If you’ve ever face an emergency, you know you have dozens of thoughts running through your head and you have to act fast. But wait. What is that number for Poison Control? Suddenly can’t recall your boss’s phone number to let them know you won’t be in? Though stainless steel and integrated refrigerators are de rigueur, it doesn’t mean you don’t need a handy place to post those phone numbers for when you need them.
So whether it’s your fridge, calendar, bulletin board or just a wall, here’s the ultimate emergency contact list—aside from 9-1-1—everyone should have in a place they can always easily find.
1. Cell phone number for each family member. Oftentimes, cell phone numbers are simply stored in your cell phone, but if the battery’s run down or you can’t find it at the moment, odds are you won’t remember the number you need. Don’t forget to include your own!
2. ICE: in case of emergency. Include names and phone numbers of at least one local contact and one out-of-town contact you can call. One of these can be taken from your ICE listing in your cell phone.
3. Doctor’s name and telephone number. Direct dial is best in an emergency, so if you have an extension, include that too. While you’re at it, you may want to add your health insurance information, including the carrier, the telephone number and your policy number.
4. Clinic or hospital. Include the telephone number for your preferred location as well as the one nearest to your home if they’re different.
5. Dentist. Same as above: keep your dental insurance policy information handy too.
6. Pharmacy. This one is for convenience and practicality as much as anything.
7. Local police and fire departments. This is for those times that are not emergencies (that’s what 9-1-1 is for) but where you may need the police to do a welfare check or monitor suspicious events in your neighborhood. For those in areas without 9-1-1, these numbers should go to the top of the list.
8. Poison control. We’ll give you this one: 1-800-222-1222. This number isn’t just for times that your toddler ingests something under the sink, it’s also for environmental poison exposure or bites and stings, especially with allergies.
9. Veterinarian. Because our animal companions get sick too.
10. Animal control. This is not just for stray or menacing domestic animals. Here in the River Valley, residents have sited deer, foxes and the occasional bear.
11. Your boss/workplace. If you encounter an emergency or are just too sick to think clearly, you’ll want to be able to alert your boss to your absence.
12. School. For times when you need to call in an absence, late arrival or early departure, you’ll be glad you have the telephone number for your children’s schools handy.
13. Tow company or AAA (if you carry it). Whether you have a car battery that drains on the first subzero night of the season or Junior gets into a fender-bender, these are good numbers to keep nearby.
14. Insurance agent. In case it’s the latter of the two examples in number 13, you’ll definitely want to speak with your insurance agent as quickly as possible.
15. Utility companies. With these numbers handy, you can quickly alert the power or cable company to outages, or the water company to a broken water main.
16. Good neighbors. Everyone needs a friend, especially one close by in case of emergency.
17. Church leader. Oftentimes, churches are among the first and best to provide physical as well as spiritual aid.
While you probably won’t use these numbers often, you will be grateful to have them so easy to find when you need them. Keeping the list in the same visible place all the time, can save precious time when you’re facing an emergency where every minute counts.