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Preparing for Emergencies with Your Phone (Includes iOS and Android Tutorials)

In case you’re new here, I have anxiety issues. When big events happen, like the attacks on Paris, I get extreme anxiety and come up with so many scenarios in my head that make me panic. Internally I am a mess, and emotionally a wreck.

Last weekend when Pulse nightclub was attacked, it hit close to home. I lived in Orlando for 5 years and frequented downtown. I had friends who still live there. Straight friends, gay friends. One of my friends was actually at Pulse, but left before the shooting, and described it as “a seemingly ordinary night.” This particular friend has three children… I just can’t even imagine the hurt that the surviving families are feeling.

I avoid the news on purpose sometimes. World violence gets to me and I feel completely hopeless. I get lost in the “what ifs” of life and sometimes it drives me over the edge.

Just a few weeks ago I found out that our phones can often provide important information to medical professionals in the case of an emergency. I have had an iPhone for 4 years and I just found out how to set up my Medical ID.

The Medical ID can be found in the Health App on iPhones. Simply click the Health App and find the Medical ID tab.

medical id nav for iphone

(Since I’m going back to show you, I’ve blurred out my information to protect myself and my family. )

Once you find the Medical ID tab, simply hit “Edit.”

medical id edits for iphone

Inside the edit screen you will see many options. Make sure you add your legal name, and date of birth. The most important thing is that you have “Show When Locked” flipped on. Or else it will be of no help your rescuers.

I didn’t list any medical conditions or add any notes, but this would be a good place to list allergies and medications. You also want to add at least one emergency contact (ICE=in case of emergency). The recommendation is three. I’ve chosen four…

  1. My husband: If he is not with me in whatever emergency then he needs to be contacted. This is especially true if the children are also involved.
  2. My mother: She is my mom, duh. But she is also the quickest at giving information that may be vital as she knows everything about me and has all the important documents and numbers filed for emergencies.
  3. My father: Yes, because he’s my dad. However, he’s also my closest living blood relative, which will come in handy in case my husband and I are both unable to speak for ourselves.
  4. My ex-husband: He’s local, and if our daughter is involved he deserves to know. Because of our civil co-parenting friendship, he’s also agreed to take my youngest child on a temporary basis if need be while we wait for other relatives.

The people you choose are up to you and your relationships. I recommend telling the people you choose that you’ve chosen them and discuss some possible scenarios where they may be involved.

I know my blood type so I included that to save time, and worse case scenario I’d like that I’m an organ donor to be communicated in a timely manner. I decided not to add my height and weight because I found it to be unimportant for now, but I may go back and add it at a later date.

To view your ID as it will show up to those who access it, just simply get to your lock screen, slide the bar and pick “emergency”.

medical id locked iphone

Now find the asterisk labeled “Medical ID.”

medical id for iphone

And there you have it. Easy as pie, right?

The set up is a little different for Android users, but fairly simple. Simply click your contacts icon, then navigate to groups. You’ll see a group labeled “ICE – Emergency Contacts.”

android emergency contacts

Tap the group, then tap the plus sign to add contacts from your established contact list. You can even add numbers that aren’t in your contacts.

Just like iPhone, the list will be found by pressing “Emergency” from the lock screen.

If you still have a hard time navigating iOS or Android, a simple ICE in front of your contacts is a good was to make sure the right people get contacted in case of emergency. I recommend follow these simple steps to prepare yourself, God forbid anything happen.

Being prepared is a really good feeling.


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