GARAGE
The Garage Page

MOTORCYCLES  

Buying a used BMW
Selling a used BMW
New Owner FAQ

Rants & Raves

The BMW K75

My K75RT
My K11RS
My K75S

Insurance FAQ
Motorcycle Links

CAR 

SITE
HOME
GARAGE
STUDY
ENTRY
REC ROOM
OFFICE
HEAD
KITCHEN
PATIO

Ted's House
FREQUENT RANTS
RANTS 
Intro

11/02/10
The (not in the) UK Scammer
07/22/10
Losing Things
03/25/10
What is in your tool roll?
07/15/05
Planning Your Trip
05/18/01
Buying Online
10/22/00
Riding Partners
07/11/00
Starter Bikes
06/17/00
My Bookshelf
03/20/00
Emergency Card
11/25/99
Where to Start?
11/12/99
What was that?
07/07/99
Clubs, Should I?
04/22/99
GPS & SA6
04/15/99
Being Prepared
02/03/99
Riding Gear
01/31/99
Club Webpages
01/27/99
The Rally Virgin

March 20, 2000
Emergency Card

I heard you had a postcard or something with all of your emergency information on it. Do you have something I could look at so I can make my own?

Several years ago I was at a local dealer and overheard an old salt talking about how placing a "DO NOT REMOVE" sticker on a helmet was simply not enough, that every rider should carry an easy to find sheet of paper with all his emergency info. He continued that much like a pistol (his words :) when needed it should be easy to find and easy to use. Well that made perfect sense to me so I set about trying to figure out the best way to do this. I came up with a solution that has (literally) worked for me.

I started by asking what info would people need to know and how should I design it so it can be kept handy. I ended up designing a card that would fit where I decided to keep it, printing it on orange paper, laminating it, keeping it in the left breast pocket of my Aerostich, and printing a label (Brother P-Touch from work ;) that states in capital letters, "EMERGENCY INFO IN LEFT BREAST POCKET" and placing it on both the chin bar of my helmet and on the back as well.

Sounds easy, right? Well actually it is :)

DESIGNING THE CARD

What info do you want on this card? Well, first and foremost, what info is an EMT going to need to know right away if you can't tell him or her? I decided my name, age, allergies, blood type, medical conditions, organ donor status & name and number of my Doctor. Second, someone will need to contact your family – I decided my Father's name and various numbers, and a backup if he cannot be reached. That pretty much filled up one side of the card. On the other side, I put all my own information, including my full name, my social security number, my health insurance company and account number, the make, year, model, and license plate number of the bike, my vehicle insurance company and account number, and the number of my bike dealer (your dealer can be amazingly helpful when it counts, but make sure you discuss beforehand what things you can expect from him.)

Here is a link to my card template in the MS Word format.

CREATING THE CARD

I made great use of small fonts to cram all the information in. It really needed to be printed by a laser printer at the inkjet just made it too hard to read. Personally, I tried to do this at my office and simply ended up taking the .doc file on a 3.5" disk to a local Kinko's and had them print it out on thick orange/yellow stock paper. They then laminated it for me for a few dollars more. It took all of about 10 minutes, and I had them make a second that I put in my other riding jacket so I wouldn't have to swap them back and forth.

You could easily write out the info on a file card freehand, but do you really want someone trying to figure out whether it is a "7" or a "1" in a situation when the card is really needed?

PLACING THE CARD

I decided that the easiest place, and the place many folks would first look anyway, was the left front breast pocket. I never use the pocket anyway as it is NOT waterproof on the Aerostich and anything in there will get soaked in a rain storm. Pick your own pocket if you will, just make sure that it is easy to get to from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about motorcycling, much less that 24 or so pockets in the Aerostich Roadcrafter.

Lastly, tell people where to find it. I always wear a helmet and as that is the first place EMT's usually attend to, I put the label front and back just to make sure. I used a labelmaker from the office, but true to form, Kinko's has those too for a decent price (and you can get different color label tape…)

MY EXPERIENCE

In July of 1999 I was involved in a serious motorcycle accident.  The EMT's immediately found my emergency card (allergy info sure came in handy!) and copied down the needed info, then passed it along to the investigating officer who used it to notify my family, then along to the folks at the hospital.  Without exception, everyone who used it remarked how helpful it was (unfortunately even the Hospital billing administrator :)

(Thanks to some Frank for this one :))

1995-2016, Ted Verrill

Comments? <contact@verrill.com>

"Red Light Insight" is copyright Ted Verrill, 1999