACT” along with your contact’s name, phone number, your allergy or medical information – anything you would need an emergency room to know about you. Then Check the Box and Choose Okay.
Now your ICE information will appear right on your Lock Screen, no password needed.
Turn Your Phone Into A Mobile Command Center
While you’re at it, you can even turn your phone into a Mobile Command Center. Just store copies of your family’s medical history forms, emergency action plans, checklists and Evacuation Plan, right on your phone and those of each member of your immediate family.
And while you have them, don’t forget to put iCE Contacts on their phones as well, including along with each other’s contact information. That way you can all get in touch with each other quickly in an emergency.
Would you like to download these instructions for later? No problem, just click here to download the PDF version. And if there’s an iPhone lurking around your family be sure to stop by our post on Setting Up An iCE Contact on Your iPhone.
Do yourself a favor. Take five minutes right now to set up your family’s iCE contacts. That way your family will have all the information they need to stay safe and secure, no matter what the situation.
More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less
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