(credit: Shutterstock)

(credit: Shutterstock)

Thanks to modern technology, nobody memorizes phone numbers any more and phone books are a thing of the past. All our friends, family, associates and acquaintances are at our fingertips with a simple scroll and excessive memory space can create an infinite contact list. But in the case of an emergency, how quickly can you find the contact numbers you need? More importantly, if you were incapacitated and needed someone else to find the numbers to save you, how would they find them?

By placing emergency contact numbers in a group labeled ICE (In Case of Emergency) anyone can quickly find emergency contacts in your phone, including you. While the contact list will vary depending on personal needs and lifestyle, there are five important numbers you should have at your ready, at a moments notice.


Local Police and Fire Station

Calling 911 may be faster to dial, but how many times have you called during an emergency and were on hold for what seemed like an eternity? During a crisis, every second counts. Having the number to police dispatch or your local fire station could be faster.



Whether you live in an apartment or a house, it’s always a great idea to have the number of a trusted neighbor. It’s also a good idea for them to have a set of keys to your home in case of emergency. Should something happen while you’re on vacation or at work, a trusted neighbor can check in on things or your animals until you can get there.


Poison Control/Dangerous Bites Control

If you have children or are responsible for someone else’s child, you should have the number to poison control in your phone. More than half of the calls made to the center involve children under 5 being exposed to dangerous chemicals. And depending where you live, you can run the risk of being bitten by venomous snakes, spiders and reptiles, as well as being stung by scorpions and wasps. Getting proper instruction of what to do until help arrives can be the difference between life and death.


Insurance Company

In the cases of home damage from an earthquake, landslide or tornado, you might not be allowed back inside for safety reasons; making your policies and other documents inaccessible. Having your insurance company’s number in your phone is a helpful way to begin the road to recovery.


Personal Physician

Your personal physician knows your medical history. Should something happen while you’re out of the state or country, your doctor’s number is good to have on hand. If your health issue is ongoing, your regular physician can advise accordingly and prevent potentially fatal complications or side effects.

Related: Guide To Emergency Planning For Families

Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.