The cell phones that are carried by roughly 80% of the population already have the capability to serve as a repository for emergency information and manufacturers continue to increase that capability. You may have to decide if your phone is going to be a toy or a serious tool and then use accordingly.
We are going to provide some updates on using the phone to be a better vehicle for storing and exhibiting emergency notification information.
One key tenant of preparedness is REDUNDANCY.
Address Book Title: To get the contacts to the top of your address book list we have recommended using the "AA EMERGENCY" or "AA ICE CONTACTS" appraoch as it brings the entry to the top of the list so it scrolls across the top.
If you need to differentiate the health care proxy seperately then you can do so by "AA HEALTHPROXY". This feature sorts alphabetically so if you have both SIM Card storage and phone storage it may show up in front of your emergency contact list - or at least one of them. Solve this by adding an additional "A" to the entry for the one you want first up.
If you are using the original ICEMOM, ICE DAD approach, then you can accomplish this update by using ICEHEALTHPROXY (it fits).
Group Category: It fits across the screen in capital letters as well. If you are fortunate enough to have a phone from a carrier that has already recognized the need for emergency contact info as a group category you can add this descriptor to your contacts as well to further improve the redundancy factor.
Dialing Display Settings: Do everyone a favor and stay away from the weird low contrast backgrounds when setting up your display - use LARGE FONT and high contrast background to letters so your info can be read in all light conditions. Make sure your kids don't change it to the kaleidoscope color scheme to be cute - this really may not be the appropriate time for "cute".
Greeting Message Settings: This is the one that comes one when you turn the phone on. It can display limited text greetings, but it disappears in a few seconds so, KISS - enter your full name and either "owner of phone" or "emergency info here" to the display in bold font. Unless your phone has more capability then that is all you can get in the text box despite it showing more.....if you find a way let us know.
Picture Storage: Take your own picture and store inthe phone and title it with your name and "phone". For example "JohnSmith Owner.jpg" You can store on the phone memory and the card memory. If your kids have a few hundred pics and video stored there...it may be confusing and too time consuming for someone to sort through all that mess.
Document Storage: You can upload a written document to you phone using a phone card adapter or you can record/upload your own voice or video that will allow medical folks in the ER to have a better understanding about your Health Care Proxy/DNR and medical treatment wishes - you will be treated as these are not - "do not treat" orders. How that will be decided right now will rely heavily on the proper documents being available to those handling your medical care - they do not want to make any mistakes, you can count on that. We don't know the full extent of how this might work just yet - but when we do we''ll post it here and on the website. But don't wait until then to get started.
Phone Security: You can lock up data on your phone using a pin # and prvent access to the contacts and other stored information. That would essentially defeat the purpose of using a cell phone for storage so others may access it. Using an ICE Card to log contact info and providing them with access pin#'s may work but only under ideal situations - but when is an emergency ideal?
ICE4SAFETY will place this info in a revised "How to Program Your Phone" document.