16 motorcycleLet's face it, motorcycling is a dangerous mode of travel. Last week, my wife and I were at a motorcycle shop, and we purchased her a new Klim Induction Jacket. I believe it is one of the best brands on the market. The jackets are covered with protective D30 elbow, shoulder and back pads. The induction is made for hot weather and made with Klim’s Karbonite Mesh. The Karbonite Mesh is Klim’s proprietary mesh material made for abrasion resistance. It is stitched together with Rhino Thread, another proprietary material that is some of the strongest thread I have come across.

The jacket comes with a free personalized, high-quality, plastic emergency ID card you register online. The pocket in the forearm area of  the jacket is designed specifically to carry this card. It is marked so that first responders know there is emergency information in the pocket.

As we talked with the salesperson about how smart it was for them to put the pocket there, he asked me if we had iPhones. We do. He pulled his out, and asked us if we had set up our emergency contact information in the phone.

I have always seen the “Emergency” button on the bottom left of the Lock screen but I have never hit it because I believed it was just to call 911. The emergency button contains a host of important information. If you choose to populate the information, it will show your emergency contact information, medical notes, allergies and blood type, and it will allow for you to register as an organ donor. 

To populate the  information, do the following:

1. Open the Apple Health app, which is installed on all iOS devices running iOS 8 and later. This app can’t be uninstalled.

2. Tap on “Medical ID” in the bottom right corner.

3. Tap “Create Medical ID.”

4. At the very top, make sure the “Show When Locked” feature is turned on (to green). Fill in as much information as is relevant to you. If you have no known allergies or aren’t taking medication, it still helps to write “None” or “None known” so that medical personnel don’t assume you’ve overlooked these fields.

5. Make sure you assign at least one person as your emergency contact person. You must save that person’s name and phone number in your Contacts app for the Health app to be able to include it.

6. Hit “Done” to save. Now here’s how to test it to make sure it worked, and to make sure you know what to look for if you ever have to find someone else’s ICE information.

Lock the phone. Now, wake it up, but don’t fully unlock it with the pass code or Touch ID. When you slide to get to the pass code screen, you should see “Emergency.” Press it, and a new screen appears with a number keypad to dial, as well as “Medical ID” in the bottom left. Press “Medical ID,” and your information should appear along with a phone icon that, when pressed, will automatically dial your ICE contact . Note that while you can find ICE apps in the App Store, they are not accessible from a locked phone. You should always lock your iPhone with a pass code or TouchID for security reasons, meaning these ICE apps are useless in a real emergency. Use the Apple Health app instead.

For Androids, depending on which phone you have and which version of Android you’re running, you might have an emergency contact feature in your phone’s setting. Check there first. It might be under a sub-menu such as “My Information.” In many cases, the end result is a free form string of text that scrolls across your locked screen.

If you can’t find an emergency contact field within the settings, there are apps for adding ICE info, but you’ll need one that has a widget accessible from the lock screen. Note that not all versions of Android support lock screen apps anymore.

For Android 4.2 and later, the ICE: In Case of Emergency app seems promising (I haven’t personally tested it). It has a lock screen widget and lets you save important information as well as ICE names and numbers. Some user feedback suggests that it may disable alarms, however. If you use your Android as an alarm clock, you might want to consider other options before shelling out four bucks for this app.

Keeping good emergency information is not only important to your own safety but can help provide your family with peace of mind.


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