How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Samsung Galaxy Phone

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?

Right click graphic to download How To Sheet

Right click graphic to download How To Sheet

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?  

Wrong!

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. 

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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

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Now your ICE information will appear right on your Lock Screen, no password needed. 

Problem solved!

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

Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan

Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

Save Your Albums & Cassettes As MP3s

Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom

Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

getstuff3dcover - Copy (2)

 

 

This is just a fraction of the tools and resources you’ll find in our latest book “Get Your Stuff Together,” now available on Amazon.com for $24.99. Over 200 pages packed with the info you and your family need to keep everything that’s important to you — photos, music, videos, data and keepsakes — safe from life’s little and not so little emergencies.  Pick up your copy today for $24.99 at Amazon.com.

iphonebookweblgIn our book”Keep This Book In Your iPhone ” we’ve squeezed all of the information you need to turn your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or any other smartphone into a real life saver.  A few minutes with this book, and you’ll know how to stash all of your vital information, backed up photos, family emergency plans and contacts in your phone, where they’ll be at your fingertips, ready to help you through life’s little speed bumps.  Like Superstorm Sandy.   Pick up your copy today for $9.99 at  Amazon.com.

How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends And Profile

Right Click Graphic To Download How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends & Profile

Quick. Name all the people that you’re friends with on Facebook.

You’ve got two minutes…

Time’s up.  Well could you do it?

No?

That’s too bad.   Because all of that work you put into making your Facebook page the masterpiece that it is, can be gone in an instant.  Not just yours, but anyone’s.  That’s because Facebook is a web site with millions of users and billions of entries.  As hard as they try to maintain it and keep all of your uploads and pictures and information safe, all of it is just one electronic hiccup or hacked account away from disappearing.   In an instant.

But the GOOD news is, that won’t happen to you.  Because you’re about to learn a secret.  You can download and backup all of the information in your Facebook timeline.  And if you download the information for safekeeping, you’ll not only be able to restore it, but you’ll be able to remember exactly who all of your friends are.

Just follow the instructions below and all of that info on your Timeline will be safe and secure right on your hard drive.  The only thing that you can’t download (as of press time) is the contact information of your Facebook friends.

So here goes…

Take Action! 

1. I Can Download My Friends List?  Really?

Yes, you really can!   Using the instructions below, you can  download a lot of the information in your Facebook account, including:

  • Your Friends List
  • Your Contact Information,
  • Interests,
  • Groups,
  • Photos and Videos that you have uploaded to your account.
  • Messages that you have sent and received.

facebookdownload

2. First Go To Account Settings

Just log into your Facebook account, and go to the Account Settings page.

3. Download Your Information
  • Click on the link that says Account Menu on the top right of your Facebook page.
  • Choose Account Settings.
  • Click on “Download A Copy” of your Facebook Data
  • Click on the Download Button on the following page and save the information to your computer.

4. Now That You Have the Information…

As Facebook suggests, since this download contains your profile (timeline) information, you should keep it secure and take precautions when storing, sending or uploading it to any other services.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later –  Laura and Jan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less

Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone

Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan

Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

Save Your Albums & Cassettes As MP3s

Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom

Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

getstuff3dcover - Copy (2)

 

 

This is just a fraction of the tools and resources you’ll find in our latest book “Get Your Stuff Together,” now available on Amazon.com for $24.99. Over 200 pages packed with the info you and your family need to keep everything that’s important to you — photos, music, videos, data and keepsakes — safe from life’s little and not so little emergencies. Pick up your copy today for $24.99 at Amazon.com.

iphonebookweblgIn our book”Keep This Book In Your iPhone ” we’ve squeezed all of the information you need to turn your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or any other smartphone into a real life saver. A few minutes with this book, and you’ll know how to stash all of your vital information, backed up photos, family emergency plans and contacts in your phone, where they’ll be at your fingertips, ready to help you through life’s little speed bumps. Like Superstorm Sandy. Pick up your copy today for $9.99 at Amazon.com.

Prevent Hurricane & Tornado Pain With One Click

Question.

If you could keep your friends and neighbors from losing the things they love most in the next hurricane or tornado, would you do it?   

