As we’re almost always carrying them, phones can be a valuable tool in an emergency. If you get into an accident or are unable to communicate, you want those closest to you to know what’s going on and to have a way for first responders to locate vital information about you.
Fortunately, most of today’s smartphones come with a feature that allows your ICE (In Case of Emergency) data, including emergency contacts and important medical information, to be accessed from your phone’s lock screen. This means your emergency information can be viewed without anyone gaining access to your phone’s secured files.
It takes just a few minutes to set up your emergency contacts and enter any medical conditions you have that emergency personnel should be aware of. Here’s how:
There are a couple of ways to set up ICE contact information on an Android phone. First, you can add your info to the emergency information feature:
- Open Settings.
- Tap User & Accounts, then Emergency Information.
- To enter medical information, tap Edit information (you may have to tap Info first, depending on the version).
- There’s a separate section where you can enter emergency contacts. To do this, tap Add Contact to add a person from your contacts list.
Once you have set this up, anyone can find your ICE information by swiping up on the lock screen and tapping Emergency, then Emergency information.
Another option is to add your ICE info directly to the lock screen. Android lets you put any message you want on your lock screen:
- Start by opening Settings.
- Tap Security & Location.
- Next to Screen Lock, tap Settings.
- Tap Lock Screen Message.
- Enter the information you want displayed, such as your primary emergency contact and any medical conditions, and tap Save.
iPhone users can set up a Medical ID using the built-in Health app. These are the steps you need to follow:
- Open the Health app and select the Medical ID tab.
- If prompted, tap Create Medical ID. Otherwise, tap Edit.
- Enter any information you want to be available to emergency responders.
- Make sure Show When Locked is turned on. This will allow your Medical ID information to be accessed from your iPhone’s lock screen.
- At the bottom of the Medical ID screen is a section for selecting emergency contacts. These will need to be people who are already in your phone’s contacts list. After you select a contact, the Health app will ask the person’s relation to you.
Now, if something were to happen to you, a helpful stranger, policeman or paramedic can view emergency information from your iPhone’s lock screen: on the left side of the screen, an Emergency option will appear which, when tapped, will display your Medical ID information without your phone having to be unlocked. Setting up your emergency contacts is a simple way to help those who are trying to help you get all of the necessary information they need. While it’s something you’ll hopefully never need, it can offer real peace of mind to know you have it available just in case.