We talk a lot about ensuring the security of your Wi-Fi-enabled devices, but your devices can also keep you safe in an accident or a medical emergency. While smartphones and smartwatches have robust safety features, many require a little work on your end to connect you to the help you need in an emergency.
Additionally, it’s important to learn how to find medical information and emergency contacts on both iPhone and Android phones. Should you find yourself attending to someone in an emergency situation, you will already know where to look to access their critical information.
By default, 911 is always available, but you can also add additional contacts to be reached in case of an emergency. This feature allows you or anyone assisting you to call these contacts without unlocking your phone.
Setup: In the Health app
Setup: In your contact apps, add contacts to the Emergency Contacts group
When set up correctly, even when your phone is locked or you are unable to communicate, someone can access everything they would need to know if they needed to provide medical care on your behalf. This allows a first responder to access important medical information, including your medications, allergies, blood type, existing medical conditions, and emergency contacts.
Be judicious in what you put here, you want emergency responders to find the right information to help you in an emergency. You don’t need to put down a detailed medical history that they have to scroll through, nor do you want to put anything you wouldn’t want people to know since this information can be publicly accessed. But you do want to make sure you have the vital information needed to assist you.
Setup: In the Health app
Access: Click “Emergency” on the bottom left corner on your lock screen then click “Medical ID”.
Setup: Settings > Safety & Emergency
Access: Scroll up from the bottom of the lock screen, and click on “Emergency Call”. Press Medical Info in the bottom left corner.
Phone manufacturers have made easy ways to connect to make emergency calls without having to unlock your phone and dial 911. Newer devices can even make an emergency call via satellite if the cellular network is unavailable.
Access: Hit one of the side buttons rapidly 5 times or hold the side button and one of the volume buttons. There will be a countdown and a loud alarm before it calls 911. It will also text all of your emergency contacts, notify them that you have called emergency services, and give them your location settings.
Access: Hold down the bottom side button for a few seconds.
Access: Press the power key three times quickly to call 911 and message your emergency contacts.
Emergency Location Services
In both iPhone and Android phones, if you dial or text 911, it will automatically send your location to emergency responders. This allows emergency partners to have the most accurate location information so they can get to you quickly.
Note: If you don’t see the options we are discussing, you may need to update your phone to the most current operating system.
Our harsh Pittsburgh winters can bring hazardous road conditions, intermittent power outages, and Internet interruptions. Make sure you have your smart devices set up and that you are familiar with their emergency features, so you can leverage these tools in an emergency.
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