Well the good news is, now you can.  And it only takes the click of a mouse.  

Here’s how.

Now that hurricane season and tornado season are here, I started thinking about the news coverage of Hurricane Sandy.

There was this one woman that I’ll never forget. Her name was Phyllis.

She was talking to a reporter outside of what was left of her Staten Island home, when she saw a large, yellowed piece of paper lying across the yard. Phyllis grabbed it, clutched it to her chest and began sobbing. It was her mother’s wedding photo, the only copy she had, now mud-soaked and disintegrating in her hands.

The worst part is, the pain she felt over that destroyed photo was absolutely preventable.

We’ve been through more than a few disasters ourselves, including an earthquake and an airplane crashing into our neighborhood. In fact that’s the reason we wrote “Get Your Stuff Together”.

But the other day when I thought about Phyllis, I knew I had to do something more.  Something else that will keep people from having to experience that kind of pain.

Not just one family at a time, but hundreds.

So here’s the plan. There’s something we can all do, right now, to prevent pain with just one click.

We just negotiated a special 70% discount on “Get Your Stuff Together” for everyone who wants to buy 10 or more copies of the book. It doesn’t matter whether it’s for your church, your business, your Air Force base, your kid’s school, service organization or your Little League team.

Just let us know how many copies your group, company or organization wants, and we’ll get the books to you ASAP.   Are you ready, because here comes the link you need to click to make it all happen.

Click here https://www.createspace.com/3823528 to order your copies directly from our publisher’s website.  Just make sure you enter coupon code: WF6W3P8D to get your discount. 

Or if you want us to order them for you,  email us at webmaster1 at nokep.org, let us know how many copies you want, and we’ll take it from there.

So what do you think? Are you ready to help the families in your community stay safer this hurricane and tornado season?

All it takes is One  Click.

We’ll talk later — Laura and Jan

_________________________________________________

“Get Your Stuff Together” — over 200 pages packed with quick, easy steps you can take to keep everything that’s important to you — photos, music, videos, data and keepsakes — safe from life’s little and not so little emergencies. Pick up your copy today for $24.99 at www.getyourstufftogether.com.

How To Create Your Family Evacuation Plan

If you and your family had to evacuate your home because of a tornado, an earthquake or wildfire, where would you go? 

There’s a lot to consider.   “Location A is close enough to home to check on the house if we had to, but what if the entire city is affected?   But if we went to Location B, how would I ever get to work?”

Is your head hurting yet?

Not to worry.  A –  That’s exactly why we want you to go through this exercise now and not when a firefighter is knocking at the door.  And B –  That’s also why we suggest that you choose three locations and opt for the one that fits your needs if an emergency ever rears its ugly head.

A great Evacuation Plan has two objectives:  

1) To figure out the best location for your evacuation

2) To help you gather your family and get you safely to your location

 

Click picture to download the PDF How-To Sheet

First we’ll walk you through choosing your locations and sketching out a plan.  Once the plans are set, put the details on your family’s emergency wallet cards.    If you want, you can also give a card to the person you chose to be your out-of-area contact.  And if you don’t have emergency wallet cards, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

How To Choose The Perfect Locations

Location One:  A location Near Your Home, that you can use if you cannot stay in your home, but the area around it is still safe and secure.

Location Two:  A location Outside of Your Immediate Area, that you can use if you cannot stay in your area, but the cities around you are still safe and secure.

Location Three:  A location Out of State, if your own state is uninhabitable.

With three locations you’ll be prepared no matter what the emergency.  You’ll just go down your list, choose the location you need, and be on your way.  You and the members of your immediate family will know where to gather and what to do, even if everyone is away from home in the middle of a busy day.

If you’d rather have a hard copy of this exercise, download How-To Choose An Evacuation Location.

locationgraphic

Choosing Your Locations

First, make a list of as many different locations as you and your family can think of, that you can use for evacuation.

