It’s a Monday during G.O. with C.G.O. month, so we’re talking Life Organization. What’s a better topic to think about in organizing our lives than tips to stay safe and making sure, if something goes wrong, the right people can be contacted?
We all hope never to need this, but what if we all took just 5 minutes to take steps to make sure we’re covered if we did?
1) Add Emergency Contact Info to the lock screen on your phone.
Many of us have “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) listed as a contact on our phone, but if your phone is password protected, how will anyone find it?
The best answer: Add Emergency Contact Info to be visible on your lock screen… helpful even if it’s just a lost phone, and someone wants to return it to its rightful owner.
There are apps that essentially let you create pictures with your info on them, then you give the app permission to access your photos, and it makes the photo with your emergency info on it the one your lock screen uses permanently.
iOS: Settings > Emergency SOS > Emergency Contacts. This information will be accessible via the phone keypad screen under the *Medical ID label. You can also use some apps, like Over, Acadian ICE, Contact Lockscreen. to have the info appear right on your lockscreen.
Android: This functionality is built into Android. There are a variety of ways to get to it, depending on your phone. Check either:
- Settings > Users & Accounts > Emergency Information.
- Settings > Applications > Messages > Emergency Alerts, then you can choose which alert you want
- Settings > Security and Lock > Screen Lock > Lock Screen Message can get information on your lock screen
- Of course, there are some other apps you can use, like Acadian ICE.
2) Update your Emergency Contact information at work.
How long have you been at your job? Is the person you probably wrote down as an emergency contact when you started still the same person you’d want to be called today? How likely is it that the person has the same phone number and address?
Check with HR (maybe even on your company’s HR system that you have access to) and make sure it’s up to date.
If you’re a biker, a runner, a swimmer, even a walker, if you’re off on your own regularly, an ID tag is a very important accessory. It can be something you attach to your sneaker, or the side of your helmet (not inside, in case there are issues with safety in removing it), or, most commonly seen these days, a bracelet. Make sure you get one, and you wear it. It doesn’t help you if it’s still in your night table drawer.
4) Enroll in Reverse 911 listings and Wireless Emergency Alerts
Does your town have a Reverse 911 service? Many that have them require that you actively sign up for them. Google your town’s name and “reverse 911” and see what comes up. Can’t find anything? Call your town’s emergency management department to find out more.
For some emergencies, you can elect to have your smartphone do an automatic broadcast, through a wireless emergency alert functionality. This will give you notification of extreme weather conditions, amber alerts, local emergencies requiring immediate evacuation, or Presidential alerts during a national emergency.
On your iPhone, you’ll want to go to Settings > Notifications > Government Alerts and select Emergency Alerts or Amber Alerts, or both.
On an Android phone, it’s typically found under Settings > Wireless & Networks > More > Cell Broadcasts. Once opened, you will be given the option to enable or disable extreme threats, severe threats, and Amber Alerts.
5) Make sure someone can track you down with tracking software for your phone (or your Road ID!)
If you’re not already using something like Find My Phone, you know, in case you lose your phone, think about how you might keep track of loved ones if you need to. Different apps, like Find My Friends, Road ID App, Family Locator and Life360 (which Handy Boy and I use), Find My Kids, and Mamabear Child Tracker, are examples of apps that let you share your location with people (that you select) so that they can keep an eye out on you.
Whether you do one of these or all 5 of these, may all the efforts you take never ever ever become necessary….