Sometimes we take things for granted and that might include our continued good health. But what happens if something unexpected happens and you need immediate assistance from an emergency service? Your iPhone is there to get you the help you need.
The Emergency SOS feature on your phone has multiple functions. When properly enabled you can quickly start a call to emergency services and your iPhone can provide your location.
For the United States, the call will be placed to 911, but if you are in a country that has different emergency numbers for fire, police, or medical you will need to specify which number you would like to call.
When you have previously powered off your iPhone you will have seen the Medical ID and Emergency SOS sliders under the Power Off slider. Now it’s time to set them up properly.
There are two ways to get to the settings, through the Settings menu or the Health app.
Step 1. Open Settings.
Step 2. Scroll to Emergency SOS.
Step 3. Select “Edit Emergency Contacts in Health.”
Using Health app:
Step 1. Open the Health app.
Step 2. Tap on your profile icon.
Step 3. Select Medical ID.
After that, the steps are the same no matter how you started.
Step 4. Tap “Edit” in the top right corner.
Step 5. Select “Add Emergency Contact.” That will bring up your Contacts list for you to choose from.
Step 6. Choose your emergency contact from your contact list. You will then be asked to specify their relationship to you. Note: If your contact has more than one phone number you will need to select the one you want to use.
Step 7. Select “Done” in the top right corner to save your information.
Delete an Emergency Contact
To delete a contact follow either set of steps 1 – 3 above, then use the “Delete” icon beside a contact’s name and confirm the deletion. Don’t forget to select “Done” from the top right corner to save.
Since you are already in the Health app this would be a good time to enter any necessary medical info as well. You can list your physical and medical info as well as your primary language. What a helpful feature!
While we’re at it, let’s look at a couple of other Emergency features from the Settings menu. There are three features in the Emergency SOS menu that work together. You can turn them on or off based on how you want your emergency call to work.
- Call with Side Button: This feature allows you to call Emergency SOS by quickly pressing the side button five times. This will not disable the default access method of holding the side and volume button together but makes the service easier to access.
- Auto Call: This enables a countdown after which your iPhone will automatically call emergency services. If you disable this feature, you will need to use the Emergency SOS slider to make the call.
- Countdown Sound: A warning sound will play during the countdown to call emergency services. Which might not always be appropriate depending on the situation.
You should also look at “Emergency Access” while you are editing your Medical ID page. In an emergency, you may not be able to share pertinent health information. These features can help with that.
- Show When Locked: Turning this on will allow emergency services to view your Medical ID information from your lock screen.
- Share During Emergency Call: This will allow your iPhone to share your Medical ID information with emergency services during the call.
Emergency SOS and Medical ID info might not be the most fun feature the iPhone has to offer, but it might be the most important one.
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