Set Up Emergency Contact on Android To Get Help in Emergencies


Emergencies usually don’t come with a prior warning, and when it does happen, the last thing you want to do is swipe around in your phone to share information with your family/friends to get help. Thankfully, you can set up emergency contacts on your phone who you can notify in case of an emergency with just a press of a button.

Whether it’s an accident, a medical situation, or even a crime scene, you can get help from someone trusted without even looking at the phone. In this post, I will show you how you can add emergency contacts on Android and set up related features.

How emergency contact can help?

The most basic function of an emergency contact is to let anyone contact them from your phone without needing to unlock your phone. If you are in a condition where you are unable to get help using your phone, someone else can use your phone to contact the emergency contact.

Although on most newer Android phones, you also get a bunch of other information-sharing functions that could help in an emergency. The features your phone may support depend on the phone manufacturer and Android version. However, some common information your phone might be able to share include current location, recent call history, pictures, video, voice recording, and a prewritten message, etc.

Add emergency contact on Android

All new and old Android phones have the emergency contact function built-in, but how you can access the function is different from manufacturer to manufacturer. Although I can’t provide universal instructions that might work for all phones, I will try to list all possible places where these options could be listed.

The easiest method that should work for most users is to go to “Settings” and type “emergency” in the search bar at the top. This will open all emergency-related functions and you should find the emergency contact option here.

If you want to manually access the emergency options, then they should be under the “About phone” or “Security” option in Settings. On my Samsung phone, the “Safety and emergency” is listed right inside the Settings, so the emergency option could also be directly inside the Settings.

Once inside, you should see the “Emergency contacts” option here, tap on it. This will open up your contacts list to choose the emergency contact. You can select multiple contacts here and the selected emergency contacts will appear in your lock screen “Emergency call” function.

Using emergency alert functions

You should also be able to set up SOS alerts for your contacts who will be automatically given information about you in case of an emergency. As I mentioned before, what information can be shared will depend on your phone manufacturer, but for demonstration purposes, I’ll use the functions available on my Samsung phone.

In the same emergency options, there should be an “SOS alert” function or in my case “Send SOS messages” function. Enable the function and it will ask you to choose the contacts you want to send the SOS alert. Once the contacts are selected, you’ll be able to configure the alerts.

Set up SOS alert on Android

To trigger the SOS alert, you’ll have to press the phone’s power button multiple times. In my case, I have the option to choose from 3 to 4 times. This will send a text message to selected contacts telling them you are in trouble and your current location.

I also have the option to automatically call someone after sending a message to my emergency contacts. I’ll have to separately select this contact.

configure SOS settings

There are also options to automatically take pictures from both front and back cameras and record audio to send to selected contacts.

You might find similar options on your phone and maybe even more functions like drafting a custom message to send or sharing recent calls or messages.

To conclude

Usually, people with serious medical conditions use the emergency contacts function to ensure they could get help from trusted people. However, I believe everyone should at least have one emergency contact specified, you never know when you may end up in a situation where you need help but can’t use the phone. Even if you can’t trigger the SOS alert function, someone else nearby will still be able to contact your emergency contact.

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