This Valentine’s Day, Ask Your Emergency Contacts “Will You Be Mine?”

Will You Be Mine? I remember the day I got the invitation. It wasn’t for a party. It wasn’t to join some kind of club or society. And it wasn’t for an appointment. But it was one of the most important invitations I had ever received.

“Sarah, will you be Nick and Luke’s emergency contact?” Being asked to be my nephews’ emergency contact was a true honor, because I knew that by asking, my sister-in-law was really saying, “If my kids (THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN MY LIFE) cannot get in touch with me, I want you to take care of them.”

The people we choose to be our child’s emergency contacts are often those whom we love and trust the most. You should provide all caregivers – including teachers, coaches, babysitters and neighbors – with at least three emergency contacts for your little one: 

  1. Parents
  2. A local friend or family member
  3. An out-of-town friend or family member

Parents and local friends and family are no-brainers and often required on emergency contact sheets, but in times of crises, local communication lines may be down or overwhelmed, making it easier to get through to a person who is outside the disaster-affected area. An out-of-town friend or family member also can find out information about the situation from the news or internet, which may be unavailable in the disaster zone.

In honor of Valentine’s Day and celebrating those we love, I encourage you to formally ask your emergency contacts, “Will you be mine?” We already have the letter started for you:

Dear _______,

Thank you for being a trusted friend!

Will you be ______’s emergency contact? While I hope you’ll never have to be contacted, it’s important to me that in the event of an emergency, _____ can be safe and protected, especially if I can’t be reached right away. Thank you for playing this important role in ___’s life.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you’ve already asked your emergency contacts to “be yours,” make it a point to connect with them this month to let them know how much it means to you that they are willing to protect and care for your child in case of an emergency. And don’t forget to update their contact information with your child’s caregivers.

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