What if I told you…
…there was one thing that you own and probably have with you right now, that can give you the support, the information and ability you need to keep everyone and everything you love safe and sound, PLUS the power to gather your family in seconds no matter where they are? What is it?
It’s your smartphone.
Our goal for today is simple.
If you had to face a major emergency minutes from now and the only thing you had with you was your smartphone, you should be able to:
Call or communicate with all the people you love within 10 minutes.
Communicate your basic medical information and your emergency contacts to emergency personnel even if you are injured and unable to speak for yourself.
Keep yourself and your family up and running using only the information in your phone until you reach home or your pre-planned evacuation location.
Access all of the emergency forms and plans you created and all of the data, photos, videos, movies and other items you saved and stored while reading our blog.
Now if you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you’ve probably already created your family action/emergency plans. If not, just click on the links throughout the post so you can catch up.
In a moment we’re going to tell you how to store copies of these forms in your smartphone. If you would also like to have a hard copy of your emergency plans to refer to as well, grab a sturdy three-ring notebook and print out a copy of each of your Action Plans along with any other information that you want to include. Make sure that form or plan has its own tab, so that you can easily find or replace outdated pages. We suggest using a ring binder that has a hard, washable, vinyl cover and pockets to catch papers, maps or any other items that can easily become lost.
Your ICE Contacts
If you haven’t already finished putting ICE Contacts on your phone and the rest of the family’s phones, do it now. Make sure that your contact and your spouse’s contact contains links to every other family member’s medical information sheet.
The Rest Of The Family
When you created your Family Evacuation Plan, you detailed each family member’s email addresses, text, user names and cell numbers on the plan. Now it’s time to take that one step further by making sure each member of your family’s smartphones have:
Every other family member’s complete contact information, including all social media handles and work/school schedules.
Full contact information for each Out Of Area Contact.
A copy of your Family Evacuation Plan.
The addresses and phone numbers of these two meeting places highlighted in their Contacts.
An extra copy of their emergency wallet cards.
Are you ready to pull it all together? Here’s how to turn your smartphone into your very own Mobile Command Center.
There are three types of information that you might need in an emergency:
#1 Need Actual Forms And Plans
These forms and plans are crucial for emergencies large and small, so you should definitely keep them at your fingertips – or in this case, right on your smartphone. Unless you have Microsoft Word software on your phone, save each of them as PDFs and place them on Dropbox or iCloud or other online file service so that you can open and read them right on your phone.
You may also want to save them directly onto your phone or tablet so that they will be available if your cell phone or Wi-Fi service is down. There are a couple of ways to do this. If you can find the directions on how to save a PDF onto your smartphone from the phone’s manufacturer, just follow those directions. Or a quicker way would be to convert the PDFs to ePub files and save them to iBooks or Google Books for quick access. Click this link if you need a tutorial.
#2 Need Access To These Forms And Plans
These forms may contain some sensitive information, so instead of saving them directly onto your phone, place them on a secure password protected server or password protected Cloud-based server, like Dropbox, iCloud or Sky Drive and place the link to those folders in a special contact on your smartphone. Do not store the password with the link.
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 the originals and place the copies in a secure safe deposit box instead. If you need that information during an emergency or evacuation, wait to retrieve it until you can access it on your computer or portable hard drive in your secure location.
#3 Need Access To This Archived Data
Since you’ve already saved all of these important keepsakes and documents to your portable hard drives, online file folders and placed backup copies in your safe deposit boxes, they should be very easy for you to access even if you are in your evacuation location, right?
That’s what we thought!
If you’ve chosen to save these keepsakes on a secure password protected server or password protected Cloud-based server, like Dropbox, iCloud or Sky Drive and place the link to those folders in a special contact on your smartphone. That way if you want to pull up some photos, or music, just make sure that everything is safe, you can just click the link on your smartphone and you’ll have all the access you need.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our other posts like How To Put An ICE Contact On Your iPhone, or How To ICE Your Samsung Galaxy to learn everything you need to know about ICEing your phone. And while you’re feeling proactive, don’t forget to put ICE Contacts on your spouse’s and kid’s phones too, along with each other’s contact information.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
Introducing… The ICE My Phone Kit!
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