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Give Consideration to the following points and if you think it worthwhile, implement them. You may be saved a lot of hassle.

At Home

Don't only leave a spare house key with your neighbour. Your neighbour may be out or on holiday when you need your spare key. Bury a spare key in a sealed jar in the garden. Don't leave it under a flowerpot!

Don't lock the bathroom door when there are just two of you in the house, in an emergency it takes time to force the door. Wasted minutes count. Also for the same reason don't bolt the front door of your house when you are inside it alone, Lock it.

Follow the ICE procedure

If you go to your friendly chemist you can ask for an ICE container - 'In Case of Emergency'. This is a container in which you put your details of vital information, drugs, next of kin, allergies, etc. The container is put in your fridge and a small sticker is put on your window or front door. The emergency services are on the lookout for the sticker and can then retrieve it quickly. Make copies of all important documents and store them apart from the originals. If you can spare the time get the most important copies certified.

When friends come to stay get the names and telephone or other contact details of their next of kin.


Prepare a Facts (Doomsday) Book. In it record details such as insurance and assurance policies, copies of birth and marriage certificates, details of bank accounts held, premium bonds, details of your UK and Spanish accountants and solicitors, the whereabouts of your UK and Spanish wills.

Master the mobile phone. Your landline may fail at a critical time. Put the emergency services telephone numbers on your mobile phones. Police, Ambulance, etc. Also consider putting in those numbers that you have difficulty in remembering, your NIE number, your car number, and so on, but don't put your credit card numbers on the phone.

Avoid putting any message on your landline or mobile phone that gives information on your whereabouts such as "Sorry we are not at home"

Nowadays accessing the internet is easy, worldwide. When travelling consider putting important information that you may need as an attachment in an e-mail to yourself. Include such details as passport numbers, NIE number, details of who to inform if your credit card is lost or stolen. Also include details of medication information, names of medication and doseage, details of travel insurance policy numbers and emergency contact details.

Think about any numbers you may have to quote in an emergency, your address, doctor, health insurance, SIP number, ambulance, your telephone number, etc. Write the numbers out in large letters on a sheet of paper and underneath write them in Spanish. You may not have your reading glasses handy when you need them. Make sure that you can rapidly and easily access the list. No matter how good your Spanish, it may fail you if you are in a stressful situation.

Out and about

If you or your partner go into hospital, both of you will probably be involved, one as patient and one as carer. Make sure that arrangements are made for someone to look after pets.

If you are caring for someone, consider who will look after them if you are incapacited. Possibly, for them, a short stay residential home may be the answer. Visit and select the most suitable whilst you can.

Organise and keep all medical information in one handy file. The A4 size clear plastic document wallets are ideal. Keep an up to date record of any medication being taken and details of any allergic reactions e.g. sticking plaster and penicillin.

Buy in enough tinned and packet food to last you a week in case you don't feel up to going out shopping.

Ladies, Don't keep your house keys in your handbag.

If you drive and your partner has a valid UK or Spanish licence. Encourage your partner to drive regularly, after ensuring that you are both insured to drive the appropriate vehicle. Mobility may be very important if one of you, (the only driver), becomes incapacitated.

Maintain good relationships with your nearby neighbours, you may well be in need of their assistance or be able to give them assistance in times of need.

When you are travelling remember to split your medication between your carry on luggage and that which you leave in the hold.

Help of Denia, Benitachell Area, Helpofbenitachell@hotmail.com
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