Save time and have peace of mind should an emergency arise with a few simple numbers and neat hacks!
How times have changed since the days of memorising important telephone numbers and pinning them to that trusty pinboard in the kitchen as my mum once did for us as kids. That pinboard was our go-to place for myself and my brother if there was ever an emergency and we needed to contact family, friends or a place of work.
Although we don’t think to memorise numbers anymore as we can access the information we need from our fingertips, I thought that it would be useful to highlight some important numbers that may come in handy, clever apps for assisting in emergencies and some tips that could even be lifesaving.
Emergency services and important numbers
Yep, I’ve stated some of the obvious emergency numbers here but do your children know them? Are they printed off and visible for them to see? Have they been taught what to do in case of an emergency and how to contact the relevant services? In fact, only 1 in 3 children are being taught how to dial 999 in an emergency (How 2 Become). So if you have young kids then don’t ignore this important practice.
Helpful hack - If you want your young children to memorise important numbers or to learn how to contact the emergency services, then here’s an easy activity available for you to download.
999 - Emergency Services
Call this number for contacting the police, fire service or if you need an ambulance. This number can also be used to contact lifeboat, mountain rescue, lowland rescue, cave rescue, moorland search and rescue, quicksand search and rescue, mine rescue and bomb disposal. If you have a speech or hearing impediment, you can sign up for the emergencySMS service. Text “register” to 999 and follow the instructions.
999 + 55 - Silent Solutions
If you need to contact the emergencies services but can’t talkd as this could put you or someone in jeopardy then press 55 when instructed by the police and they will come to your aid.
Helpful hack - In case of violent situations, set your phone to silent mode or do not disturb as notifications can compromise you.
111 - Police (Non-Emergency Number)
Call 111 if you need the services of the Police but it’s not an emergency, for example, a minor traffic incident, if your car has been stolen, you’ve witnessed something suspicious, you’ve seen a missing person etc. Calls cost 15p per call.
111 - NHS 24/7 Service
If you don’t have an emergency health issue but want to speak urgently with a fully trained adviser then call 111 and they can connect you to a GP, nurse, emergency dentist and can send an ambulance if needed.
116 123 - Samaritans
If you are in distress and have nowhere else to turn to, then the Samaritans can offer a safe place to talk. The Samaritans are a registered charity and are always available 24/7 365 days a year. Calls are not shown on phone bills.
0800 1111 - Childline
Childline offers a free service providing non-judgemental counselling to help distressed children overcome a wide range of challenges and issues they face today. Calls to the Childline are not shown on phone bills.
0800 111 999 - Gas Emergency
If you can smell gas or are suspicious of a leak then you can speak to SGN who will take you through a few questions to quickly access the situation.
The UK has many useful telephone numbers for almost all types of incidents – more numbers here.
Numbers worth saving on your phone
Insurance – whether you’ve been involved in a collision or you’ve come home to find water seeping through your ceiling, save yourself the bother of having to search through countless documents or emails to find or even remember who you’re insured with – simply save the contact numbers or helplines into your phone at the start of your policy.
Co-workers, including your boss – It’s always useful to add your colleagues to your phonebook just in case you need to get in touch with them if you’re absent. You may unexpectedly fall ill and need to contact a team member to pick up on that important project you’re working on. If you do become extremely ill or are otherwise incapacitated then having your boss’s number written down will make it easier for friends, or family to call them on your behalf.
Helpful hack - Okay, so you spent some time searching online and gathering your numbers. How will you group them together on your phone? Why not create a note on your phone that will make it easier for finding and for making updates in case any of the numbers change.
In Case of Emergency (ICE)
Hopefully, this feature will never be needed, but if you are badly injured or unconscious and someone is at the scene to help, then they can pick up your phone and locate your emergency contacts from your locked screen. If a paramedic arrives then they can access vital information about you, such as your blood type, any allergies you have or medication you may be taking which can potentially help them to act even quicker.
Also, if you’re an iPhone user and dial an emergency number your emergency contacts will be sent a text message with your current location.
For information on how you can set up emergency numbers on iPhone then please visit here. If you’re an Android then here’s how to set up your ICE numbers.
What3words: Never get lost again
What3words have divided the globe into 3m squares and have named each one with a unique 3-word address. It means that anywhere in the world can be located with just three words. Say for example you’re lost in a field in Cumbria, all you need to do is input your location into the What3words app for it to reveal three words such as car.friends.lion which you can then share with the emergency services.
The app is available for free on iOS and Android. You can find out more about what3words here.
Helpful hack - Try to enable battery saving mode in emergencies as you never know how long you’ll be without power. This mode will halt all unimportant tasks from continuing such as syncing your emails.
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