Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Programming ICE - Cell Phones - Detailed Advanced Lesson

There have been many requests for information on how to program your cell phone and what other options might be available to people wanting to be prepared. You can copy and paste this info to help others or read it and do it.
In the safety biz it is called a "Tool Box Talk"... so consider it so.
If you are not a tech-savvy type....no problem...we can take this in small doses....
Many new phones that you receive from the major carriers or large stores offer a variety of services you may not want or ever use that can get in the way of making a simple phone call!
Phones now have at least two places where information can be stored. Some basics.
One storage device is a SIM CARD (subscriber information module) found on today's mostly GSM Phones- a little plastic device that normally resides under the battery and is about the size of a fingernail.
Each provider "locks" their phone so only their SIM works with their phone. Phones can be "unlocked" so you can use a SIM from any provider in any phone. Why you might need this tidbit of info is because you might want to change phones or SIM's and find they don't work and may be wondering why.
(Find out more about SIM cards and locked phones in greater detail at: http://www.thetravelinsider.info/roadwarriorcontent/unlockingfaq.htm )
You can store about 250 phone numbers there. Your phone will allow you to save your phone numbers here so that if you decide to change phones at some point - you can remove the card and plug it into another phone and not lose the phone numbers. Convenient.
Additionally, you can opt to save phone numbers (your "address book") in your cell phone memory itself - sort of like the hard drive of your phone. Is there an advantage to this? Yes. If your card fails or it is lost due to accident or dropping (it could happen) or you forgot to put it in your phone because for some reason you change phones (yes, that happens too) then you will have a back-up (like that hard drive again) of the important phone numbers - like ICE CONTACTS resident on your phone's memory! Not sure if it will be able to access the service but the contact info will be on board still.

Okay, is there a third storage method - yes....a small SD Card might reside in your phone to help you store pictures taken with your phone camera (more on that in a second) and video and music downloads. You can store data here and pictures/video and music...but it is generally too difficult for someone to find Emergency Contacts needed in a hurry....please remember that point and the KISS principle in play here. What we can do with this feature if you have it is to store a picture of yourself there and label it "PHONE OWNER" in case the phone is lost or stolen.
You can also take a picture of yourself and use it as the background display for your phone - in some situations like a job site where English is a second language it may be practical.... Some phones have video capability as well....so you could create a short video that someone could view -but in an emergency it won't happen...later on it might be possible but the likelihood is low. An option certainly...but as a first responder I won't be looking at it - no way.
Another good idea is to upload the ICE graphic and use this as a background display and one that displays on the phone cover during opening and closing. Can't upload...no problem if you have a camera then take a picture and import it as your display background...it does work when you open the phone - voila' there is ICE. This is another way to increase the chances someone looking in your phone will know it is ICE'd !
If you really want to keep it simple and don't think programming is for you then you could look into a Jitterbug Phone - 3 buttons 911/Tow/Operator......yes, an operator....do you remember them? Go to www.jitterbug.com and get more info. These phones are louder and have bigger buttons and simple controls for making phone calls.
Back to the complex stuff again....we will save Blackberry type phones and the newer I-Phones for another day. You may hope that those helping you are savvy enough to use your phone - if not you might better carry and ICE CARD...tech is great but when things go bad - simple rules!
Okay, so now you know you can program phone numbers into both the SIM Card and the Phone Memory and use picture and videos to store info about yourself on your phone and set the background to show your face or the ICE icon and a start up message that says "EMERGENCY CONTACTS IN PHONE" which will pop up when the phone is turned on....you are on your way.
All phones being different, you will want the ICE Contacts to show up first and foremost when the phone address book is accessed.....if you list as ICE MOM or ICE DAD...you will have to access the "I" part of your phones address book.....try listing this way:
AA ICE EMERGENCY - this will show up on top and scroll across the screen. An icon will tell you that it is stored into either the SIM CARD or the Phone Memory (or both - you want both remember) don't assume everyone knows what ICE means - they DON'T....yet.
You can store more than one number in a group titled as Emergency Contacts or list them separately in order of importance (like who would be more likely to be available).
AA1 ICE EMERGENCY will place this ahead of others then use AA2 ICE Emergency etc....
Another way is to use a symbol like an asterisk (*) in front of the text entry which dictates it goes to the front of the address menu. It works but if you can store the above text - do it...remember in an emergency people are rushed and confused or in shock...it might be YOU using your own phone...maybe you are having a psychological issue and not a medical one and need help...try not to let others dictate, pigeonhole or limit the potential of this concept - you will see this from the usual outlets of marginal info. Not here.
Don't forget to let your contacts know about their being on your contact list and just what that means...like do you have a DNR Order on file or are you an organ donor or you have certain medical conditions or religious practices you want adhered to.
Okay, let this suffice for today and I am sure someone might have more ideas and a trip to the Verizon or AT&T store will reveal new products with contact options built in ...Hope this helps everyone with a cell phone.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Want to comment on this blog? Please submit comments that pertain to the subject matter if you would be so kiind. Approved comments will be posted as soon as possible. Thank you.