As you think about each location, consider:

  • The needs of the people traveling with you
  • How you’ll get there (car, bus, plane)
  • Any pets that will be traveling with you
  • Whether the location will actually work for you and your family.   For instance if would need to stay in that location for two or three weeks, would it have everything that you and your family would need?
  • Would it be close enough to the stores or services your family might need, like pharmacies, clothing, banks and doctors?
  • Would you be able to get to work from that location, or are you able to work from home?
  • Does it have the furniture and supplies you would need to sustain you for two or three weeks?

Sketching Out Your Plan

Now that you have your locations, download our Family Evacuation Plan or if you have a copy of our book Get Your Stuff Together, locate the Plan in the back of the book and answer the following questions, for each of the Three Locations.

  • Who Will Be Evacuating With You?
  • Where will you and your family meet and gather?  Note the exact address of the location, the phone numbers, directions and any names or contact information you and your family members will need to reach it quickly and easily.
  • Who Does What?  If a disaster or emergency occurred during the day while everyone was away from home, will anyone need to be picked up or need help getting to the gathering location?  Is there anything else that would need to be done before gathering?
  • Where will you live temporarily until you are allowed to go back home?  Note all of the details as you did in the section above.
  • How will you travel to each location?
  • Will you need to have any travel information with you, like maps, frequent flier or hotel membership numbers?
  • Are there any pets evacuating with you?  If yes, list their names, breed and ages along with a link to their photos, vet information and medical history.  If you post this to your family web site or online file location, you’ll be able to retrieve it quickly if your pet is lost or separated from the family.
  • Choose one out of state relative or friend to be your family’s emergency contact.

In the last section, list each family member or person evacuating with you.  Under each name, list all of their contact information including:

  • Their cell phone/school/office numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Twitter and Facebook account names.
  • Any other information that can put you in immediate touch with them, even if one or two modes of communication are down.

Review the plans with your spouse and adult family members.  Once they’re set, put that information on your family’s emergency wallet cards.  If you don’t already have your own, click the link above to download ours.

It might be a good idea to give a card to the person you chose to be your out of area contact, as well.  In case of a regional emergency, even though you can’t call within your local calling district, you can often call long distance.  A distant friend can be a touch point for the entire family until communication is restored.

Keeping The Plan At Your Fingertips

Print, scan or make three copies of your Evacuation Plan, and store it in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.  Where and how you decide to secure and store your information is up to you.  But here are a few ideas…

If your Plan is on paper, you can place it:

  • In your watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin.  Only place the documents that you actually need in this bin.  If you’ll also have access to copies of your vital documents in your safe deposit box, then don’t take anything with you that you would worry about if it were lost.
  • In a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • With your emergency contacts or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.

If your Plan is on computer, you can place it:

  • On a password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your evacuation bin.
  • On a password-protected online file repository or even the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way if you need a copy of your information or forms quickly, you can retrieve them from any Internet-enabled computer.
  • Save a link to the Plan on you and your family’s smartphones, so that you can all instantly access and use the plan whenever you need it.

And while we’re at it, do the members of your family have ICE (In Case of Emergency) Contacts on their iPhones or smartphones?  If not, be sure to take a couple of minutes to read the instructions on our blog post or download How To Put An ICE Contact on Your Smartphone and let’s take care of that right now.

More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less

Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone

Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan

Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

Save Your Albums & Cassettes As MP3s

Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom

Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

getstuff3dcover - Copy (2)

 

 

This is just a fraction of the tools and resources you’ll find in our latest book “Get Your Stuff Together,” now available on Amazon.com for $24.99. Over 200 pages packed with the info you and your family need to keep everything that’s important to you — photos, music, videos, data and keepsakes — safe from life’s little and not so little emergencies.  Pick up your copy today for $24.99 at Amazon.com.

iphonebookweblgIn our book”Keep This Book In Your iPhone ” we’ve squeezed all of the information you need to turn your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or any other smartphone into a real life saver.  A few minutes with this book, and you’ll know how to stash all of your vital information, backed up photos, family emergency plans and contacts in your phone, where they’ll be at your fingertips, ready to help you through life’s little speed bumps.  Like Superstorm Sandy.   Pick up your copy today for $9.99 at  Amazon.com.

