Emergency Contact Card For Your Wallet
I keep an emergency contact card in my wallet. It’s something that I’ve been doing for a number of years.
Here’s why it’s important:
Getting Into A Serious Accident
If you ever get into a serious accident whereby you are unable to effectively communicate with first responders or anyone else, an emergency contact card in your wallet will provide important contact information.
If you are unconscious or unable to communicate, at some point emergency or hospital personnel will want to contact someone about your condition. You will likely have your own drivers license or other ID in your wallet, and eventually some sleuthing on their part will lead to someone to call. However it will be quicker if you can provide that information by way of an emergency contact card.
On my own emergency contact card I list the name and phone number of my wife, a relative, and a nearby neighbor who I trust. I also list the fact that there is a dog at home (and his name) in the event that someone needs to care for him.
List Additional Information
– You might choose to list additional pertinent information on the emergency contact card.
– Maybe you have children at school. List their names and their school.
– Any children in daycare? List it.
– Perhaps you have a unique health issue that they should be aware of.
– You might also list your blood type.
No one wants to think about being in a serious incapacitating accident. But it does happen.
Make your own emergency contact card
I simply type the information using Notepad on my PC and print it out on regular printer paper. I then save the .txt file so that I can easily update later if I need to.
You could also simply write this information on a piece of paper.
I adjust the text font size so that I can cut the paper the same as a credit card to fit in my wallet’s credit card sleeve. You might even use one of those index cards which are stiffer and will hold up better in your wallet.
Tip: Use a credit card to trace out it’s dimension onto the piece of paper and then cut the paper to size with scissors. I also use shipping tape placed over both sides of the finalized emergency contact card and then trim the edges with scissors. This enables more durability and waterproofing.
Best Place In Wallet For Emergency Contact Card
Perhaps the best place in your wallet for this contact card is right behind your drivers license. It depends on how your wallet is designed. But if the drivers license is in one of those credit card sleeves then when it gets pulled out the contact card will also come out with it.
However if the drivers license is behind a plastic “see through” sleeve then it might not get pulled out. In that case you’ll want to keep it in a sleeve right next to it.
Tip: On the very top of the emergency contact card, print or write “Emergency Contact Card”. This way it will be visible as the top of the card is exposed in the wallet sleeves.
Self-Sealing Laminating Pouches – Business Card Size
I totally agree. As a woman, the last thing i want is my info made conveniently available to anyone who can snatch my purse. The 2-wallet method is much safer. I do believe it is important to keep contact info for emergencies, but be careful where you keep it. Anyone who has access to your info has access to your security and safety and that of your family and friends.
Good idea Ken. But why not keep it in your passport – they always seem to find that pristine passport near every serious incident – just joking – that only works for terrorists.
One more important task to add to my hated record keeping to-do-list. Why is my fun list always on top of the pile?
Everything that is free and beautiful. Looking at clouds is good, trees are nice, feel the gentle breeze, birds and animals have character, …. okay there is more to a happy life, but this list is a good start. :)
that was me – hermit us
I wear an Emergency Alert bracelet. It has a compartment that opens with a small folded up “emergency “card that lists that information. It’s actually a child’s medic alert bracelet with a twist o flex watch band on it. It has done the job for me. It can be engraved on the back side of the compartment, mine states my main drug allergy (sulfa , penicillin) and has my name on the front next to the medic alert symbol. Years ago I was in a 10 car pile up (minor damage but hurt my neck) and the EMT saw my bracelet while they put me on a back board and was able to retrieve my info with out having to go into the car/purse and try to find my wallet. Since it’s like wearing a watch , you don’t really notice it and it doesn’t dangle like some I’ve seen and you don’t have to wear the necklace style.
Same here. I have epilepsy, and am a cancer survivor so I have both a detailed bracelet, and a wallet card. The wallet card is especially useful.
I do occasionally turn my medic alert bracelet around though in crowds, so it isn’t obvious to those looking for a target. Grateful too, they make so many styles now that don’t scream “medic alert” to a casual observer.
Many people wear these now-a-days, and not just for medical alerts. My son wears one from Road ID, a company that originally made them for runners who don’t like to carry anything with them. My dog even has one from this company!
One other thing to add on is “NKA” for “No Known Allergies.”
