These days, the information we need is almost always at our fingertips. Our smartphones can quickly give us the phone numbers we need. The pizza place, the local plumber, your kid’s school – they all have websites, and they all have their phone numbers listed online.
But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth keeping a few key numbers in your phone’s contact list – or written down in your notebook, or scribbled on a piece of paper in your purse or your car’s glove compartment. After all, your phone doesn’t always have internet service (or battery life – score one for the pen-and-paper methods!). And if you’re stuck at the side of the road, you don’t want to spend a bunch of time waiting for Yelp to load so that you can pick out the best towing company or car service. Instead, do that research ahead of time, and make sure that you have access to a few key phone numbers no matter where you are. Stash them in your phone and write them down (in case your phone is dead and you have to borrow one), and then forget about them until you need them!
Six phone numbers to always have on you
- The police. Let’s start with the obvious. You may not need to have 911 in your contacts (it’s only three numbers, after all), but what about your local police department or sheriff’s department? Save their emergency and non-emergency numbers for situations that merit police intervention but don’t require a 911 call.
- The fire department. Another obvious one! 911 will get your local fire department to you fast, but if you’re just trying to get a cat out of a tree, please don’t use 911.
- Short for “in case of emergency,” this is a number that you won’t call – but someone else may have to. It’s common practice for people to save a number in their phone under “ICE” or “ICE – [person’s name].” If you’re ever in trouble, someone may pick up your phone and look for that contact. Put in the number of a person that you’ll want notified in the event of an emergency. You can also put a phone number with instructions in your wallet or purse, in case your phone is dead.
- A car service or taxi company. Uber and Lyft may have made it easier to get a ride, but don’t underestimate how important it is to have a car service’s phone number in your phone. You won’t always have the internet service it takes to use an app, and a professional ride is better for business engagements, dates, and other important occasions. If you forget to book a ride back from the airport or need to get off the side off the road after a breakdown, you’ll be glad you have this number.
- A towing company (or AAA). Speaking of car breakdowns, make sure you have a local towing service’s number in your phone. Do the research now and pick out a good one so that you don’t have to wait for Yelp to load while you sit there waiting. If you have AAA, they can dispatch a pro – but only if you have their number.
- Your insurance company. If you come home from vacation to find burst pipes, a flooded basement, and mold everywhere, there are a lot of people you’ll have to call: a plumber, water damage repair specialists, mold remediation specialists, and so on. In a car accident, you may need a mechanic, an ambulance, or accident recovery services from a licensed chiropractor. It’s not worth researching each of these services way ahead of time, but there is one resource that can put you into contact with the right ones: your insurance company. They should be your first call after seeing home damage and your second (after first responders) after a car accident. They’ll be able to help you with the next steps. Have their number handy.