How To Get Your Address Book Together

Right Click Graphic to Download How To Get Your Address Book Together

Let’s say your spouse or best friend decides to throw you a surprise party… 

If they opened up your address book, would they find the current names and contact information for your friends and relatives?  Or would you end up with a room full of long forgotten former neighbors and all your friends from Camp Wannamochachino?

That’s what I thought.  Which means that in an emergency, your spouse or best friend would have absolutely NO chance of locating the names of people they need to contact ASAP.

So how about some quick tips on getting your address book in pristine shape quickly and painlessly?

Take Action! 

Here are a few simple ways to get your address book organized, backed up, useable and accessible.

1. Hunting Down Those Scraps of Paper

Grab all of those slips of paper, you’ve been keeping, with your friend’s updated phone numbers and emails .  And don’t forget the addresses you tore off the Christmas card envelopes & the notes at the bottom of your purse.  Now go update your address book!

Do you have more entries than you have space?  Then consider keeping only the basic information you need in your main book –  like the land line and cell number plus one email address.  Then relegate the rest of the numbers and information to one major address list on your computer.  That way you have  what you need at your fingertips without having to forage through every bit of information, just to find your aunt’s phone number.

2. Keeping It Up To Date

If your book has more cross outs and erasures that it does entries, it might be time to rethink the type of address book you use.  Even though it’s a pain to have to change emails, addresses and phone numbers every time your friends or relatives move, one change doesn’t mean you have to toss out the whole book and start over.

Here’s a great solution that actually works.  It’s called  Circa Address Book from Levenger.  In it, each person’s entry is actually a square, perforated information slip.  So if someone messes up your book by getting a new phone number, all you have to do is tear out that entry and replace it with a new one, leaving the rest of your book intact. Brilliant!

3. Put That Book In Its Place!

Always keep your address book in the same place, and make sure the place makes sense, like a drawer in the desk where you pay your bills or work on your computer.    An address book is no good to you if it’s hiding under your couch!

4. Don’t Keep The Location To Yourself

Once your book is updated, tell your spouse, roommate or if you live alone, mother or best friend, where you keep your address book, in case of emergency.

5. Talk Isn’t Always Cheap

Have a quick conversation with your spouse, best friend or parent about which people you would want them to notify, if you were seriously injured.

To be safe, you can also put a star like this ** or other special mark next to each of those names in your address book, along with a notation at the beginning of your address book, explaining the reason for the stars.

6. Now What Do I Do With It?

Copy or scan your address book once a year (or every six months if  your friends move  a lot).  Save the copy in a different location than your book and a second copy in a secure file at work or in your safe deposit box.

Scanning is even better, so you’ll be able to save your address book to your computer. Save an additional copy onto a portable hard drive or flash drive and place it along with your other vital documents in a safe deposit box.  That way you’ll be able to access your contacts in case your home is inaccessible in an emergency.

Want to download these instructions so you can come back to them later?  Click Here to download the PDF version.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later –  Laura and Jan

_________________________________________________

More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less

Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone

Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan

Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

Save Your Albums & Cassettes As MP3s

Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom

Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

getstuff3dcover - Copy (2)

 

 

This is just a fraction of the tools and resources you’ll find in our latest book “Get Your Stuff Together,” now available on Amazon.com for $24.99. Over 200 pages packed with the info you and your family need to keep everything that’s important to you — photos, music, videos, data and keepsakes — safe from life’s little and not so little emergencies.  Pick up your copy today for $24.99 at Amazon.com.

iphonebookweblgIn our book”Keep This Book In Your iPhone ” we’ve squeezed all of the information you need to turn your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or any other smartphone into a real life saver.  A few minutes with this book, and you’ll know how to stash all of your vital information, backed up photos, family emergency plans and contacts in your phone, where they’ll be at your fingertips, ready to help you through life’s little speed bumps.  Like Superstorm Sandy.   Pick up your copy today for $9.99 at  Amazon.com.

How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

Right Click graphic to download How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

When it comes to you and your family, it’s up to you to fill in that missing piece BEFORE emergencies occur.

When a patient is brought in the emergency room unconscious, aside from obvious injuries, the doctors caring for him basically have no information about their patient.  They have no idea what he might be allergic to, what medications he’s taking or the surgery he had the month before.

Elaine Sullivan was an active seventy-one year old living on her own in Chicago.  One day while getting ready to take a bath, she slipped and fell, striking her head and mouth on the side of the tub.  Her neighbors realized they hadn’t seen her all day and called the paramedics, who went in and found her, conscious, but unable to speak.

Elaine had previously been a patient at the hospital she was taken to, she had private insurance, Medicare and everything she needed.  Or so she thought.  Even though she was stable, injuries to her mouth made her unable to speak or swallow, so she was unable to speak for herself.  Over the next few days, after a series of serious medical errors and a critical drug interaction, her condition worsened.

Elaine Sullivan was my grandma.  Despite the fact that the hospital had my mother’s and my contact information for our home in Los Angeles, the hospital neglected to call us for 6 1/2 days.  By the time they did, Grandma was in critical condition from a lack of the most basic care.  By the time we found out she’d been hospitalized, we were unable to get to her bedside before she died, unnecessarily and alone.

As we found out the hard way, some hospitals don’t make calling your next of kin their priority.

Even though most hospitals try to find an unconscious patient’s emergency contacts and notify their families in a reasonable amount of time, hospitals can sometimes become so busy or are so understaffed that they don’t make that call as quickly as they should.

We later found that one of the main factors that caused Grandma’s death was the fact that the doctors treating her didn’t have her medical or prescription drug history at their fingertips.

But the lesson we want to point out is, how critical communicating a person’s vital medical information can be.

And recent natural disasters and terrorist attacks have only amplified the need to get a trauma victim’s identification, medical history and emergency contact information to the physician treating him as quickly as humanly possible.

Your Emergency Medical Information 

There’s nothing worse than having something on the tip of your tongue and not being able to remember it – except when the word you’re trying to remember is the name of a medication that the emergency room physician needs to save your daughter’s life.

Emergencies can rattle the best of us, and the phone number or facts you know by heart are the very ones that will elude you when you need them most!

You just can’t leave information that important up to your memory.  Let’s get it down on paper, where it belongs!

Take Action! 

1. What Information Am I Going To Need?

Grab a pencil and paper and jot down the types of medical information you have for each member of the family.

This includes your family’s medical history, medical information, names of everyone’s physicians, specialists, dentists, optometrists and other health care providers and current and past prescriptions.

2. The Most Important Things Are…

Close your eyes for a moment & imagine that you’re sitting in the ER with everyone in your house.  One by one, imagine that your spouse, each child or your parent has an injury, like a broken arm, or needs emergency surgery.   The doctor – someone who doesn’t know you or your family’s unique medical or emotional needs – walks through the door.

What does this doctor need to know about them?   Jot down all of the things that just went through your mind.  Old injuries, allergies, surgeries, anything you think is important.

3. Locate and Gather All The Information You Have

Using those notes and the list you completed in Step 1, locate and gather all of the medical information you have at home, along with your address book or contact information for physicians and the people you’ll be using for emergency contacts.

4. Create Your Medical Information Forms

Grab a copy of our Medical History Form, or if you have our book Get Your Stuff Together, there’s a copy in the back of the book.  Create one for each adult and child in your family, adding all of the information you’ve located.

5. Choosing Your Emergency Contacts

Choose and name at least 3 emergency contacts for each person, including yourself.

  • Main Emergency Contact:  If you are married, include your spouse on your form and yourself on your spouse’s form.  For your children, this would be you and your spouse.
  • 2nd Contact: should be a nearby relative or good friend who you would trust enough to make informed choices on your behalf, if necessary.
  • 3rd Contact: should be an out of town/out of state relative or friend.

6. Anything Else To Add?

Is there any other information you need, to deal with a medical emergency while evacuated or away from home?  If so, you can make copies of that information and place it in the same folder as your completed medical history forms.

7. Now For Safekeeping…

Print, scan or make three copies of the form you just completed, along with the documents or other materials you need and store them in at least three secure, damage-proof locations.   That way if one or two of the locations are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to grab the information you need.

