Over the last few days, I have had to make a lot of phone calls to family, friends, and strangers. When the topic is to give someone bad news, the call is not an easy one to make. I'd like to share what I've learned about phone books so that you may consider how to organize an emergency contact phone list.

First - those of use that live in So Cal, there are 2 to 4 area codes in each regional area. Please add the area code to your phone list, even if you have it memorized. There were several people I could not call because there was no area code and no city listed.

Second - an emergency list needs the relationship information. It can be as simple as family, or friend, or hobby group. It's very hard to call an unknown.

Third - (an I'm guilty of this too) Keep you filing system simple. I personally do my addresses under both first and last names. It's easy for me but difficult for someone looking up a last name and finding that person later under the first name.

Fourth - update the list as change happens.

Fifth - print out and place in plain sight your list. If there is a family emergency, people will need to know who to contact first.

When making the calls, I had a few people help me with the names in the book and they volunteered to contact them for me. I don't think they will ever realize how helpful they were. I know they don't read or even know of my blog but thank-you so much to Hazel, Carlotta, and Joe.

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