The massive earthquake that hit Japan today was the largest in recorded history and has put all Pacific Ocean-facing residents on notice. Photos of the devastation (c/o The Washington Post) caused by the earthquake and tsunami seem almost unreal. As the effects ripple throughout the world--as of this writing, those in Hawaii are being told to evacuate and others on the US west coast are starting to feel the effects--, it's an unfortunate reminder that all of us need to be prepared for any emergency. We now have lots of online sites and tech tools to help us get prepared, but we need to set them up now, before disaster strikes. One of these tools is the ICE ("in case of emergency") contact you keep on your cell phone.
Started several years ago in Britain after a series of terrorist bombs in London, ICE provides paramedics and emergency personnel with an emergency contact from your cell phone. If you are in need of medical attention, for example, emergency personnel know to look for the contact on your cell phone called "ICE." All you need to do is add the name and phone numbers of the person you want to be reached in case there was an emergency and name that contact "ICE."
So, create an ICE contact on your cell phone contacts list or directory as soon as possible (like, now).
What if you have a cell phone that requires a password to log in? You can add a sticker or label on the back of your cell phone with your emergency contact information, and should also have emergency contact info on a card in your wallet. There are also smartphone security apps that let you customize your lock screen with contact information.
Emergency preparedness isn't something most people think about--until a disaster strikes. One of the fundamental things you can--and should--do is provide emergency personnel a means to contact your loved ones in case of emergency.
Google has launched a person finder app to help people find someone in Japan lost in the earthquake or post information about someone's (e.g., your) whereabouts.
Stay tuned for more on how to use mobile technology to stay safe and productive...