Which numbers for runner's ID bracelet?
July 15, 2016 9:28 AM   Subscribe

I run a lot outside, by myself and normally only take my phone and a house key with me – no ID. As a better safe than sorry precaution, I’m getting an ID bracelet that I can wear when I run. Whose phone numbers should be on there?

I was planning on putting my name, address and my parents phone numbers on the ID (I have no medical conditions that would need to be on there)

But my parents both live in a different state from me, over 6 hours away. My mom questioned if I should put someone local on there. I’m not married and while I do have some wonderful friends in my area, no one I have any sort of legal tie to. If something terrible does happen and emergency personal are looking at an ID bracelet for numbers to call, who is it that they want to talk to? A local friend or my parents in a different state?
posted by Sabby to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My friend was hit by a car while cycling, and as the last person she texted some bystanders called me. She was in no shape to be calling her parents, who lived outside the city, so in fact it was useful to have me (local) there in the ER to evaluate and get on the phone and be like "No, really, she's pretty fucked up, you need to get here" or "She's a little banged up but fine, don't worry" as the case may be.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:35 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Nah. If it's an emergency and you aren't able to say your name your parents are exactly the people to contact. (Barring the existence of a life partner.) They can have a list of local contacts to talk to. But that emergency number is if you're dead, dying, or a child. (It's different to giving a school a local contact if the parents fail to pick their five year old up from kindergarten.)

That number is your ,"Turn the machines off/ donate Sabby's kidneys" person. Not your lift to the local emergency department.

In the event that someone is looking at it, you're already in an ambulance. Unless you have a condition like epilepsy where you may have a serious looking event in public that doesn't necessarily need an ambulance. Put your parent/s.
posted by taff at 9:36 AM on July 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

I’m not married and while I do have some wonderful friends in my area, no one I have any sort of legal tie to.

Considering this, maybe you want to become Emergency Contact Buddies with someone in the same situation. If there's someone you really, really trust, you could exchange copies of your insurance card or other useful paperwork. If not, you could just give them your folks' phone numbers. Then in an emergency, you know you have someone you can call who can be there in a reasonable amount of time and give you a hand when you need it—and maybe having that responsibility for someone else could also be psychologically beneficial. It feels good to help others, and to know that someone finds you reliable.
posted by BrashTech at 9:36 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Don't worry about your address or your parents if they're far away - what will be needed in emergencies is contact info for people that can help immediately. Friends, coworkers, whatever - ask someone you are close to in your town if they'd be willing to be an emergency contact and list them.

You'll also need basic medical info on there, because in the situation where the info on the bracelet is useful, you probably won't be. On my bracelet, I have:

Wife's first name/phone number
Sister's first name/phone number
NKA (no known allergies - if you have medical allergies, list them)
Pin in R wrist (in case I'm unconscious and an MRI is needed)
posted by pdb at 9:38 AM on July 15, 2016

I have my fiance's name/phone number, my dad's cell (local), my brother's cell (local), NKA and blood type.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:53 AM on July 15, 2016

I would consider putting your family doctor's name and number as well. You said you don't have any conditions, but depending on the emergency, it can be useful for them to be able to access your medical records, and you want whatever happens to be in your medical record with your own doctor, also. I would label it as such, so they don't think it's the emergency contact.

So I would put.

Name: Sabby
Address: 555 Main St.
Emergency Contact: xxx-555-xxxx (Parents)
Local Contact: xxx-555-xxxx (Friend)
Family Doctor:

Assuming there's room for all that.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:54 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'd put your folks' number on, and also give them an idea of your running schedule and who they should contact locally (e.g. your doctor's name, boss's name, etc.) if you get hurt. Your parents have legal standing to make medical decisions etc. for you.
posted by bearwife at 9:56 AM on July 15, 2016

Oh, and if your family doctor is not in a solo practice, then put the doctor's name, so they know which doc is yours when they call the number.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:09 AM on July 15, 2016

If you have your cell phone with you, look up how to add emergency contact info to your lock screen. Here's how to do it with an iPhone's Medical ID feature.
posted by MsMolly at 10:29 AM on July 15, 2016

Unless you want to make your own/are averse to paying for this service, I would recommend you check out Road ID if you haven't already. I have one for cycling and it's pretty nice. It includes lots of useful information like you're suggesting and there's even an online database that emergency responders can use to access information about your medical history (this is an extra option). I'm pretty happy with mine and wish I had gotten one sooner. Just a suggestion in case you are not familiar with Road ID.
posted by friendlyjuan at 10:34 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yes, put your parents down, but also put someone local down. BrashTech is right, the "emergency contact buddy" idea is a good one.

After I got divorced—on good terms—my ex and I agreed to remain each others' emergency contacts. Happily never had to rely on that.
posted by adamrice at 10:58 AM on July 15, 2016

When I first did my Road ID, I was in the same boat. I put:

My name
My parents' phone number (local, but often traveling on extended trips)
A nearby friend's number
No Known Allergies

For the friend, I picked someone who lived in town, who always answers his phone, and who's known me since high school (and knows my parents). I asked him if he was willing to be my emergency contact, and if needed, try to get in touch with my parents. He agreed. In retrospect, I should have also given him a copy of my insurance card.
posted by writermcwriterson at 10:58 AM on July 15, 2016

Yeah, everyone needs to have a Person. Someone who lives nearby, who doesn't screen their calls or turn off their cell phone for long periods of time, who is relatively responsible, and who is willing to be there for you if there's a big emergency and you need help. And you should memorize that Person's contact information, because a lot of emergencies mean you won't have your phone. For a lot of people their Person can be a spouse or a family member or a roommate. But sometimes you just need a good friend. Doesn't have to be your best friend--mine isn't, because my best friend is a call screener who forgets to charge her phone. But someone you trust. And you should agree to be that person for someone, too. Because sooner or later someone is going to get sick or hurt or arrested or stranded or mugged or whatever, and you want to have a Person to reach out to when that happens. And that info should be on your band.
posted by decathecting at 12:14 PM on July 15, 2016

. But that emergency number is if you're dead, dying, or a child.

There is a lot of room between "perfectly fine and can bring up a friend's phone number" and "dying, alert relatives". Like "hit by a car, loopy and phone is broken, on the way to hospital, would be nice to let work know you won't be in and have someone feed the cat tonight".
posted by the agents of KAOS at 12:17 PM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

I think you want a local friend (so people in your immediate circle know if something happened to you) plus family (because they should know, too). That's how mine's set up.

Mine -- a RoadID -- happens to be right here on my desk. It has:

Line 1: Name and year of birth
2: Home city/state and home phone number
3: Wife's name and cell number (obviously, she's local)
4: Brother's name and cell number (he's not)
5: Drug allergies and blood type
6: Blue Cross number
posted by uberchet at 12:40 PM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

The five lines on my RoadID are:
* my name,
* "No allergies, donor,"
* one phone number (a parent)
* a URL
* the username and password to access the URL.

The page the URL goes to lists pertinent information in multiple languages, like the fact that I wear contact lenses, and appropriate people to contact depending on location. I like that this lets me put in multiple emergency contacts and an "emergency petsitter" so if I do wind up in trouble, at a minimum, someone knows there are cats who need attention too.
posted by sldownard at 5:27 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

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