Every year as the children go back to school, parents fill out a new emergency contact sheet for them to take back to their teacher. Generally, this includes their insurance information as well as the names and numbers of trusted family or friends who could help your children in an emergency.
No matter how many times this information has been given in the past, it is wise to update it every year. Most schools know the value of being prepared for the unexpected. Having important names and phone numbers on hand may save valuable time and energy during a disaster, especially in a stressful situation when it is difficult to think clearly.
Many families keep a list like this taped to their kitchen cupboard. It has their work numbers, family members, neighbors, and emergency numbers like the hospital, and our family doctor.
A former employee shared the following experience:
"When I was in junior high school, I was home watching my youngest brother while my mom went to the bus stop to pick up my sister. We lived in a rural area, so it was a bit of a drive to the bus stop. It was always more fun with some company along, so my mom took my four-year-old brother and our dog with her.
After about 20 minutes I started to worry about my mom because she hadn‚Äôt returned with my brother. A few minutes later, my neighbor called to tell me that my mom had been in an accident.
At the bus stop, she and my brother had gotten out of our jeep. As they waited, the jeep began to roll down the hill toward where my brother was playing with our dog.
My mom ran after the jeep to stop it from rolling down the hill. As she grabbed the steering wheel to hop inside, the door hit her, knocking her under the vehicle. As she fell, she turned the steering wheel, which caused the jeep to turn into the trees, saving my younger brother.
When I heard this from my neighbor, I was scared and anxious to know if my mom was safe. I knew we had my dad‚Äôs work number, as well as my grandparents‚Äô numbers on our phone list. I was able to contact my grandma and let her know what had happened. Hearing my grandma‚Äôs voice put me at ease and I knew we would be taken care of.
My dad, a firefighter, was called to the scene of the accident while on duty. Upon arriving at the scene, he learned it was my mom who had been injured. He immediately drove her to the emergency room."
An emergency phone list by a phone will help ensure a quicker response, which may even save a life. Please take a moment to brainstorm for possible people and agencies that you would want to communicate with in the event of an emergency. Make your children aware of these numbers and regularly review possible situations where you would need to use them.
It is a good idea to keep a list of these numbers handy, preferably posted by the phone, to know exactly where to go should an immediate need arise. We have put together an easy-to-use form with our suggestions of important numbers to have, as well as spaces for your own numbers. A good place to start when filling out the form is your local phone book. It often lists the numbers for your police and fire stations, as well as other agencies like poison control or the American Red Cross.
Recommended Emergency Contact Numbers:
- Any emergency--911
- Fire station
- Police station
- Family doctor
- Poison control center
- Animal control
- School numbers
- Local friends or relatives
- Out-of-state friends
- Work numbers
- American Red Cross
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- Other important numbers