What comes to your mind when you see the acronym ICE? If you pay attention to current events, you may immediately think of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That is probably the most common use for the term and is the first thing that appears if you enter it in a search on Google. However, when it comes to your personal safety, ICE has a very different meaning.
What ICE Means
ICE stands for “In Case of Emergency”. During an emergency, you may not have the ability to communicate important information, such as current medications or a contact name. In today’s tech-savvy world, your smartphone can help. First responders can use your ICE contacts to find your family and even save your life.
Here’s what you need to do to make sure that your emergency information is easily accessible.
How to Add ICE Contacts to Your Phone
The first step is to decide who your emergency contacts will be. Who do you want making decisions on your behalf? It is a good idea to select more than one person. You’ll need to provide your emergency contacts with important information. For example, a current list of your medications, your doctor’s name and phone number, and other pertinent health concerns. This is also good information to keep in your purse or wallet.
Adding your ICE contact is simple. Go to your contacts list and enter your emergency contact. Include the word ICE before their name. It will look something like this: ICE – John Smith. This will ensure that they are listed in the “I” section of your contacts list and will be readily visible. You can add multiple contacts using this method. Just designate them ICE-1, ICE-2, etc.
When entering your contacts’ information, make sure to include every phone number where they could be reached (home, work, cell), as well as their physical address and email. Before you add anyone to your ICE list, make sure to contact them to confirm that they are comfortable with being used as one of your emergency contacts.
If Your Phone is Locked
For security, many people lock their phones when they are not in use. This means that no one would be able to access their contact information without a passcode. However, there are ways to make your ICE information available, even if your phone is locked.
If you use an Apple phone, enter your information in your Health app, which comes installed on your phone. List your emergency contacts and other health information under the Medical ID section. Then make sure to change the settings so that it is accessible from a locked screen.
For Android users, you’ll want to install an app, such as Medical ID, a free app that can be found on Google Play. This app works basically the same way as the Health app and allows access to information such as allergies, blood type, and emergency contact information from your phone’s locked screen.
Of course, we all hope that we’re never in a situation that would make these steps necessary. However, if it does happen, planning ahead could save precious minutes and could even be life-saving.
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