After writing four books that have kept thousands of families and their keepsakes safe and sound, heading up business continuity planning for the Wealth Management department of a Fortune 500 bank and having been through some pretty hairy situations of our own, my writing partner and I have learned one thing.
You never know when or where you’ll be, when you suddenly need to put your ICE Contact, a backup of your computer data or the emergency number of the US Embassy into action.
For us, showing people how to put ICE Contacts on their phones isn’t the gold standard in keeping your family safe and sound. It’s just the first step in a series of things every person should do.
So in this blog post, even though we’re going to show you how to create an ICE Contact on your Vertu phone, we’re also going to give you some tips on staying safe, no matter where your travels take you.
Did you know that your Vertu Phone can save your life?
There is surprisingly little information about one of the world’s most popular and best loved phones, and even less about the fact that the Vertu can actually save your life.
Well, we’re just going to have to take care of that right now.
So what’s the secret? The secret is letting your Vertu do the talking for you in an emergency. And the way to do that is with ICE.
By the way, we know you’ve got a million things to do, so if you need to download these instructions and have a member of your team take care of this for you, just click here to download the PDF version.
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 The Backup Plan 3.0, you probably already have an ICE contact on at least one phone in your house.
Ready to set one up on your Vertu?
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.
In fact, for people who travel a great deal — especially internationally, we recommend that you put four ICE Contacts on your smartphone. The first should be your spouse or significant other, the second a close relative or friend. The third contact should be your attorney or business manager and the fourth, a business partner or colleague who can attend to matters if you are temporarily incapacitated or in a location where telecommunications are down. How can emergency personnel tell which is which? Simple. Just name the first two ICE Medical 1 and 2, then name the others ICE Legal and ICE Business.
How To Set Up Your ICE Contacts
Touch the Contacts Icon on your Vertu 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. This is because your phone sorts contacts by their first name by default.
Next, touch the Last Name Field and enter your contact’s full name, ie. John Jones. Now when someone looks at the contact, they’ll see ICE along with your emergency contact’s full name. And do the same thing for your other ICE contacts, which, like we mentioned, you’ll name ICE Medical 2, ICE Legal and ICE Business — or whatever makes sense for your particular situation.
Time To Make Your Phone 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 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 information, like the days that the contact is at a certain location
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
Don’t forget that you can also add fields to your contact to indicate things like relationship or alternate phone numbers or social media handles. 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 to your phone, like the ones on this page. You can make your own, or download ours free, by going to the Free Resources Page. Once you’ve saved the graphic you like to the photos on your phone, open your ICE Contact, Touch the Contact, then Menu then Edit. Choose 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!
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? Then click here to download the PDF version.
And for those iPhones 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.
Now as promised, here are some tips on keeping your family safe and sound, no matter where your travels take you:
Pre-program the emergency number for the country you’ll be visiting into your phone before you leave, along with local numbers for your country’s embassy and any other emergency assistance numbers.
Always leave an assistant, a colleague and your spouse (or if he or she is going with you, a close relative) a copy of your itinerary with local contact numbers. Be sure to send updates if that information changes.
Carry two portable chargers for your smartphone and other electronic devices with you at all times, ensuring that one of them is always completely charged. If cell phone service is spotty in that country, you might also consider purchasing a device that turns your smartphone into a satellite phone, like the Spot Connect Satellite.
Have your staff scan all of your vital documents, treasured photos (both family and business), keepsakes, awards and anything else that is important to you and place the scans on portable hard drives in at least three secure locations. If you haven’t already done so, place the originals of your vital documents in a waterproof/fireproof location.
Make sure that the members of your immediate family have ICE Contacts on their phones, as well as any electronic devices that they usually carry, such as an iPod Touch or smart watches. And if you want to go one step further, have them place a link to a synopsis of their medical history synopsis into the contact, that an emergency physician can use to treat them until a family member arrives on scene. If you don’t already have your own, you can get medical history forms on our blog or in our book The Backup Plan 3.0.
Make sure that you have your spouse’s emergency information in your phone and vice versa, in case you ever need it quickly.
If your spouse and children are travelling with you in an unfamiliar country, consider downloading the Find My Friends app. All you have to do is add their smartphones to the app and you’ll be able to see exactly where they are, along with directions to their location.
Always give yourself a way out. As much as you appreciate your staff, don’t assume they’ll always be right there to help you deal with an emergency situation. You got where you are today because of your strong skill set in strategic thinking and planning. All you have to do is apply those same skills to ensure that you have the tools you need to deal with any situation that arises.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
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