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Not so long ago, cell phones were reserved for society’s wealthy and privileged. Yes, carrying around that small suitcase only for the pleasure of spending $.50/minute to call your stock broker or nail salon – that’s what separated the haves from the have-nots.
Thankfully, those days have ended. Everybody and their freakin’ mother has a cell phone these days – and why wouldn’t they? They’re ridiculously cheap to acquire and use (relative to just a few years ago) and even the freebie models come with more features than a stock install of Windows 95™.
But, alas, there are a great many people walking around with their new iPhone waiting patiently in their pocket or purse that aren’t properly equipped to deal with a serious (or borderline emergency) situation! This is why I’ve compiled this list – these are all numbers that are in the phonebook of my RAZR as I write this – and I’ve had to call many of them, especially being a parent of small children.
So, if your cell phone has no other numbers stored in its memory, make sure it has these numbers:
- Local Fire Department – Because you may need them and it may not be enough of an emergency to call 911. Very good for those pesky cat-stuck-in-tree situations
- Local Police Department or Law Enforcement – Same reason as above.
- Nearby Hospital(s) – These are great when a loved one isn’t home hours after they said they’d be. A lot easier to have them preloaded into your phone instead of sifting frantically through the yellow pages!
- ICE (In Case of Emergency) – If you’re ever in an accident and are incapacitated or killed, the authorities who find you will likely look for this entry in your cell phone numbers (and call it). A spouse or relative capable of making decisions on your behalf would be best here.
- Taxi Company Dispatch - Just in case you find yourself stuck on the side of the road (or maybe you’ve had a few drinks). This is especially helpful in the latter situation since you won’t have to sheepishly ask the bartender to call you a cab.
- Water and Power Department – In case your water or power ever get shut off and you’d like to know why (especially if it’s the power and your regular phones don’t work).
- Doctor and/or Pediatrician – Another one for you parents. When little Junior suddenly breaks out in hives and you’d like to speak to somebody (but don’t want to spend the cheddar on the emergency room just yet), this is another one that’s good to have. Also, these can be very difficult to locate in a time of stress, so record it next time you have the chance.
- Poison Control – So, you think you little Timmy might’ve just ingested two big mouthfuls of Pine-Sol? Not sure if you should take him to the hospital or use his sweat to clean the floor? These people generally answer very quickly and are very helpful – a must for the parents.
- Animal Control – This isn’t just for mountain lions and wild bore who show up on your back stoop. Maybe your neighbor’s dog’s brain made a wrong turn at Albuquerque and now he thinks little Maddy is a kabob of some sort. You’ll obviously want the tranquilizer-toting folks in coats to come down and diffuse the situation, pronto.
- Coworker or Boss – Because you don’t want to call the company switchboard to tell them you ran out of gas on the Interstate and managed to wet your pants in the process. Shoot for a direct line or cell phone.
- Your Next-Door Neighbor – Hear about a house fire on the news? Give old Ted next door a ring and have him poke his head out to make sure your house is still standing (and offer to return the favor).
- Tow Truck Company – Preferably one that will drive long distances if need be. Other than that, this one needs no explanation.
- Car Insurance Carrier/Broker – The first people you should call if you’re in an accident (unless somebody is hurt, then you call them second). They’ll tell you want to write down and if you need the police. Another number you don’t want to go fishing through your Costanza Wallet for if you can help it.
- Pizza/Chinese/All-Night Take-out Food – Because once you find a good place that’s open late, that’s a number you keep and call often.
Did I miss any? Are there any numbers you all keep in your cell phones that you’d be lost without? Tell me all about it in the comments…
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