It has been just a little over one month since the horrible and tragic Newtown Shooting. It has me reflecting a lot about the space between when an unexpected, disastrous life event happens and when loved ones are notified. Life happens. None of us are exempt from horrible things. It's uncomfortable to think of, but only because you know deep down, it's true.
When I was doing research for this post, I was surprised by the statistic, "...fewer than 25% of people carry any details of who they would like telephoned following a serious accident." (Source here.) I know if something horrible happened to me, I would want my family and friends to be notified stat.
Here's just one way (of many) to address.
1. First responders look for identification and your cell phone when they get to you - especially if you are unable to communicate. They are trained to look in your contacts list for your "ICE" contact. Your ICE contact is your In Case of Emergency contact. You enter them in your cell phone address book as "ICE-[First Name and Last Name]". You can even enter multiple ICE folks, just label them in the proper order: ICE1, ICE2, ICE3, etc. Make sure your ICE contact has all the contact information for all the folks who should be notified if you were in a serious accident.
2. If you lock your cell phone screen as you should, there are great apps for iPhones and the Android OS that make your ICE information your background or allow someone to bypass your locked screen so they can just see your ICE contact/medical info. For iphones, ICE Standard does the trick as does Close Call. For Android users, I've been using ICE: In case of emergency app, but there are many. If you have another cell phone that doesn't have apps, you can also just take a pic of your ICE info and make it your cell phone background. Lock your phones, please, but make sure folks can get to your ICE contact.
3. Lastly, if you adventure in the outdoors without your cell phone as I do, the RoadID is an excellent addition to your gear.
May no one ever have to use these apps for you or vice versa, but if something does happen, at least you have eliminated one large barrier to being reunited with loved ones in an emergency situation.
Onwards. Be safe and take care.