How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone

Did you know that your iPhone can save your life?

And it’s not just iPhones, like the iPhone X or iPhone 8 but any kind of smartphone, like the Samsung Galaxy, LG GS, Moto X or even the Windows Phone.
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 Ready  you should already have at least one iCE contact.  But in case you don’t, grab your iPhone and let’s get started.  
And by the way, if you need instructions for your Samsung Galaxy instead, click here.
Grab Your Phone & 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 iPhone 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.  
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at
Now touch the Company Name Field.  Here is where you put your contact’s name and 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. 
There’s actually an important reason that we’re setting it up this way, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Time To Make Your iPhone 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:
♦  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 iPhone 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 iPhone 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.   
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at
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 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 this one.  Be sure to stop by our Free Resources page for a selection of downloadable ICE Contact Graphics.
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at
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 iPads or other 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 iPhone 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 iCE contact correctly, all an emergency worker has to do is ask Siri to retrieve it for them!
And THAT is why we had you put nothing but the word iCE in the Name field of your iCE Contact. 
Even when your iPhone is passcode locked, all you have to do is Press and Hold Down the Main Home Key on your phone to access Siri.  Then say to Siri, “Contacts ICE”.   Siri will then display all the information you have saved as iCE.  If you place any other words in the name field besides iCE, your phone will sort it differently and Siri won’t recognize the contact as iCE.
Remember, if someone is looking for your iCE Contact, you may be unconscious and unable to communicate medical information for yourself.   In fact, if you do tend to password lock your phone, you should definitely put vital medical information like allergies or chronic illnesses into the Notes Section of your contact as well, just in case the iCE contact is the only contact on your phone that medical personnel can access.
Take a look at the graphic below, to see what happens when you ask Siri for your iCE Contact.
And if you happen to be a healthcare professional, remember these instructions the next time you encounter an unconscious patient with a locked iPhone.  Press and hold down the main home key to access Siri and say “Contacts ICE”.  If your iOS is newer, you may have to say “Hey Siri, Contacts ICE”. 
But the fact is, that one little question might just uncover all of the information you need to save a life!
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone | You'll find this and other quick and easy life hacks and organization hacks at
What If Siri Won’t Bring Up That Contact When Your Phone Is Password Locked?
On a few iPhones, depending on the model and operating system, Siri won’t bring up any contacts when your phone is locked.  The best time to find out if this is true for your phone, is now – before someone needs to find your iCE Contact!  All you have to do is set up your contact, lock your phone and ask Siri for the contact. 
If Siri doesn’t locate the contact, simply put your iCE Contact information on your lock screen as a graphic.  Problem solved!
No matter what though, saving an iCE contact on your iPhone just got easier.
The newest iPhones, including iPhone 10 and 10X are equipped with a Medical ID.  Be sure to read our post on putting an ICE Contact and filling out your Medical ID on your new 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. 
Talk about peace of mind!
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
How To Set Up Your ICE Contacts
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Samsung Galaxy Phone
How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your Android Smartphone
How To Set Up Your Medical ID & ICE Contact On The iPhone 6
How to put an ICE Contact on your Samsung Galaxy Lock Screen
Can I Put An ICE Contact On A Password Protected iPhone?
Cómo Colocar Un En Caso de Contacto de Emergencia En Su Teléfono Celular
Why Are ICE Contacts So Important?
Create An ICE Contact In 2 Minutes
The Two Things You should NEVER put in your ICE Contact
Don’t Carry A Wallet? Here are 20 Places To Put Your Emergency Wallet Card
Keep The People You Love Safe
How To Keep Your Medical History At Your Fingertips
How To Create A Family Evacuation Plan
How To Fill Out Your Child’s Emergency Contact Card
Keep The Stuff You Love Safe
How To Save Your Treasured Voice Mail Messages
How To Save Your Home Movies And Videos
How To Archive Your Digital Photos
How To Archive Your Print Photos
How To Make A Home Inventory
How To Get Your Financial Life In Order
How To Preserve Your Family History
How To Back Up Your Facebook Friends List
Turn Your Smartphone Into A Mobile Command Center
How To Backup Your Music, MP3s And Vinyl Albums
How To Access Your Money No Matter Where You Are
How To Get Ready For…
How To Earthquake Proof Your Bedroom
How To Get Ready For A Tornado
How To Get Ready For A Tsunami
The Best Apps For Tornado Season
How To Get Ready For A Hurricane
How To Get Ready For A Wildfire
How to Get Ready For A Flood
How To Get Ready For An Earthquake

55 thoughts on “How To Set Up An ICE Contact On Your iPhone

  1. This article is SUPER OUT-DATED yet it still appears as one of the top organic google search results. Please, for the sake of those of us who really NEED to update ICE info on the phones of elderly people, PLEASE either update this article or delete this obsolete (mis-)information.

    • Hi James, Thanks so much for your feedback. I’d love to hear specifically what is out of date or inaccurate. We really try to keep the posts as accurate as possible. It’s not easy — mobile phones are updated so frequently that what works for one Galaxy version might not work for another. It would be a huge help to hear what is outdated, so we can provide the best information possible. I’d also love to know what you mean about the elderly specifically. Is there something we can do to make the instructions clearer or more accurate to fit the needs of seniors? Have lots of seniors in our own family so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Best, Laura

  2. Hello I am so excited I found your blog, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Yahoo for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just
    like to say kudos for a incredible post and a all round enjooyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all
    at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time
    I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep
    up the superb work.

  3. Hey, thank you for sharing this information. I used this method to enter my emergency contacts. One important thing, if I entered my contacts with “ICE,” Siri would fail to recognize these contacts and would attempt to contact someone else. If entered the information “Ice” Siri would correctly retrieve the info.

