August 24

How to Set Up Your Phone for an Emergency Situation

What if someone needs to get emergency info from your phone? Could they find it? Here are some tips to make sure someone can get the info she needs in an emergency (or if you lose your phone).


  1. Set Up Emergency Info
    The best first step is to set up the emergency info button on your phone. On iPhones, it’s in the Health app. The location varies on Android phones, but it’s in there somewhere. The function will help people find your name and contact info, as well as the name and info of your emergency contact. Important: Make sure you set it up for access if the phone is locked.
  2. Figure Out How to Track Your Phone
    Both Android and iOS devices should have a way to track via the web, but you should review how to find that info BEFORE you need it.
  3. Use Intuitive Names for Your Contacts
    Do you have “Mom” on your phone? How about “Husband”? Naming your contacts something that anyone can understand could help people find your alternative contacts.
  4. Allow Limited Access from a Locked Screen
    By default, your phone will access the camera and the digital assistant even if the phone is locked. Note: This can be a security risk if someone bad gets ahold of your phone and uses the digital assistant command to hack your phone. But if you allow reminders or camera access, the person trying to get info about you might be able to say, “Hey, Siri, redial the last number” or “OK, Google, set a reminder to call [so-and-so]” with their contact info. The finder can also take a picture of their contact info and wait for the photo to sync with your other devices.
  5. Use Contact Info as Your Home Screen
    Your business card doesn’t make an interesting screensaver, but if you’re on the road and are worried about being abandoned without a phone, this might be a good option. Not every finder will know these tips to get info from a locked phone, so having contact info on the first screen might be a good idea.


For pete’s sake… DON’T BE THE PERSON WITH THE UNLOCKED PHONE! Yes, removing the security requirements to access your phone will make it easier for good guys to get your info in case of emergency, but it also makes it MUCH easier for bad guys to get your info, and you TOTALLY don’t want that. #MakeGoodChoices



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  • Beth, I went to your session last week at ASAE. Of course it was fabulous. The tips on setting up phones for emergencies was so helpful–and something I never thought of beforehand. At this week’s staff meeting, we are all setting up phones for emergencies. Thanks for all the tech insight.

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