Tech Tip of the Week: Emergency Information on Your Phone

setting your emergency contact

As some of you may know, I love podcasts. Some of you may know (if you are around me a lot, you definitely know) that I enjoy a particular podcast called My Favorite Murder.

::waits for that to process::

Yup. I enjoy the hilarious banter amongst the hosts and hearing of true crime. Don’t look at me like I’m crazy. Go look at any grocery store magazine rack or the dozen’s of Jon Benet specials, you know I’m not alone. But along with hearing these insane tales, there are sprinkles of how people escaped and survived. I’ve learned a lot about being more aware in public situations (put your fucking phone down), presenting myself with confidence and looking people in the eye and other tid bits to “Stay Sexy and Not Get Murdered”. One big thing I did was take a self defense class through the boys’ Tae kwon do studio this past fall. I referred to it more as “body physics” and learning where weaknesses are in the human body even when you are half the size of someone. It was fantastic and I HIGHLY recommend it to all women. Does it make you a ninja who can fight off every dude? Nope. But, again, it makes you more aware and prepared.

Along with this thinking, understanding the tools you have at your disposal are important. In the class we learned about pepper spray, batons and even the legality behind them all. We also learned of tools that aren’t weapons. One of those things is your phone. On all smart phones, there are emergency contacts available to be set. This will allow you to associate someone in your phone that can be contacted if you are incapacitated or, god forbid, your phone is found without you, it’s a clue.

How to Set Your Emergency Contacts (iPhone):

  1. Go to the Health app.
  2. Tap Medical ID.
  3. Tap Edit.
  4. Tap Add Emergency Contacts
  5. Select people from your contact list
  6. Turn on “Show When Locked”

Where to find it in an emergency:

  1. Go to lock screen and tap Emergency
  2. Then tap Medical ID
  3. Then select the person you want to call

How to Set You Emergency Contacts (Android):

  1. Go to Contacts
  2. Choose the person’s contact you want
  3. Tap Edit
  4. Tap Groups
  5. Select ICE- Emergency Contacts
  6. Click save.

Where to find it in an emergency:

  1. Go to lock screen and tap Emergency call
  2. Then tap the person you need to call in an emergency


Another thing is to teach your kids this. Since we rely on programmed numbers, we are routinely teaching kids to remember phone numbers. Spend a few minutes explaining how to make an emergency call to your kids. You never know. I actually listened to another podcast where a little 2 yr old was able to use Siri to call 911 because her mom passed out and hit her head. You will never regret teaching them things like this.

Medical ID

Along with setting a contact, it is also good to store your medical information in case you are unresponsive. Allergic to peanuts? Epileptic? You can store that in your Medical ID so if someone finds you, they have more information. It can also note if you are an organ donor, what medications you take and even your blood type.

This is a great thing to program for your parents and grandparents. As the generation that is supposedly going to be raising kids and caring for parents at the same time, this is worth doing for both sides.

So set aside 5 minutes today and program your emergency contacts. Hopefully you will never need it.

Welcome to my weekly series on tech tips! If you don’t know me, I am life hacker. I love tips to help me automate and optimize life. Blame it on my parents or the 4 years of engineering school but I just love neat tricks to help you do something faster, better or just neater. I’ve worked as a software tester, developer, project manager and, now, social media specialist. My goal with this series is to help you help yourself, one little trick at a time. 

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