ICE on Your Mobile Device

I attended a personal safety seminar and the speaker grabbed my attention suggesting we program "ICE" into our cell phones.

ICE on Your Mobile DeviceProgramming ICE on your mobile device could save your life. Recently I attended a personal safety seminar that focused on what individuals can do to improve their personal safety. The speaker offered many common sense tips, but the one that grabbed my attention was programming “ICE” into your cell phone.

The acronym stands for In Case of Emergency. Beyond personal security, having emergency contacts programmed on a phone that is handy at the scene of an accident could speed the process of seeking permission to treat injuries and be informed about allergies and other important medical information that may save your life.

Keep these points in mind:

    -When you assign someone as your emergency contact, the more they know about your general health and any allergies you may have, the better prepared they are to provide assistance. Alert them to the fact that you have designated them as an emergency contact on your phone so that they will be prepared for a call.
    – Keep your phone accessible. It is recommended that you have your phone somewhere on your body while you are in the car as opposed to on your console where it is liable to be lost in a collision.
    – Keep your phone fully charged and if you have a prepaid phone, be sure you have minutes. Phones without minutes can generally make 911 calls, but phones cannot make calls if the battery is dead.

    When an accident occurs, emergency personnel can trace a driver’s license to obtain a home phone number if the occupants are unconscious or otherwise unable to answer questions. Unfortunately, they may not be anyone at home to take the call. Programming ICE contacts into your phone or other devices is a way for emergency personnel to locate the people or information that is important to you in case of an emergency.

    The following applications are good ways to put ICE on various devices:


    A free application called, “In Case of Emergency” is available at Blackberry App World. It stores your name and lists contacts, important notification telephone numbers, blood type, allergies, your physician’s name and number, your meds and medical conditions. A red cross icon identifies where to find the information and it is available to emergency personnel even when the phone is locked.


    iPhone (as well as iTouch and iPad) users can download “iEmergency+” from the Apple app’ store for 99 cents. The app’ includes an emergency contact list, a one-touch phone calling option, and an unlimited list for medical information. The information stored is available to emergency personnel even when the phone is locked.


    The Droid Marketplace lists a couple of apps to add emergency contacts. The first from Appventive is $3.99 and stores important information for first responders and hospital staff to use in case of an emergency involving you. People, emergency contacts or doctors, can be contacted directly from the app and your insurance information can be stored there as well. If you get a new phone, the data is stored on a cloud server and your settings will be restored. The second app listed is free and it has a feature to allow you to add a widget to the lock screen so that it can be bypassed.


    Some basic cell phones have features to assign contacts as emergency contacts, but if yours does not you can always designate emergency contacts by listed them in your contact list as “-ICE” (Contact Name). The hyphen will make this appear at the top of your contact list.

    Programming your phone only takes a couple of minutes, but could be crucial in a crisis. After you set up your emergency contracts for your own devices, encourage your friends, colleagues, and loved ones to do the same.

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