My clients know that I recommend keeping a card with you at all times that contains all your important personal and medical information in case of emergency.
EMTs and paramedics are trained to look for emergency cards in the following places:
1 - Automobile - Glove Compartment
2 - Pedestrians - Wallet or Purse
3 - Bicyclists / Motorcycles - Under the Seat
4 - Home - Refrigerator Dairy or Butter Dish
5 - Sports Athletes - Coach's Possession
6 - Work Place - Emergency Response Team Member
Make sure that you keep your emergency card in one or more of these places at all times—it could save your life.
New School—Smart Phone Apps:
Developers have updated the “emergency card” for the digital age. You can download an “ICE” app to your phone, and store all your medical information and emergency contacts using the app. There are many free apps available for iPhone, Windows, and Android phones.
These apps all work in different ways. For example, if you use ICE Standard and call 911, the app will automatically send your emergency medical information to emergency services if you are in a Smart-911-enabled area. Other apps, like Emergency Contact and Emergency Kit, allow you to show vital information right on your lock screen on your phone. This lets a medical professional know important information—like your medications and allergies—immediately, without having to unlock your phone.
You can even mention that your original Estate Planning documents (like your Power of Attorney) are kept at our office, in case you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself in an emergency.
An important note: If you do decide to use one of these apps, remember that you are sharing personal information with other people. Never enter your birthdate or social security number into the app.
As handy and potentially-lifesaving as these types of apps can be, remember that the app is only as good as your phone. If the battery dies or your phone is damaged in an accident, the app will not help. These apps can be a great backup, but are not a replacement for a physical emergency card.
Better to be “over” prepared and use the old school and new school techniques.