Who Would I Call If? …Smart Steps for Emergency Plans

Emergency numbers are important to have handy. Since emergencies rarely happen, we might not know where to find a number when we need one. The local phone book is becoming unnecessary since we can find so much info online,  but in an emergency, who wants to do a search?

A new edition of the local phone book was recently dropped on my front porch. I decided to see what information I could find. On page 1, I found several national hotlines and local emergency numbers. I took a picture of it with my phone, so now I have several numbers handy:

For Smart Steps Mobile app users, think about entering several of these numbers in the Emergency Contacts list, a feature that is available in the On My Own plan.

If there is have an emergency, call 911 directly. That way, help will come much faster. 

When DO I Call 911, Anyway?

When should we call 911? Here are some examples:

-Fire. (A candle is okay unless it catches something else on fire.) -Someone is not breathing, bleeding badly, burned badly, can’t move or speak. They are lying on the floor or in an unusual spot and they won’t wake up. They seem really sick. They said to call 911. They might be dying.

-I am very sick. I might be dying. I can’t breathe, or my chest really hurts, or my head hurts a lot, or I’m bleeding a lot, or I can’t walk. I want to hurt myself. There could be other reasons too, like an allergic reaction.

-There is a shooter or someone with a gun.

-A car accident just happened. I need to tell them where the accident is.

  • What are other examples?

When would I NOT call 911? 

-I’m hungry.

-I want something and my family or caregiver said no.

-I’m lonely and want someone to talk to.

-I scraped my knee.

-I burned my finger and it’s red.

-My pet is sick or hurt.

Things to think about:

  • What are some other examples of problems that do NOT need a 911 call? What would we do instead?
  • What other numbers would be important to include on mobile phones?

Teaching Notes:

To discuss these and other emergency procedures such as weather-related emergencies is to make flashcards with photos or illustrations of the situation and responses (both correct and incorrect).

Discuss one or two scenarios on a given day. Spread out the discussions over time to avoid confusion and to reinforce storage of information in long term memory.

To check understanding, have the individual match flashcards with emergency and non-emergency situations and responses. A visual approach with short conversations is an ideal mix.

Being prepared for emergencies and non-emergencies leads to less stress and more peace of mind.

(c)2014 Smart Steps(R) LLC