There is no way for you to foresee an emergency, but you can prepare for it. The good news is that one of the best tools is already in your pocket: your Android phone.
Your Android phone is nothing less than a digital Swiss army knife in an emergency. It can automatically call medical services in the unfortunate event of a car accident, alert friends and family when you’re in trouble, sound an alarm for help, and save lives.
However, for Android’s emergency responses to trigger, you’ll need to sign up for it first. Here’s how to prepare your Android phone for an emergency.
Add your medical information to the lock screen
In a crisis, first responders need the patient’s medical information, such as blood type and allergies, to know what procedures and medications they can use. Android lets you put this information on the lock screen so anyone can access it without unlocking the phone.
Go to Settings > About phone > Emergency info. Fill in the fields with the information you want to share. You can add medical data such as your medications, prerequisites, and organ donor with the “Add Information” option. Under “Emergency contacts” you can also add the contact details of people you want to notify in the event of an emergency.
These steps may be different depending on your phone manufacturer. On a Google Pixelfor example, you’ll need to open the “Security” app and go to settings to enter your medical information and emergency contacts.
Once you’re done, your information should be available in the “Emergency Call” section on the lock screen.
Activate SOS on Android
With just a few taps of the power key, your Android phone can perform a series of emergency actions on your behalf. It can share your whereabouts with your local emergency number, send friends and family a quick video or photo, and even sound an alarm.
You can enable the Emergency SOS feature on your Android phone from Settings > Security & Emergency > Emergency SOS. On a Samsung Galaxy phone, you will need to go to Settings > Advanced Features > Send SOS Messages.
If you have a Google Pixel, the “Security & Emergency” menu will take you to the Security app, where you can also set up a way to start sharing your live location with certain contacts and record a video as soon as you trigger the shortcut emergency. These options can be found under Settings > Security & Emergency > Emergency SOS > Emergency Actions.
Likewise, your Samsung phone can send images and audio to your emergency contacts. Enable the “Attach images” and “Attach audio recording” toggles under “Send SOS messages”.
On most Android phones, you need to press the power button five times in quick succession to activate Emergency SOS. On a Samsung phone, you have to perform this action three times instead. You can also press and hold the power button and select “Emergency”.
Receive crisis alerts on Android
Your Android phone can also notify you of natural disasters and public emergencies. On a Pixel smartphone, Google also provides the ability to receive crisis information such as predicted flooding and wildfire impact zones from official local sources.
Enable emergency broadcast notifications on Android from Settings > Notifications > Wireless Emergency Alerts. Google Pixel owners should head to the Security app followed by Settings > Crisis Alerts.
Share your location live on Android
If you’re heading out for the night or just want someone to watch your back, you can constantly share your live location with friends and family. Although several apps offer this feature, your best bet on Android is Google Maps.
Open the Google Maps app and tap your profile picture in the top right corner. Select “Location Sharing” and on the next page, tap the “Share Location” button. You can share your live location indefinitely or for a limited time. Choose your trusted contact(s), who will know where you are at all times, from your contact list and click “Send”. In addition to your location, Google Maps also updates your contacts with your phone’s battery level.
Configure your Android phone to detect car accidents
Google’s Pixel smartphones have a handful of proprietary security tools. One of them allows your phone’s built-in motion sensors to automatically detect if you’re in a car accident and call for help.
In the Security app, go to “Settings” and tap on “Car crash detection” under “Detection & alerts”. Enable “Car Crash Detection”.
This feature is available on Pixel 3 and later models, and is available in select regions including US, UK, Singapore, Spain, Japan, etc.
Get Offline Medical Advice on Android
It sometimes happens that you are not covered by the network or that medical help takes too long to arrive. That’s when you’ll need American Red Cross Android App Suite which allow you to access a treasure trove of first aid tips and instructions without an internet connection.
With the American Red Cross First Aid app, you can take critical action in the event of injury to yourself or your pet in the event of an accident. Its preloaded content also contains step-by-step videos and animations on what you can do if, for example, someone has an asthma attack or suffers from burns. It’s also integrated with 9-1-1, so you can call emergency services directly from the app if you have a network connection.