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Smartphones & gadgets

Adding this to your smartphone could make all the difference in an emergency

When emergencies arise, time is of the essence. Whether you’ve just been in a car accident or are in the midst of a different distressing situation, you need to reach out for help as quickly as possible. Yes, your phone can easily dial 911, but what if first responders need your medical information?

That’s where a simple addition to your smartphone comes in. If you find that you’re unable to reach your phone, but someone else can, it’s important they have access to your emergency contacts, among other life-saving information. Tap or click here for emergency apps to keep on your phone.

Here’s how to ensure your important medical information and emergency contacts are stored on your iOS or Android phone’s lock screen.

How to add and access emergency contacts for iOS

Apple phones have pretty amazing security measures, so in the event of an emergency how can anyone see your contacts?

You can set up what’s called a Medical ID. Open Settings then scroll down and tap on the Health app. Tap Summary, then your profile picture. Under Medical Details, tap Medical ID.

Choose Edit on the top right corner and add your name, birth date, list medical conditions, medical notes, allergies and reactions, medications and emergency contacts. Turn on Show When Locked, then tap Done.

You can also add your blood type and whether you’re an organ donor. Now, even if your phone is locked, first responders just have to tap Emergency to see your Medical ID. They will not have access to any other information from your device.

For iPhones on older operating systems, visit Apple’s support page for setup instructions.

How to add and access emergency contacts for Android

Android users can ensure their emergency information is easily visible on their phones as well. Add a personal emergency information link to your phone’s lock screen by opening Settings, tapping About phone and choosing Emergency information.

Enter the information you want to share, such as medical issues, medications and emergency contacts.

This information can now be viewed from a locked screen by anyone who swipes up.

You can use your phone to share emergency information and some carriers in some countries allow your phone to automatically share your location with emergency services once you dial 911 (or the national equivalent).

Both operating systems have you pretty well covered in case of an emergency, but you’ll have to be proactive about filling this information out.

Take a moment to get everything saved to your phone so it’s ready if you ever need it — but we sincerely hope you never will.

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