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How to Allow Your iPhone to Be Used in an Emergency

by Keith Gatling | 6 years ago

KiethCropped8When your phone is locked, suppose something happens to you, and a bystander or first responder needs to contact your family to let them know?

How will they know who to call? How will they call them from a locked iPhone?

Up until now, I solved this problem by creating my own custom lock screen with all my important contact info on it. That way, I figured that even if my phone was locked, they could still call my family from their phone.

But … as I was researching things for this predicament, I found out that iOS has a built-in method for letting people call your emergency contacts right from your own lock screen.

It involves first putting that information into the Medical ID section of their Health app, and telling it to show the information when locked. The app shows up on with a red heart on your home screen.

04 Lock HealthThen, when someone picks up your phone and brings up the keypad for entering your passcode, they’ll see Emergency in the bottom left-hand corner.

Pressing on that will bring up a phone keypad that will let them only dial 911, but in the bottom left-hand corner of that keypad, they’ll see Medical ID.

Tapping on that will bring up your emergency medical information, along with the phone numbers that you’ve allowed to be called from that screen.

Go home and take care of this immediately!

Keith Gatling is a Technology Librarian at the LPL. He regularly presides over programs that teach patrons how to better bring tech gadgets into their lives. You can find his programs on our calendar page. Gatling also writes Tech Tips, which can be found on racks in the library and here on