With advances in technology, our family members, friends, and other personal information may seem more accessible than ever before.  But in the event of an emergency, would first responders be able to determine who to contact if something happened to you unexpectedly?  Would they be able to quickly determine your blood type or allergy information if you were in a life-threatening accident? Would they even be able to determine your location from a 911 phone call?  Here are several resources you should consider utilizing to help make this critical information more accessible in the event you are involved in an emergency.

BMV Next of Kin Registration

Have you completed your Next of Kin Registration with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles?  Ohioans who have a current Ohio driver’s license can add two emergency contacts to their record with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  This information is stored in a secure database and is only accessible by the Ohio BMV and law enforcement agencies.  In the event you are involved in an emergency, this information can help ensure that your family members and friends are immediately notified of the situation.  You can add emergency contacts to your record by registering in-person at the BMV or by completing the designation online.  To complete the online designation or for more information, visit https://www.bmv.ohio.gov/dl-other-next-kin.aspx.

Smart Phone Emergency Contacts

A cell phone can be an extremely useful tool in contacting family and friends in the event of an emergency.  However, while most American adults carry smart phones with them, many smart phones today are inaccessible without a passcode, fingerprint scan, or facial scan to “unlock” the device, making it seemingly more difficult for a third party to reach the family or friends of the phone’s owner in an emergency.  To fix this issue, many phones will allow you to add emergency information that can be accessed on the device without “unlocking” it.  The iPhone, for example, allows you to add a “Medical ID” section, which can be accessed without unlocking the phone.  Information that can be added on iPhone’s “Medical ID” includes the phone owner’s name, date of birth, blood type, emergency contacts, weight, and height.  You can also add your own “medical notes” to the information, such as health conditions or prior surgeries.

If you, like most American adults, regularly carry a cell phone, you should look into whether your device can provide accessible emergency information to third-party rescuers and first responders.


In the event of an emergency, calling 911 can literally be a lifesaver.  According to Smart911.com, over 80% of 911 calls are made from cell phones.  However, when a 911 operator receives a call, they usually have very little information about the caller, which often includes only the caller’s phone number and a very general idea of their location.  Fortunately, Smart911.com is working to eliminate this issue.  To accomplish this, Smart911.com users can create a Safety Profile, which can include information concerning the user’s household members, medical conditions, medications, home location, vehicles, pet descriptions, emergency contacts, and more.  When the Smart 911 user calls 911 (in participating areas) or calls a participating agency from their registered phone number, the user’s Smart911 Safety Profile and their current location will appear on the screen of the operator.  Providing this information to police, firefighters, and paramedics can truly be lifesaving in the event of an emergency.

Currently, Smart911 is available to several areas in Greater Cincinnati, including parts of Hamilton County, Butler County, Kenton County, and Campbell County, and it is continuing to expand to other communities throughout the United States.  For more information about Smart911.com, go to https://www.smart911.com/.