(WSVN) - The shooting in Orlando this week is a reminder that everyone should make sure their emergency contact information is easily accessible. 7’s Craig Stevens has the story.

When tragedy strikes, information is key for the people who are trying to save your life.

Sgt. Mark Wysocky, Florida Highway Patrol: “One of the most important things law enforcement has to do is be able to notify your family as soon as possible.”

It’s not just about who you are…

Sgt. Mark Wysocky, Florida Highway Patrol: “You may have serious information that needs to be relayed to medical personnel at the hospital, and we need to get that information to the hospital as soon as possible.”

Most of us probably figure law enforcement can get the information off of your phone.

Jimmy Smith, uBreakiFix: “The biggest thing back in the day, used to have ICE — in case of emergency. You can contact this person — it was in your contacts. But now, everyone has a passcode, so trying to get in that phone to get that contact information is not easily accessible.”

What you may not realize is you can still put your critical information on your phone, where law enforcement and medical professionals can find it.

Jimmy Smith: “Android, what they have is something that can actually go on the lock screen itself. It just sits right here on the top of the screen.”

Some Android phones have an emergency contact feature in the phone’s settings, or you can find it under ‘My information. You can list allergies or other medical conditions, but you have to be brief.

Jimmy Smith: “It only has 65 characters, so it’s actually a little less than a tweet.”

iPhone also has an easy way to store emergency information in its health app.

Jimmy Smith: “The app that has the heart on it. Right here at the bottom, you have your medical ID.”

Click on that, and you access this screen where you can enter medical conditions — allergies and emergency contact information. Just turn it on and save it.

Then emergency responders can find it without unlocking your phone.

Jimmy Smith: “Go to where you put your passcode in, click on the emergency button, and your medical ID will be right here at the bottom. You can click on that and all the information will be here.”

But the Florida Highway Patrol says keep in mind, phones are often worthless after a major crash.

Sgt. Mark Wysocky: “They’re damaged, or they’re not able to work anymore.”

That’s why they are urging all Floridians to enter emergency contact information through the state drivers license website.

Sgt. Mark Wysocky: “It’s a secure website and it’s only available to law enforcement personnel, and can only be used for emergency contact information.”

Just go to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle website.

Sgt. Mark Wysocky: “You hit the drivers license tab for drivers license and ID cards, and then the box comes up for emergency contact information. And you would then click on that box. You’ll see it gives a place for your drivers license and your date of birth, and then you just enter the information.”

It only takes a couple of minutes to complete the form.

Sgt. Mark Wysocky: “It’s just so important. That couple of minutes it’s going to take may save us hours in trying to contact your family.”

Precious time wasted when you’re in a situation where seconds count.

If you are not sure how to set up emergency contacts on your phone, you can Google your cellphone model and there are tutorials online. The link for the state emergency contact registry is below.


Copyright 2024 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox