This past weekend, my husband traveled with a group to mountainous (or so I hear) Mena, Arkansas. His project was scheduled to end fairly late, and with the three-hour drive, he expected to be home around 1a, if there were no delays.
I sent him a few texts throughout the evening; as is our habit if someone misses the short person’s bedtime, the present parent snaps a pic to send to the absent one. I didn’t receive a response, but I knew he was working, so that was fine. When I guessed he would be packing up, I shot him another text, asking if he was heading home. An hour later, I was starting to get worried. Two hours after that, I was panicking, searching all over Google to find out how one would find a list of highway patrol accidents. But was he in Oklahoma when he was allegedly run off the road? Or in Arkansas? My imagination was running wild.
In my online reading that night, I read something that I had never realized, and now I’m going to share it with you. A few years ago, the new thing was to add ICE to your emergency contact in your cell phone. The theory is that the first responder will immediately go to your phone, scroll to I, and call your family. Great idea, right?
No. This is assuming that your cell phone is easy to find and in good working order. What if it’s not? But that’s not the part that freaked me out: so many phones these days are unlocked only with a passcode or fingerprint match. I highly doubt the police will know the magic number or have the same fingerprint as you. Basically, the ICE is worthless if you have a phone newer than 2010.
The next day, I turned to Google again (my BFF) and searched “printable emergency contact form for wallet“. This is the template I chose. It took only a couple of minutes to enter the info, and the FREE card was ready to print. I made one for myself, one for my husband, and four for my toddler; those will be taped to each of his car seats. (It’s a completely disturbing thought, I know, so let’s hope none of these will ever be needed.)
Anyway, I just wanted to share. The thought had never occurred to me; I just figured since my husband’s name has ICE typed in front of it, he would be immediately notified if ever necessary. But thanks to technology, that won’t happen.
On a lighter note, the husband did make it home safely from Mena and was texting me the entire time. Thanks to the spotty reception, none of the messages arrived until the next morning, several hours after he did.
And if all of this has already occurred to you and everyone has ID cards in their wallets already, forgive me. Sometimes I’m a little late to the party.
Let’s stay safe out there, kids.
-MCM Staffer Ashley,
who tends to have an overactive imagination