If you’ve decided to print out your forms and medical documents on paper, you can place them:

  • In a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • In your watertight Plastic Evacuation Bin.  Only place the documents that you actually need in this bin.  If you’ll also have access to copies of your vital documents in your safe deposit box, then don’t take anything with you that you would worry about if it were lost.
  • With your emergency contacts or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.
  • In your file cabinet at work/office.  If your spouse, child or relative is injured while you’re at work, you can grab the medical information from your files and take it to the emergency room.

If your forms and medical documents are on your computer, you can:

  • Save the forms to your smartphone so that if a member of your family is ever rushed to the emergency room, you can send the form directly to the emergency physician, so that they’ll have a medical history immediately, before you even arrive at the hospital.
  • Place the forms and documents on a password-protected online file repository or even the file directory of your family’s personal web site.  This way if you need a copy of your information or forms quickly, you can retrieve them from any computer or send a link to the forms to the hospital, from your iPhone or smartphone.
  • Save them to a password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, and take them with you during evacuation on a key ring or in your evacuation bin.
  • Place the password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box or water/fireproof safe in your own city.
  • Place the password-protected flash drive or portable hard drive, in a safe deposit box, water/fireproof safe, or with relatives in the city where you’ll be evacuating.

If you’d like to download a copy of How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips, click here.

One important note:  DO NOT put your or your family’s social security numbers in your list of vital information or in online files or folders, no matter how secure they are.  If you have to have those numbers with you (and haven’t memorized them), copy or scan the originals and place them in a secure safe deposit box instead.

Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together!    We’ll talk later –  Laura and Jan

_________________________________________________

More Amazing Things You Can Do In 5 Minutes Or Less

Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Smartphone

Create Your Family’s Evacuation Plan

Download and Back Up Your Digital Photos

Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips

Save Your Albums & Cassettes As MP3s

Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom

Fill Out Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card

getstuff3dcover - Copy (2)

 

 

This is just a fraction of the tools and resources you’ll find in our latest book “Get Your Stuff Together,” now available on Amazon.com for $24.99. Over 200 pages packed with the info you and your family need to keep everything that’s important to you — photos, music, videos, data and keepsakes — safe from life’s little and not so little emergencies. Pick up your copy today for $24.99 at Amazon.com.

iphonebookweblgIn our book”Keep This Book In Your iPhone ” we’ve squeezed all of the information you need to turn your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or any other smartphone into a real life saver. A few minutes with this book, and you’ll know how to stash all of your vital information, backed up photos, family emergency plans and contacts in your phone, where they’ll be at your fingertips, ready to help you through life’s little speed bumps. Like Superstorm Sandy. Pick up your copy today for $9.99 at Amazon.com.

Capturing the Perfect Moment with Perfect Pic

Shane McCallum didn’t set out to transform the way people use video.

The owner of Rev Software, was perfectly happy helping other people develop mobile apps for their own companies. But no matter where he went, people kept pitching him their idea for the perfect app. One day Shane’s friend and future partner Sean Bammer came to him with an idea. You know when you’re watching a video and you see that perfect moment? Your kid finally hangs ten perfectly on her skateboard or you nail that dive with a 10.0 rip right into the water. What if you could capture that moment in an extraordinary still photo, right from the video?

Avid skier and mountain biker Shane knew exactly what Sean meant. It’s next to impossible to capture that perfect action shot with a regular camera. “You generally only get one shot, if somebody’s jumping off of something or doing a trick…If they crash you don’t get the crash, or if they land, you don’t get the landing.” But with video, you already have your choice of perfect shots. All they needed to do was figure out how to divide videos into frames, letting users grab that perfect moment of video and turn it into a still photo.

In other words, they had to figure out how to freeze time.

Shane was more than intrigued, he was hooked. He looked at his friend and said “If this works and if there’s room for me, I want to do more than build it. I want to be a part of it.”

Soon after, the Perfect Pic App was born.

We first discovered the Perfect Pic App out of a personal need. I don’t know about your family, but in ours there were always a few people who didn’t really enjoy having their picture taken – at all. To the point where, when a camera appeared, they darted into the kitchen or suddenly remembered something they’d forgotten at the store. But for some reason a movie or video camera never posed as much of a threat. Once we had our old Super8 movies transferred to DVD, we realized how many pictures we actually had of those people. The only problem was, we couldn’t put them in a photo album.

