How to Make an Emergency Contact Sheet

The Little List That Makes a Huge Difference

Man keeping track of paperwork. KidStock

Emergencies happen, and if you believe in Murphy's Law - anything that can go wrong will go wrong - they're more likely to happen when you're not at home. Emergency situations can and do occur, and the best time to prepare for one is before it happens. An emergency contact sheet is easy to compile and puts all of your family's important information in one place. It's a quick fix that can ultimately make a lifesaving difference.

Don't have an "It'll never happen to me" mentality. You might not be able to predict or plan for an emergency, but it's important that you expect the unexpected. Whether your son or daughter is ready to stay home alone, or the babysitter is taking care of the kids for the night, having a sheet full of essential contact information at the ready can really help should an emergency occur.

What to Include in Your Emergency Contact Sheet

Make sure a list of emergency contact information is easily accessible to family, children, friends, babysitters and anyone else who cares for your kids. Keep a copy near the phone, on the refrigerator, in your wallet, in your glove compartment, at work, in the family first aid kit - wherever it would come in handy.

Be sure to include:

  • Emergency numbers. Include numbers for poison control, your preferred hospital, the local police and fire departments, your doctor and your dentist, as well as your health insurance contact information and policy number.
  • Family contact info. Write down your address, the closest major intersection, the names of family members, and the work and cell phone numbers where parents can be reached.
  • Child info. Include information specific to each individual child. Write down any allergies, medication, health concerns and anything else caregivers should know.
  • Emergency contacts. In the event that you're unavailable, who else can your child or caregiver contact? List contact information for reliable family members, neighbors and friends of the family.
  • Household info. List information for your alarm company, plumber, electrician, veterinarian and any other important contacts.

Keep It Updated

Phone numbers change, people move, we get new jobs... Be sure to check your emergency information sheets at least once a year and make any necessary changes. Keeping these forms up-to-date and readily available will prevent a situation from becoming a disaster and give you peace of mind while you leave your kids at home. Hopefully you'll never have to use your emergency contact sheet, but you'll certainly be more at ease knowing that if there is ever an emergency in your household, you or whoever is home will know what to do.

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