How to Set & View Emergency Contacts On an Android: Step-By-Step

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An Android smartphone is an extremely powerful device. It lets you do far more than just receive and place calls. It essentially offers all the features of a basic computer, but instead of taking up desk space, it fits in the palm of your hand.

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That’s why Android users should know just how valuable their devices can be in emergency situations. For instance, you can set up emergency contacts on your Android device, allowing others to get in touch with important people if a situation should arise in which you’re unable to do so for yourself. If you’re with someone who’s set up emergency contacts on their Android device, you can do the same for them, even if their device is locked.

This guide will explain how to set and access an emergency contact. It also offers a few other safety tips that Android users may find helpful in emergency situations. 

How to View Someone Else’s Emergency Contact On an Android

Acting fast when someone’s in an emergency situation but can’t alert important contacts without your help is critical. If they’re an Android user, it’s also very simple. Just follow these steps:

1. Swipe up

When you need to get in touch with someone’s emergency contacts on an Android device right away, but their screen is locked, swipe up. You’ll now see various options to tap on.

2. Tap Emergency & Emergency Information

Scroll to find the Emergency option. Tap on it, then find “Emergency Information” and tap on that.

3. Tap the flashing Emergency Information

Now, the words Emergency Information should flash on the screen. Tap them to access someone’s emergency contacts. You might also find other information that could be useful during an emergency, such as health info.

How to Set Up Emergency Contacts On Your Android

From advance care planning to guarding against the consequences of allergic reactions, there are many reasons to set up emergency contacts on your phone. Whatever your reason, here’s how to easily set up emergency contacts on Android:

1. Open settings

Setting up emergency contacts on your Android begins with the simple step of opening up your device’s Settings app.

2. Tap About Phone & Emergency Information

Next, find the About Phone option and tap on that. Then scroll until you find the Emergency Information option, and tap it.

3. Add contact

You’ll now have the option to add various types of emergency information. To add an emergency contact, tap Add Contact. 

Depending on your device and/or the version of Android you’re using, you might not see the Add Contact option. If you don’t, you can tap on the Contacts option instead. Once you save your info, you’re all set.

Naturally, you’ll want to choose contacts who can help in an emergency, or would need to know an emergency was occurring, such as a health care proxy.

More Emergency Preparedness Tips For Your Android

While knowing how to access and set up emergency contacts on Android is important, you should also know about other ways your Android device can help you prepare for family emergencies, hazardous weather conditions, and other emergency scenarios. The following tips will help.

Turn on emergency alerts

Not all emergencies are personal emergencies. Sometimes, a general emergency situation in your area that may affect you (or that you may be able to assist others during) can develop before you know about it.

You can receive alerts about such emergencies via your Android device by turning on the Emergency Alerts feature. Follow these simple steps to do so:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap Apps & Notifications
  3. Tap Advanced
  4. Tap Wireless Emergency Alerts

You’ll now be able to set how often you wish to receive these alerts. You can also edit various settings related to what types of alerts you’ll receive. These alerts can let you know about threat notifications, disasters, AMBER alerts, and more.

Some users may not find an Apps & Notifications option in their settings. Google recommends contacting your device’s manufacturer if you don’t see this option.

Use the Emergency SOS Alert

Some Android devices have built-in SOS shortcuts. You can use these to send pre-set messages to specific contacts and emergency services letting them know you’re in an emergency situation. The feature will also send a distress signal to local emergency services.

However, some Android users have found the shortcut doesn’t work on their devices or in their locations. They recommend installing an app such as Emergency SOS Safety Alert instead. It offers the same features, regardless of which type of Android device you’re using.

Enter more information

When you set up emergency contacts on your Android device, you’ll also have the chance to include other important information. For example, you can let anyone accessing your emergency info know about your allergies, any medications you’re taking, and your blood type.

If you’re already setting up emergency contacts on Android, there’s no reason not to include this information as well. As with the above example, some Android users have also found it’s helpful to download third party medical ID apps that allow them to include even more info. Research your options to find one that suits your needs.

Use Google Maps offline

Google Maps is a lifesaver when navigating unfamiliar areas. But did you know you can use Google Maps offline too? If you’re planning on traveling to an area you don’t know very well, you can download the map for that area on Google Maps to access it offline. To do so, follow these steps:

Open Google Maps

To download an offline map, you need to have an internet connection. You also need the latest version of Google Maps. Update if you don’t.  Once you’ve opened the app, sign in to your Google Maps account if you’re not already.

Search

Now you can search for the area you want to save offline, such as “Boston” or “Los Angeles.”

Download

When the app loads your results, at the bottom of the screen, you should find a tab listing the place’s name and/or address. Tap on that to expand it.

On the expanded tab, there will be a Download option. Tap on it to select and download the area of the map you want to access offline. If the place you searched for was a specific location in a larger area, such as a restaurant or hotel, you may have to tap the More option. 

Tap Download Offline Map, then tap Download.

The process should work if you follow these steps. To confirm, switch your phone to airplane mode and try to access this area in Google Maps again. Open the app and select the menu (an icon with three horizontal lines). You should see an option for your offline maps here.

Learn about Lockdown Mode

On some Android devices, it’s now possible to put the device in a “Lockdown Mode” that prevents others from accessing certain apps and information. This may be a useful feature if you’re ever in a situation when someone is trying to access information on your phone against your will. 

The process for setting up and entering Lockdown Mode varies from one Android device to another. It’s also only available with certain versions of the Android operating system. Thus, if you want to protect your apps and info from the prying eyes of others, you should research the Lockdown Mode process for your specific device.

Emergency Contacts on Android: Peace of Mind in Your Pocket

Whether you’re working on an end-of-life plan, preparing for a trip, or simply taking safety steps to ensure you’re ready when an emergency strikes, knowing how to set up emergency contacts on Android is helpful. Luckily, as these tips prove, it’s also easy.

If you're looking for more resources on emergency preparedness, read our guides on how to create an emergency contact list and what to pack for an emergency evacuation.


Sources

  1. “Get help in an emergency using your Android phone.” Android Help, Google, support.google.com/android/answer/9319337?hl=en
  2. Huseman, Hayato. “How to quickly lock down your Android phone.” Android Central, Future US, Inc., 1 June 2020, www.androidcentral.com/how-enable-and-use-lockdown-mode-pixel-4
  3. “SOS Emergency Feature.” Pixel Help, Google, support.google.com/pixelphone/thread/3465002?hl=en
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