You’ve got ICE
We’re not talking about the cold kind. ICE stands for “in case of emergency”—and it’s the person you’d want emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or doctors to call if they needed to reach a loved one—especially if you are alone and unable to communicate. “It can often be beneficial to have some basic medical history, such as a history of diabetes or stroke,” explains Taz Meyer, an EMT paramedic and vice chair of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians‘ EMS Safety Committee. Store your ICE contact information next to your driver’s license or identification card to make it easier to find, recommends Sam Shen, MD, the medical director of emergency medicine at Stanford Health Care. It’s also smart to store your emergency contact under “ICE” in your cell phone’s address book. If you have a newer version of iPhone, fill out the Health app that comes with it, providing crucial information, including your ICE contact and blood type. Even if you keep your phone locked, EMTs can swipe right to reveal the “Emergency” button, which will lead them directly to your medical information.
You’ve identified the best nearby emergency room
During an emergency, you don’t want to spend time Googling the nearest ER. Instead, look up the information ahead of time (like, right now) and keep your local hospital’s address and phone number posted on your fridge and in your cell phone so you don’t waste precious minutes searching for it. While you’re at it, take note of poison control’s number. You can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers or look up your state’s poison control center. Check out these lifesaving lessons from poison control hotlines.