I have a friend who some people call a Snow Bird. She is retired and every year as winter draws near, she leaves Michigan to spend the winter in Florida. She is back in Michigan for good now and the other day when visiting her; I noticed a red envelope on her refrigerator. The label read File of Life. She explained that all the retirees in Florida had them. The Fire Department distributed them. The envelope contained vital information, i.e., medications, emergency contacts, etc. “It came in real handy when I had my stroke,” she said. Since my 92-year-old mother lives with me, this was of interest. I had often wondered what would happen if something happened to my mother while I was out and one of the neighbors or my children were checking on her, or if something happened when I was home and became incapacitated. This seemed like just the thing to have on my refrigerator too. However, when I called our local Fire Department they said they did not have anything like that and because of budget cuts, it was unlikely in the near future. I decided to make one of my own and share it with you. Even if you do not have an elderly parent living with you, you should have this vital information readily available in an emergency.

There are two ways to make the pocket. I will show how to use your scraps first then I will show you the quick way. There is a place at the end of this tutorial where you can download the form to fill out and put in your pocket. You will need one piece of 5” x 6” fabric for the front and one for the back and a piece of batting the same size.

I just sandwiched the pieces together and stitched in straight lines, but you could meander or do whatever you like.

After that, I cut a piece of plastic 4” x 6” and stitched it to the front of the sandwich, to make a pocket. I used the heavier plastic. At this point, you could attach a binding but I did not think it necessary, and, I did not want to add weight to the pocket and make it too heavy for the magnet I had to use.

Once this is finished I cut out the letters I C E for In Case of Emergency and attached them to the top above the plastic pocket. You could use a different title if you like, perhaps something similar to what they did in Florida. However, when I talked to our local Fire Chief he thought ICE would work best because it is the same thing that he is telling people to put into their cell phones for who to contact in case of an emergency.

I then attached a magnet to the back. Depending on the type of magnet you get, you may have to make a pocket or stitch it in place. I used the kind with a sticky back and have not had any problem.

There is other way you can make your pocket. This is a much easier way but I wanted to show the scrap method in case you could not find this product. You can purchase a product called Pro Tuff. It is a heavy-duty pack cloth and feels much like plastic. Do not use your iron on it. Cut one piece 5” X 6”.

Cut a piece of clear plastic 4” X 6” and sew it to the front of your Pro Tuff plastic. Then I used a sticky back felt to cut out the ICE letters and place on the top of the back. I’m not crazy about the felt, but since I could not use an iron, I figured this would have to do. After that, I placed the magnet on the back.

Now you can download the form here , courtesy the State of Connecticut. There are two versions available. Fill it out, fold it up and place it inside your pocket. Make several and give them to your family, your neighbors, and your friends. PS: I do not recommend that you put your social security number or your Medicare card number on this form.

Until next time,
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