Ken – We used to have a wallet card similar to yours that we started back in the early 90s when the kids began leaving the nest (and getting cell phones), but haven’t kept it up since around 2008. It was a basic (name, phone number, and mailing address) contact list of our immediate family that began as a 2-sided business card in size, and expanded to a 2-sided slip of paper about 6 inches long. As the kids got married and began moving around and changing cell phone services, it became hard to keep up with the updates. Everyone would “call Mom” to see if their list was still current, so Mom finally decided to heck with sending out the list and just waited for the calls. Also, Smart phones came along with the ICE (In Case of Emergency) method of listing your contacts for First Responders to know who to call and in what order (ICE1, ICE2, etc), so that kind of replaced the wallet card. Does anyone but us still use the ICE Contact listing in their cell phone?
A seperate emergency list that my wife still keeps up insistently is the medical list of illnesses, surgeries, and medications for the family throughout the years (basic; when, what, where, & who fixed it). Existing entries don’t require updates, you just have to keep adding the new “owies” to the bottom of the list. It has come in extremely handy. Every time that you check in to a new Doctor’s Office, Clinic, or ER, you’ve got to give them your medical history in case it may have something to do with why you’re feeling under the weather all these years later. LOL!
CD in Oklahoma
Good point on keeping a current history EXCEPT. Medication list. I always encouraged folks to keep an up to date list of their medications. In the ER the triage nurse will ask for it, then write down or enter into the computer the names of the medications, the strength and the frequency taken. A couple of years ago I had to go the ER as a patient, handed my list to the triage nurse and then after being kept for observation by the hospitalist was discharged . My discharge summary showed that I had a history of 3 conditions that I don’t have. This history was deduced by the physician after reading my medication list. In the future I will not be giving my list to the triage nurse until after I have discussed it with the doctor.
Many times we would get phone calls asking if an overdue relative was in the ER. We would have to tell them that due to patient privacy we couldn’t give them that information. Then we would tell them if they were in we would be calling them. It was always helpful if they had that information in their wallet or phone.
As an aside when a nurse would review the phone or wallet it was always done in the presence of a witness. Too many nurse have been accused of theft of the contents of a wallet.
I too use ICE but after thinking about it I realized that since my phone is passworded they wouldn’t be able to get to it.
– Just incidentally, something we commonly see is someone keeping their drug and history list as a file or files on their computer. When they update it, they will print one off and stick it in their purse/wallet. If we get such a thing, we will normally ask you to review it with us, but all you really need to do is add new stuff to the bottom. As far as new and not really warranted diagnoses, you need to be aware that drugs and tests are often intended for one thing but used for something else, sometimes far removed from the problem being treated. An extreme example is the gentleman with bladder cancer who was questioning why a ’pregnancy test’ was run on him. It was to identify compounds in the blood resulting from his cancer, to determine if it was active and spreading or had stopped growing. Of course, Google said it was a pregnancy test, so it must be that someone made a mistake or thought he was pregnant. As far as getting mistaken diagnoses on your medical record, it might take a phone call or three, but it can be removed if you just bring it up; talk to the specific doctor’s nurse, and you will normally be able to get that done at no cost other than a bit of time. Just explain that you don’t want this minor error possibly compounding a future problem. Hope this helps.
Papa, I have pointed out the error and the hospital is refusing to redact it. Going on two years now. Since the hospitalist no longer works there they won’t remove his mistake.
I have a picture of my business card and my emergency contacts as the screensaver of my phone.
You cannot unlock, or use my phone, but see the critical information, even if I just lost my phone.
I tend to cringe at having an ID bracket or tag on my wrist, watch, or shoelaces as with the newer smartphone systems having high resolution cameras now it’s easy to blow up a section of a photo and get info from it. What ever happened to “The Grey Man?” TMI with all these lists and personal info gadgets. My drivers license and Med insurance cards in my wallet are more than enough info for an emergency, maybe a single piece of paper with a emergency phone number, but that’s it.
Not a bad idea. I kept mine to: Me, my spouse, my mother, my child: prescribed meds, blood type, and allergies. I included contact numbers for the people as well. I put them with the insurance cards in the wallet. I kept it this way so that if the wallets lost it not too big of a deal about opsec. Coated it both sides with clear packing tape. I work in LE and rarely find this info on a person.
Hi, I’m from across the water in the UK, I’ve been doing this for a few years now. I also made some for the wife and kids, which are in an EDC pouch I made for them.
The pouch is one thing they must carry with them at all times. I’ve had to change contact numbers on the card just the once, as one of the emergency contacts changed numbers.
One of the reasons I did this, is because no one remembers contact numbers anymore and If your mobile phone is lost or stolen, your up the creek without a paddle.