The Importance of ICE and Registering Portable Electronics
I am writing this post to urge every reader of this blog to setup your ICE contact on your mobile phone and iPod as well as to register your portable electronics. This post is influenced by a serious accident that occurred to a relative last week. Without providing too much detail, in order to protect the privacy of the injured person, this person was stuck by a car while jogging one morning. All that was on this person was their iPod. The injuries were so severe that this person was unconscious and remains so nearly one week after the accident. During the first 30+ hours following the accident, this person remained unidentified because all they had no ID, only their iPod on their person. Through some truly smart thinking a nurse used this persons iPod serial number to track down their identity and find their family.
While we all tend to carry our drivers license or other form of identification on us most of the time, there are times when that may not be the case, like when you are out exercising. I know that myself, I nearly always have my mobile phone or iPod with me. So, as illustrated by the real world example above, if you have not registered your iPod, do it, right now, before you forget. It could just save your life. As well, you should setup your ICE contact on both your iPod and on your mobile phone. I checked my kids and my wife's phones and iPods immediately and our oldest had it setup, but we set it up on the others. What is ICE? If you're not familiar with it, get familiar and teach it to anyone you know. We even made this an agenda item for our staff meeting today. I encourage you to do the same.
ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. On many mobile phones, there is a built in feature called ICE. What's unique about ICE is that it will work whether or not the phone is locked. More and more people are enabling the lock features of their phones for security and to prevent unauthorized use. In short, the ICE contact allows you to setup emergency contact names and numbers, as well as critical information like medicines you take, conditions you have, etc., that will be accessible to anyone who finds your device, regardless of whether you have enabled security or not.
On smartphones, there are even more powerful ways to setup ICE. Both the iPhone and Blackberry have ICE applications available. For the iPhone, just search the App Store for an ICE application. There are a few available and all address the need. To the right is a screenshot of an ICE application, which not only displays your ICE information, it can also be set as your iPhone wallpaper, to display whether the phone is locked or not. It may not be the coolest wallpaper to have, but it may be the best one you could have.
On the Blackberry, you can use an application, just like on the iPhone, called ICE that is available at the Blackberry App World. It provides the following features:
--One button calling of emergency contact
--Multiple contacts in order of priority
--Fully editable entries
--Covers medications and allergies
--Summary for quick access in one-button
--Private to your phone, no online access
Some Blackberry users also the built in Security Options for this. Here are the simpe steps to set it up: Under Options --> Security Options --> General Settings, you can set Allow Outgoing Calls While Locked to Yes, and include your ICE Phone Number under Options --> Owner in the Information section so that it displays on the home screen when the device is locked.
If you have a Windows Mobile phone, you can set your owner information to display on power up, even if the device is locked. You can use the note section of the owner information to put extended instructions and create your own ICE. An example of mine is to the right.
Lastly, no matter what device you use, I recommend creating an extensive ICE contact record in Outlook or whatever other contact application you may be using to sync your contacts with your mobile device. You can use the built in fields to enter your work and home telephone numbers and then the notes section to enter your extended contact priorities and other important medical information. If your device is accessible, this information will be critical to first responders. If you lock your device and are part of a corporate network, your IT administrators will be able to access this contact record and relay this critical information in a timely manner, provide your ICE contact is setup and provides the basic contact information. An example ICE contact record is below.
Here is the link to the video aired on the CBS affiliate in Atlanta: http://www.cbsatlanta.com/video/21119080/
Feedback & Suggestions
Is there a topic or feature you would like included in a future issue? Opinions and feedback are welcome and encouraged. Send me an e-mail!