Besides disappearing relatives, our friends had a different problem. They had tons of videos of them scoring a touchdown or of their baby’s first steps, but no still photos to go with it. How many times have you taken a video camera or a still camera to an event, but not both? Fast forward twenty years and the family is left with precious few pictures of Great Grandma or that winning touchdown, leaving only the sadness of the great moments that the camera missed.

Or did it? Enter the Perfect Pic App. With Perfect Pic you can turn any frame of any video into a crystal clear photo.

Here’s how it works.

After you download the Perfect Pic App from the iTunes App Store, all you have to do is open any old or new video on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, find the frame you want and save it to your Camera Roll, or share it directly with your friends on Twitter or Facebook.

For me, the only thing I had to figure out was how to get the old videos I had on my PC, onto my iPad. It turned out to be easy. Most of our videos were only 2-7 minutes long, the perfect length for the Perfect Pic App. All I had to do was drop the old videos, a few at a time onto my Dropbox account on my PC.

Then I opened Dropbox on our iPad and saved each video onto the iPad’s Camera Roll. You can do this by clicking on the video in Dropbox and then clicking on the little box icon in the upper right corner of the Dropbox page. Once your videos are on the Camera Roll, open the Perfect Pic App and your videos will appear right on the App’s home screen.
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Making photo stills out of your videos couldn’t be easier. There is a free version of the app and a paid version. The paid version costs $1.99 in the Apple App Store. Although you can create and share photo stills with the free app, you won’t be able to save the photos you create to the Camera Roll. The photos in the free version are also imprinted with an un-removable water mark. Trust me, shell out the $1.99 – it’s completely worth it.

To make a photo still, begin playing the video and when you see the moment you want to capture, touch the screen. You can also touch the pause button, but touching the screen is a bit more accurate. When the video stops, you’ll see that your movie has been divided into frames. Just swipe the frames to advance them to the left or the right, until you find that one perfect shot – the baby’s smile, the touchdown, you sailing through the air… Touch that frame and it will change to a full screen photo. Hit the share button at the bottom center of the screen and then save your new photo to the Camera Roll. You can also share it with family and friends on Twitter, Facebook or via email.  Here is the process with a video of me as a flower girl.

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If you can’t find that perfect frame, you can adjust the app to give you more frames or fewer frames to choose from. You can also adjust the speed of the video, faster or slower – whatever works best for you. We haven’t had to adjust the settings at all. It works perfectly the way it is.

What surprised us, especially because the movies and videos we’re dealing with are 40-50 years old, is that the color and clarity is actually better on the app, than it is on our computer or TV. Even though you’re literally stopping motion to make a still, there’s no blurriness. Unless your film is badly faded or is very dark – and let’s face it, no one can fix that – the pictures that Perfect Pic App are clear and wonderful. All it takes is one trip thorough Photoshop Elements for a bit of color correction or brightening and they’re ready to print at your local photo processor.

I know Shane and Sean created the app to memorialize that perfect moment from all of their own iPhone videos – like hanging mid-air off a cliff while rock climbing. But Perfect Pic is so much more than that. It actually allows you to rewrite history. Those moments that were hiding in an old box or relegated to a once yearly Christmas viewing are fresh and new again. The stills of Great Grandma and Aunt Ruthie that have literally never been seen before, are now in a brand new photo album and being shared with loved ones thousands of miles away, via Facebook or email.

One of Shane’s favorite parts of working with Perfect Pic is looking at the Tweets users send them, with some of their prized Perfect Pic prints. “I remember one that we got from a guy who blew up a bottle and captured it with his iPhone. You could just see all of the pieces of it coming apart perfectly.”

Imaging sinking a hole in one and running home to grab the video off your phone and turning your moment into this year’s holiday card! With Perfect Pic, it’s not only possible, it’s quick and easy.

And for us, it’s made all the difference in the world.

To get the Perfect Pic App, download it from the iTunes App Store or learn more about it at perfectpicapp.com.