How to Fill your Emergency Information on your iPhone

Overview

In this article, I cover the super-easy way to fill out your emergency information on your iPhone.

Why should you do this? The smartphone has become the device that can do the functionality of many other devices including the medical ID bracelet.

Note: These instructions are for iOS 9, but they should apply to later versions of the iPhone’s operating system.

Photo credit: https://www.medicalert.org/importance-of-medical-ids

Overview

It began with a PSA on the Security Now podcast

The importance of this issue came up on my radar through episode 578 of the Security Now podcast. Steve’s PSA announcement caught my attention especially when I realized that I completely ignored the importance of the emergency contact information in iOS’s Health app.

It began with a PSA on the Security Now podcast

The nitty gritty of how to quickly set the emergency contact information

1. Search for the ‘Health’ app on your iPhone

Go to the search prompt by either swiping from left to right until you get to the screen shown below or swipe downwards from any screen. Then open the Health app.

Search for the 'Health' app on your iPhone

2. Select the “Medical ID” (1) menu at the bottom and then select ‘Edit’ (2)

Select the "Medical ID" (1) menu at the bottom and then select 'Edit' (2)

3. Add whatever medical information you are comfortable with

Keep in mind that this emergency information can be seen by anyone that has physical possession of your phone without the to unlock it. Whether it’s an emergency responder, a nosey co-worker, or a thief – this information will be visible to anyone that can touch your iPhone.

Note: Even if you feel uncomfortable with putting any personal information at all you should at least put 2 emergency contacts.

Add whatever medical information you are comfortable with

4. Add contacts, blood type, etc…

The contacts are pulled from your iPhone’s Contacts app, so it’s a simple selection process.

Add contacts, blood type, etc...

5. Testing how the emergency information

Now you are going to see how your emergency information looks to a first responder (or your nosey co-worker or a thief).

Activate the lock screen on your phone. The easiest way is to press the on/off button. Then select the ‘Emergency’ word at the bottom of the screen.

Testing how the emergency information

6. Now select “Medical ID”

Now select "Medical ID"

7. Now you can see the medical ID information that emergency personnel would see

Now you exactly see what a first responder (or your nosey co-worker or a thief) would see. Notice that your phone can be used to call your emergency contacts immediately.

Questions to consider:

  • Are you comfortable with the displayed information?
  • If you are not comfortable with this info, then what is the minimum information that you could put here which would still help you or your loved one in an emergency? (think serious emergency where you or your loved one is unconscious)

Now you can see the medical ID information that emergency personnel would see

Conclusion

While you have to weigh the privacy options of posting your stats and medical information – it’s important to be deliberate and to have basic information on your iPhone as well as your loved one’s iPhone. You don’t want to be going through the “I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve dance” during or after an emergency.

If you found this post useful let me know via Twitter (@eli4d) or Snapchat (eli4dcom). Note that I’m experimenting with snapchat.

Amazon Web Services Lesson – S3 Bucket Names are Universal so get your domain named S3 bucket before someone else does

I recently subscribed to Nicholas Zakas’s excellent http://www.nczonline.net newsletter and came across a shocking realization about Amazon’s S3 service: all S3 bucket names are universal. Let me explain what this means.

It all started with wanting a static image server for my blog

A few weeks ago I wanted to host all images for this site on images.eli4d.com. Why? Well I wanted to be able to easily move my blog without worrying about static assets. I also wanted to explore an AWS service such as S3.

I finally got it to work after beating my head against some security policy issues (this had more to do with me than Amazon but this is for another post). One of the key points that I learned when doing this is that the simplest approach to create an S3 based static site requires naming the S3 bucket with the name of the domain.

But then I read the following from Nicolas Zakas’s newsletter

From http://www.nczonline.net/blog/2015/08/wordpress-jekyll-my-new-blog-setup/

But then I read the following from Nicolas Zakas's newsletter

OMG – what?

image attribution: https://flic.kr/p/8Y1Mp9

OMG - what?

So what does this mean?

It means that if you have any intention of ever having a static S3 based website, then you should create the S3 buckets with the various permutation of your domain’s names before someone else does (so domain.com, www.domain.com, blog.domain.com, etc…). This is worth doing even if you don’t use those S3 buckets.

Keep in mind that you’re not locked out of using any other S3 buckets for your domains. But you have to deal with some unnecessary hoops.

So what does this mean?

Thanks!

Many thanks to Nicolas Zakas for documenting his experience with S3.