If medical personnel are able to access your medical history during an emergency, it could mean the difference between life and death. But if, for example, you are injured, in shock, suffering from dementia, or are otherwise incapacitated, you may not be able to provide that information yourself.
There are several systems readily available to help make crucial contact and medical history information available to first responders. Consider taking the time to update your details with the following free tools:
- On Your Smartphone: Even when your smartphone is locked, you have options for inputting your emergency contacts as well as other vital information that could help save your life.
- The National Next of Kin Registry (NOKR). The NOKR is a free service that allows you to register yourself and your next of kin in the event of such situations as daily emergencies or natural disasters. The information you enter is not available to the public, but it is available to emergency service agencies registered with the NOKR. If you are in an accident, emergency services personnel would be able to search the website to find your next of kin and notify them about your condition. The NOKR stores emergency contact information for those across the U.S. as well as 87 other countries. You can register online, through U.S. mail, or via fax. Learn more about registering for the NOKR.
To get the most out of an emergency contact, you should make sure the person you choose as your emergency contact has agreed to act in this capacity, knows about any allergies or other factors that could affect your treatment, and knows whom to contact on your behalf.