    • Andi, thanks so much! That’s a huge help and a very important point. I wonder if that’s true for every model of iPhone… Readers if you can help us out with this, please try it on your own iPhone and let us know if Siri recognizes your ICE contact when it’s typed all in caps “ICE” or if it needs to be Ice on your particular phone. By the way, we’re sending something special your way for this life saving comment 🙂

  4. Wonderful website. Plenty of useful information here.
    I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thank you to your effort!

  5. Doesn’t work when phone is password locked. Best not to waste people’s time with this. The Health app is a better choice and it shows when locked on the emergency screen as long as you have set it up.

    • Hi Anon,

      Thanks for visiting and for the comment. Did you know that there’s a great way to set up an ICE Contact on your iPhone even if you password protect it? We wrote a post on it that you can find at this link: You’re right — the Medical ID and Health App are great on the newer iPhones but many people still have the old version, or don’t password protect their phones. You can find our post on the best way to set up your Health App/Medical ID here on our blog: Have a spectacular day!

  6. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both
    equally educative and engaging, and without
    a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is
    something that not enough people are speaking intelligently
    about. I’m very happy that I stumbled across this
    in my search for something regarding this.

  7. Excellent blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours nowadays.
    I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  8. Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of information on your
    site. Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hello there, You’ve done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg
    it and individually recommend tto my friends.
    I am confident they’ll be benefited from this weeb site.

  9. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this site.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog
    posts from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative
    writing abilities has inspired me to get my
    own, personal site now 😉

  10. I will immediately seize your rss feed as I can not find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Please permit me understand in order that I may subscribe.

  11. Great goods from you, man. I’ve bear in mind your stuff prior to and you’re just too magnificent.

    I actually like what you have acquired right here, certainly like what you are stating
    and the way in which by which you say it. You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of
    to stay it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you.
    This is actually a wonderful site.

  12. I am now not certain the place you are getting your information, but good topic.
    I needs to spend a while learning much more or figuring out more.

    Thanks for wonderful information I used to be on the lookout for this information for
    my mission.

  13. Hi! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make
    your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when browsing from my iphone4.

    I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able
    to resolve this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.
    Appreciate it!

    • Hi,

      Thanks SO much for vising our blog. Hope you enjoyed it.

      I don’t know a lot about making WordPress Blogs mobile friendly, but I do know the last theme we had on our blog looked bad on mobile. We switched over to Adelle, the current theme and now everything looks great. We didn’t switch it for that reason, but it was a nice bonus and I have noticed that no matter what mobile device I use, iPhone, iPad or Android, it looks wonderful. So you might want to try a few different themes and see what they look like on your iPhone4.

      Hope that helps and have a great weekend! Laura

  14. The problem with ICE contact is recents. I use recents to redial people the most since everyone I call is right there. But instead of the contact showing your wife, it shows ICE. It’s annoying.

    • Hi Bob, I completely agree, it is annoying. I had the same problem myself, but there’s a quick fix. All you need to do is to create one contact just for your wife and another one that’s just an ICE Contact. They really should have different information in them anyway.

      The contact that’s just your wife’s info so you can call her, can have notes you need just for her – like reminders, her birthday, a standing date night — things that don’t belong in an ICE Contact.

      But the ICE Contact needs to have the name ICE, your wife’s name and relationship to you, all of her phone numbers and social media handles along with YOUR medical information, like your allergies, past illnesses and any prescriptions you regularly take in the Notes section.

      Then put your wife’s photo in her contact and one of our ICE Contact Graphics in the ICE Contact and no one will ever get them mixed up. And that way, the next time you redial your wife, you’ll see her name and her lovely photo.

      Hope that helps! Laura

  15. Pingback: acls algorithm

  16. Pingback: Twitter And Facebook Can Save Your Life « Get Your Stuff Together!

  17. I have an ICE set up on my iPhone4s… It’s easy and accessible when my phone is passcode locked. Here’s how to do it…
    1. Go into contacts and create a new contact, FIRST Name must only be ICE
    2. DO NOT ENTER Surname field or the iPhone will automatically put it alphabetical order to that and not I for ICE
    3. Put the name and relationship of contact into the COMPANY FIELD
    e.g. “Jon Doe (Partner)” By putting this in the Company Field it eliminates the alphabetical order problem of surnames and keeps ICE in the I etc and stands it alone from all other contacts
    4. Enter all and as much contact information that you can (remember you may be unconscious at the time someone needs this information)
    5. To access this information even when the iPhone is passcode locked, press and hold down the main key to access Siri, ask Siri ‘Contacts ICE’ Siri will then display all the information you have saved…
    6. Remember this technique on an iPhone 4s as you may now access someone elses ICE if they are in your need…

    Hope this helps…

      • Hi, I’ve got an answer for you. If you have a password on your iPhone, emergency personnel CANNOT get your ICE information off of it. Fire/Rescue personnel evidently will not even try to break the password if they encounter this, but hospital personnel and police may, if they cannot find the next of kin of an unconscious patient. Basically though if you normally password protect your smartphone, you should also carry an emergency wallet card with the same information, to make it easier for emergency personnel to spot, and use. We have emergency wallet cards in our Ready In 10 downloadable Get Ready Kit that comes with book. It’s available on Amazon at:

        That was a great question — we learned something too! Thanks!

  18. Pingback: Who’s On Your Kid’s Emergency Contact Card? « Ready In 10 Network

  19. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

  20. Pingback: Tweets that mention How To Set Up An ICE* Contact On Your iPhone « Ready In 10 Network --

We'd love to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s