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Telephone Numbers – The Lost Art of Memory #preppertalk

Before the dawn of mobile phones it was common place to memorize telephone numbers due to repeatedly dialling them over and over again on house and pay phones. Since mobiles and synced phone books we would be hard pushed to get in touch with someone if we lost our precious phone.

A few years back I broke down and was stranded by the roadside. My phone battery had very little charge in it after a day of coordinating the collection of a vehicle and towing it home over a considerable distance. Luckily I had my back up phone. An old candy bar style phone chucked in my bag for just such an emergency. A practice I still maintain and recommend to this day. My oversight however was not having access to people’s telephone numbers. The back up phone wasn’t modern enough to sync with my Google account of contacts and I hadn’t bothered to sit and input them all in manually – nor do I think you should. Luckily I was able to power my main phone for long enough to write down a few key numbers. To cut a long story short we eventually were rescued and towed home.

A few days later I was pondering the events of that day and I realised how stuck I would have been if there hadn’t been some remaining charge in my main phone. Worse yet, what if I had smashed it? I decided to see what I could do – ideally a low tech solution to the problem. First of all I logged into Google and exported my contacts to a CSV file. Once downloaded I opened it in Excel and I created a single side of A4 with all my contacts on in columns and their associated numbers. All that was left was to print it and fold it carefully in my wallet.

I would highly recommend anyone with a mobile phone follow a similar practice whether it be using Google Contacts, Apple’s equivalent or downloading an App to export your contacts to CSV.

Another option would be to keep your contacts inside a waterproof housing in your EDC kit. Along with photocopies of IDs you would be far better able to deal with a situation if your phone and wallet were stolen, lost or separated from you. You could even roll up the paper around the batteries inside your EDC torch for safe keeping (ensuring the ends are free to complete the electrical circuit).

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