Did you know that your Cell Phone can save your life?
How? The secret is letting your phone do the talking for you in an emergency. And the way to do that is with ICE.
Even if it’s not the smartest phone in town, your plain old cell phone can be a real life saver. In fact, it’s just as easy to set up an ICE Contact on a phone that’s not a smartphone. Just keep in mind that every phone is different, so you might have to play around with the contact a bit, to get all the information into it, that you want to include.
If you’d like to download these instructions, just click here for 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 should already have at least one ICE contact. So let’s learn how to set one up on your beloved old cell phone.
…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 or two additional people to be ICE Contacts. Just make sure that they are people who are 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.
Ready to set up your first ICE Contact?
Once you decide, Touch the Contacts Icon on your phone to open up your Contacts.
Depending on the type of phone you have, your Contacts Icon might look different than the ones we have here.
Click on Add New 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.
Do the same thing for your second ICE contact – then call it ICE2.
Time To Make Your Cell Phone Do Some Heavy Lifting…
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 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.
What Other Types of Information Should I Put In My ICE Contact?
But what about information that doesn’t fit into the regular contact on your phone? That’s when you turn to your new best friend – the Notes section. Although not every cell phone has a notes section in their Contacts, most do. Notes holds quite a bit of information, so simply put the miscellaneous information you need to communicate, in there.
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 yourfamily’s evacuation planand 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, by going to the Free Resources Page.
Not every cell phone has the ability to do this, but if you can add a picture to a contact, you should be able to add one of our graphics, instead.
First, save the graphic to the photos on your phone. Since you’re not working with a smartphone, you might have to email the graphic to yourself from your computer or even take a picture of the graphic you’d like to use, with your phone. Once you get it into your photos folder on your phone, open your ICE Contact, Touch the little Photo Icon, go into your photos, choose your graphic 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 andEvacuation 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 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.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…
What if I told you that you could put an ICE Contact on your iPhone with everything it needs to have in it to save your life, in minutes?
Would you grab your phone and go for it? Of course you would!
Here’s how to do it!
iPhones are always getting better and Apple’s newest effort at keeping customers safe — Medical ID — is amazing. But as much as we LOVE it, there are two reasons you still need to make a regular ICE Contact.
You can put an unlimited amount of vital information into a regular contact.
Hospitals are used to looking for ICE Contacts rather than Medical ID and if you don’t have a regular one, they might miss it.
And with the way the world has been the last few years — remember Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Maria and the California Ranch, Camp, Thomas and Carr wildfires — having an ICE contact is an awesome way keep your family safe and connected no matter WHAT is happening around you.
Here’s what you’ll need:
All of the contact info for your two (or more) emergency contacts.
A list of your allergies.
A list of your medical conditions/recent surgeries
The contact information for your main physician(s)
Any other information you would like an ER to know about you.
Grab your phone and let’s get started!
Put the word ICE, all capitals, in the First Name field. Don’t type anything else in this field!
Put your ICE Contact’s full name and relationship to you in the Company field, ie John Smith – Husband.
Type in every phone number you have for your contact.
Type in all of your contact’s email addresses — again, every last one.
Type in all of your contact’s social media handles/user names. You never know what will be up and running in an emergency. Many people have reached loved ones on Facebook and Twitter, when cell phone and landline service was down.
All of your own allergies, medications and medical history go in the notes section. Even better capitalize the words ALLERGIES, MEDICATIONS etc to ensure that they’re seen. (LINK TO FAQ)
Add your physician’s names and phone numbers in the notes section and if you like, a link to your own Medical History Form. If you don’t have one, you can borrow one of ours.
Is your contact in different locations on different days? Add that in the notes section as well.
Instead of their photo, add an ICE Contact Graphic to the contact to make it stand out. Go to our Free Resource Page to find one you love.
And finally, never put your social security number or insurance member number into your ICE Contact. You can add the name of your insurance company and customer service number, but the actual numbers can wait until later.
And now, let’s make your ICE info even easier to find, by setting up your iPhone’s Medical ID.
Don’t forget that you can fill in your ICE Contact on your Mac or iPad. Not only is it easier to type on a larger screen, but once you save it to your contacts, it will sync with iCloud and appear right on your phone.
What Is Medical ID?
Medical ID, a part of the Apple Health App, not only gives you a place to put your emergency medical information, but it puts a link to that information right on the front of your phone, where it can be viewed by a hospital even if your phone is password locked.
You’ll find it on most iPhones (iPhone 6 and up) using iOS 8 and higher. If your phone is older and doesn’t have Medical ID, you can just leave your ICE Contact the way it is.
On your home screen click on the Health App – it’s the one with the heart on it. This will take you to the Dashboard page of the Health App. On the bottom right of the screen, you’ll see the Medical ID icon. Click on it.
On the Medical ID screen, click on the red link that says Create Medical ID.
The most important part of the Medical ID screen is at the top. It’s the On/Off Switch that shows a link to your emergency information on the home screen of your phone even when it’s password-locked.
Before you do anything else, switch this to the ON position. It will turn green like the graphic below.
By the way, none of the information in your Medical ID is shared with any of the other apps on your phone.
Enter All Of Your Information
Put all the information you possibly can into your Medical ID.
As you can see it already has fields for your birth date, medical conditions, allergies, current medications and other information. There are two sections that you need to pay special attention to – Medical Notes and Add Emergency Contact.
After you finish filling in the regular fields, use the Notes Section to list anything that didn’t fit into them, like the names and phone numbers of your physicians and healthcare providers and contact information for your Insurance Company. Again, don’t add any sensitive personal information like a social security number, insurance member ID number or financial information.
You can also place a link to your Medical History Form in the Notes Section to give emergency personnel to quick access to your medical history until your emergency contact arrives at the hospital.
Add Your Emergency Contact
When you click on Medical ID’s Add Emergency Contact button, it will show you a list of your contacts, so you can choose the people you’d like to add to your Medical ID. That’s why we had you set up your ICE Contacts first.
Go ahead and click on the button and choose your first ICE Contact.
If you have additional ICE Contacts (a smart idea, in case your first contact is unreachable), then click on the Add Emergency Contact field again to add as many additional people as you would like.
Want to save time turning your husband or wife’s contact into an ICE Contact? Simple! Just tap & hold the contact you want to use, choose share and email it to yourself. Then open it in your email, make the changes from above to turn it into an ICE Contact and save it to your contacts as ICE.
That’s all there is to it!
While you’re here, be sure to check out our other posts like How To Put An ICE Contact On Your Samsung Galaxy, Android or Window’s Phone (you’ll find the links below), to learn EVERYTHING you need to know about ICEing nearly any type of phone.
And don’t forget to put ICE Contacts on your spouse’s and kid’s phones too, along with each other’s contact information, so 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.
Having an ICE contact and Medical ID is an awesome way keep your family safe and connected no matter WHAT is happening around you.
Have Fun Getting Your Stuff Together! We’ll talk later…