3 January 2006

Put Your Emergency Contacts on ICE

As mentioned in the most recent Protection on Wheels member newsletter, ICE is a smart, simple plan to help rescue workers find someone’s emergency contact in the event of an accident. ICE (which stands for In Case of Emergency) is as simple as putting those three letters – ICE – in front of your preferred contact’s name on your cell phone. Having the right number readily available could make a world of difference when you need help. If you become unconscious, rescuers can scroll through your phone and know exactly who you want them to call, gleaning information that could potentially save your life. Here are some tips to make ICE as effective as possible:

  • Make sure the person whose name and number you’re using has agreed to be your ICE contact.
  • Give your ICE contact a list of people to contact on your behalf - including work associates.
  • Make sure your ICE contact is available at the number chosen; a home number could be useless if the person works full time.
  • Alert your ICE contact to any medical conditions that could affect your emergency treatment.
  • For those under 18, the ICE contact should be a parent or guardian authorized to make decisions on your behalf.
  • Should your preferred contact be deaf, then prefix the number with ICETEXT.
  • Add a dot or a “.” in front of the letters ICE, which will put your ICE contact at the top of your phonebook (for example, “.ICE Betty”).
  • Many cell phones won’t let you list the same phone # twice in your phone book even under different names. Just add the number “1” before the area code if you’re adding “ICE” to an existing number. Cell phones don’t differentiate between local and toll calls, so the call will still go through, and it won’t be a toll.

Note: ICE is gaining in popularity, and with it, the inevitable malicious hoaxes. E-mails have been circulating that typing ICE into your cell phone infects it with a virus, or that a charge will be assessed. This is a rumor and not true. ICE is a simple, free and effective way for emergency workers to get you the care you need when you’re unable to communicate for yourself. Share this info with friends and family.

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