WhatHappensNow Top Tips

A list of our top tips featured on WhatHappensNow.com. Have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest? E-mail us!

  1. ICE – It’s Who You Know

    In the event of an emergency or accident, emergency personnel may use your cell phone to look for ‘ICE’: who to contact In Case of an Emergency. This can save time in the attempt to retrieve lifesaving information (allergies, medication info, etc.).

  2. How do you do this? Edit your cell phone contact list by typing the word ‘ICE’ followed by the name (ICE – Jerry) and phone number of the person to call in case of an emergency. You can enter multiple entries, (ICE 1 - Jerry, ICE 2 - Bill). Make sure to tell your emergency contacts that you've listed them. Do this for all members of your family and tell your friends about the importance of ICE.

  3. Your License Plate Is ...

    Know your license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN). The longer it takes you to find these numbers for the police, the further away your car gets.

  4. Doctor Visit

    Before you go to each appointment, write down a list of symptoms, questions you have for the doctor and also a list of your current medications. This will help you get the most out of your appointments.

  5. What is Your Child Care Provider Insured For?

    Not all states require child care providers to have liability insurance. Ask your child care provider about their range of insurance coverage and ask to see proof of insurance.

  6. The Family Spokesperson

    If a family member or friend is in the hospital, senior living facility or hospice care, choose a spokesperson for the patient (i.e. parent, partner, family member). This person will be the contact for family and friends and also the go-between for the patient and hospital team. The spokesperson can tape record the doctor visits, transcribe them and email them to family members or post them to a family web site.

    This may help reduce communication problems between hospital, patient and family members and it’s a great practice for hospital stays, hospice care and routine doctor appointments. It also helps cut down on the number of calls family members might make to the hospital looking for updates.

  7. Copies Away from Home -

    Make photocopies of important personal records (insurance policies, mortgage, stocks, marriage licenses, monthly bills, etc.). Be sure to keep copies at a safe location away from home (i.e. safety deposit box, office, friend’s home).

    Why? If you keep your originals in your home, they may suffer the same fate as your home in a theft, fire or natural disaster.

  8. Smoke Alarms -

    Fire personnel recommend smoke detectors in every bedroom. Test your smoke detectors once a month. Be sure to replace the batteries twice a year or earlier if necessary.

    Also, install a carbon monoxide detector if you don’t already have one.

  9. Welcome to My Home -

    Create a home inventory list and also take photos and/or videotape your household belongings. You’ll want to do this anywhere you live (college, home, apartment) in case of a theft, fire or natural disaster.

    Pretend you’re on MTV Cribs or Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous while describing your things – have fun with it!

    Also, for pricier items, antiques or heirlooms, be sure you have written documentation (make, models and serial numbers) along with visual documentation to help with an insurance claim.

  10. Home Security Checks -

    Many police departments offer free home security checks. A uniformed officer will visit your home and evaluate your locks, windows, lighting, shrubbery, alarms systems, etc. and then provide improvement recommendations. Follow through with these recommendations. Your insurance company might also provide these kind of services. Check with your local police department for more information.

  11. Keep Your Contacts -

    Not good at synching your PDA with your computer? Or, if you lose your cell phone, you'll lose all your contacts and their information. Take some time to write down the phone numbers and important info from your PDA, cell phone and other devices. Make copies and keep them in a safe place at home as well as at the office.

  12. Home Preparedness Kit -

    You do need a readily available and fully stocked Home Disaster Preparedness Kit (pdf). Also, create a Car Emergency Kit. These are ideal for accidents, fire or natural disaster.

  13. Flood Insurance – Know the Timelines -

    If you are considering buying flood insurance, remember that it takes at least 30 days before it goes into effect. Be sure to purchase well ahead of the hurricane and storm seasons.

Updated: 5-2009