In case of emergency, can you immediately find telephone numbers that could bring help to you and your family? In a crisis, just a few minutes of time can make a lot of difference. In this activity, your family will post all emergency numbers and learn how to use them.
With help from all family members, look up in the telephone directory the following numbers:
Police, sheriff, or constable
Department of Public Safety
(In some areas, the numbers listed above can be reached by dialing a special number for emergencies. Check and see if there is such a number in your area.)
Doctor—home and office
Poison control center
Relative or close friend
List these numbers on a piece of paper to post by each telephone in your home. At the bottom of the list, write the words who, what, and where.
Make sure all family members know how to report an emergency. Explain that, when the person they are calling answers, they should always first say, “This is an emergency.” Then they should tell—
Who (give their name). What (tell what is the matter—whether anyone is trapped or injured). Where (give address and directions).
Then they should answer questions about what first aid has been given and listen for instructions about what to do until help arrives. If for some reason they cannot stay by the telephone until the call goes through, they can give the necessary information to the operator. If the number they call is busy, they should dial “0” to get faster action.
Make sure that each family member knows which numbers to call for which kind of emergency and can relate all important information. It is also a good idea to have small children memorize their names, ages, addresses, and parents’ names.
If your family does not have a telephone, find out the location of the nearest telephone or source of help. Because you may need to use a pay telephone in an emergency, it is a good idea to carry change with you. Since you probably will not have emergency numbers with you at a pay telephone, dial “0” for the operator. As soon as the operator answers, tell her, “This is an emergency.” Give her the number of the telephone from which you are calling. Then tell her who, what, and where and wait for confirmation.
After you have posted your emergency numbers and taught the proper reporting procedure, have everyone practice making an emergency telephone call. Leave one or two members of the family home to role-play the operator, fireman, doctor, or other person you might call. Have other family members go to another phone and call their home telephone number.
Sample emergency phone number card:
Emergency Telephone Numbers
Rescue Squad (paramedics or EMT)____________
Hospital Emergency Room____________
Life Support Unit____________
Poison Control Center____________