Did you know that your iPod Touch can save your life?
The secret is letting your iPod 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.
But what about the times when you or your children don’t have your smartphone with you? Like when you’re out running or playing sports? All those times you don’t have room in a pocket – if you even have a pocket – for a full-sized phone. I bet you or your kids have something else with you though. Your iPod Touch. And thanks to the nice, brilliant folks at Apple, you can put an ICE Contact on it – no sweat.
Grab Your iPod Touch & Let’s Get Started
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 iPod Touch to open up your Contacts. Click on the plus sign + to add a new contact and touch the Name Field. Don’t put the name of your contact in this field, only the word ICE.
By the way, if you don’t see a plus sign to add a new contact, it just means that you need to turn on iCloud first. Just Go to Settings, then Choose iCloud and turn on Contacts.
Now touch the Company Name Field. Here is where you put your contact’s name along with his or her relationship to you. For example, John Jones – Husband. That way a doctor or nurse reading it, will know that this contact is your husband.
Time To Make Your iPod Touch Do Some Heavy Lifting…
The best thing about an iPod 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:
♦ Your emergency contact’s main phone number, mobile number and work number.
♦ Email Address & IM, Twitter or Facebook address (these are vital in case you need to send that contact an emergency message or quick update).
♦ Your contact’s schedule if there are specific days that he or she is at a certain location.
♦ Be sure to include every piece of information you can. Why? When people are injured in a regional emergency, like a tornado or an earthquake, not every type of communication will be working. For instance, after the Japan earthquake, many people were able to reach each other via Twitter or Facebook even though their landlines and Wi-Fi weren’t working.
Like most smartphones, your iPod also lets you change, add or create fields inside the contact, so that you can customize it as much as you like. In general, all you need to do is touch and hold the name of the field that you want to change. This will bring up a menu of alternate field names to choose from, including the option to Create A Field and add whatever you need.
But what about information that doesn’t fit into an iPod Touch field? 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 kind of information?
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.
What Other Types of Information Should I Put In My iCE Contact?
Whatever you want. 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.
By the way, don’t forget to make emergency cards for your family too. Download them here, and tuck them into their wallets with their ID, just in case their mobile phones can’t be accessed after an accident or regional emergency.
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 these.
You can either make your own graphic or download ours free from the Free Resources Page. Once you pick the ones you want, Save Target/Link As and save the graphics to your desktop.
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 iPod, but that everyone’s iPhones and smartphones contain 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 iPhones and smartphones as well. We’ll even make it easy for you. Just read the post , or right click How To Put An iCE Contact On Your iPhone to download the PDF version and follow the instructions to set up your family’s iCE Contacts.
For the downloadable PDF version of How To Put An iCE Contact on your iPad, right click this link and Save Target/Link As to save it to your desktop.
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.
Talk about peace of mind!
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