Why create an emergency information sheet? Don't you know all the important numbers you need?
I found out that that may be true, but in extremely stressful situations, it can be a real problem. I trained in First Aid and CPR for the first time, in grade 10. My instructor drilled into us the local EMS phone number (they're response time is much faster than when contacting 911). Every day we all had to chant it together. It was on every exam and quiz. We couldn't pass without being able to spit it back at her. I always wondered why she was so neurotic about it.
And then, when I was just out of high school for a couple of years, I found out why at work. I was in my boss's office having a discussion. All seemed regular. He had just finished eating lunch and we were laughing that we were having one of those discussions where we were going in circles. And then he passed out. Just like that. He went into full cardiac arrest. I got to the phone and my mind was blank. In a moment of panic I couldn't remember the numbers I should call for help. And then it came to me. The EMS service. But when I looked at the key pad on the phone, I could not remember it. I took myself back to grade 10. I ran my training through my head... "Are you alright? Are you ok? Help! Call 732-370-3600." I actually said the phone number out loud as I dialed with trembling fingers. It was the only way that I could have punched those numbers in. Thankfully, the EMT's got there in time and were able to save his life with no damage except for the loss of memory for the 3 days prior to the incident.
Since then, I know all too well the advantage of having a list of emergency numbers handy. It has served me in very good stead. I have a knack for landing up in extreme emergencies (my grandfather passing out from diabetic shock, taking care of a medically fragile baby and nearly losing her in medical crisis at 3:30 am, my friend passing out from hemorrhaging from a miscarriage). Each time I am grateful anew that I keep emergency numbers handy at all times. I've got them saved in my phone in case I'm not home. And being a mother, I make sure that my kids' schools and daycares all have current emergency info. And if I get a sitter, I make sure to have a copy of emergency info for the entire family hanging on the fridge.
What do I include on my emergency information sheet?
Some things may seem obvious, but I have learnt not to take chances. Put in all relevant information. Your home address and phone number. Emergency services numbers, doctors' numbers, parent and caregiver contact information, your children's names, birth dates, medical information, emergency contact information, and anything else that is pertinent that other know in case of an emergency. And for a sitter I tell them my family's emergency plan (exit plan and rendezvous point). Feel free to download a copy of my emergency information sheet here
And most of all, stay safe and give all your love to your family.