Which Numbers Should Be On Your Emergency Contacts List?

Which Numbers Should Be On Your Emergency Contacts List?

When we wrote up how you can cancel telephone directory deliveries recently, one reader pointed out that print directories can be useful if there’s a power outage. Aside from your electricity company, what numbers do you need to hand at all times?

Picture by yewenyi

While everyone’s first instinct will be to head to their mobile phone, that won’t always be an option either. Preparing an emergency list of contacts and printing it out could prove handy if there is fire, flood, power outage or other general mayhem (and you can add those to your phone contacts as well). Here’s the obvious ones that should be included:

  • Electricity company
  • Water company
  • Gas company (if you have gas)
  • Telephone company
  • Insurance company
  • Body corporate emergency contact (for apartment and unit dwellers)
  • State emergency service
  • Locksmith
  • Glass replacement
  • Roadside service (e.g. RACV, NRMA)

Which other numbers should be on this list? Share your ideas in the comments.


  • Your Doctor & Dentist (including after hours numbers)
    Your Lawyer (you never know when you get arrested)
    Closest after-hours Pharmacy
    Local Police Station
    Your Plumber
    Taxi Services

    • These numbers are good to have on your fridge or somewhere handy. Best also to print them in large print.

      There are many times when people cannot get access to the phone or internet or other directory service.
      – Babysitter alone in your house
      – Guest visiting your house
      – Your grandmother who does not use the internet
      – Your young kids who don’t know how to use the internet
      – Your computer has a password so others cannot access the internet

      These emergency numbers are not just for you but for other people in your household and visiting guests.

      But there are always people who think that they will be able to do anything when something unexpected happens.

      As the Scout Motto says, “Be Prepared”.

  • If there’s a power outage *and* my mobile coverage is down, I won’t be able to call anyway, unless I go to a neighbour’s house. My landline is VOIP.

    If I can’t the directory up on my mobile, I can look it up on my Kindle, which gets its coverage through a different mobile network.

    But as long as I know 000, nothing else is so urgent that it can’t wait if it has to. Maybe SES – but in any circumstance in which I need the SES, it’s likely that others will too, and unlikely that I (as a fit, youngish person with no kids) should be their first priority.

  • Something I once read which has stuck with me and which I pass on to others at every opportunity. . .

    On your mobile phone have your emergency contacts listed as ‘ice’.
    ice Sonia
    ice Home
    ice parents

    ice = incase of emergency.

    Emergency service people are aware of it and, after youve wiped yourself out in a car crash or something, an ambilance officer can look through your mobile and find the ‘ice’ contacts and call them. Otherwise they dont know who to call.

    Do it! Pass it on! Help yourself and the emergency response people!

  • 000 is only for emergencies. If you are ringing cause you see someone vandalizing a vacant building its better to ring police assistance.

    I had my first 000 call calling above in and they sounded annoyed at me. Cops turned up a hour latter. Next time it happened rang police assistance had them there in 5 minutes. Been consistently quick time via police assistance. Good work Perth Central Police Station.

  • If you are in Victoria:
    Nurse-on-call 1300 60 60 24: Great if you have sick kids and not sure if that rash is menangitis – or something not worth waiting 6 hrs at your local ED for. Have used it @0230am- it’s great.

    Police assistance line Australia wide 131444 (automatically calls local poilice): for non-life-threatening issues, eg house broken into, or reporting minor crash for insurance purposes.

  • I know this is old now, but I think it’s worth having the paper list.
    Yes, most people can easily look up a number with the internet. But emergencies make us flustered and panicky. Maybe you’re not sure exactly which service to look up. Maybe your hands are shaking and you can’t use your phone properly. Maybe you have no idea who can help or even where to start. A hard copy list up somewhere eliminates these problems, plus saves valuable time searching for the number. I don’t have one at home, but I will once I have children. I’m making on up for our office now.

Log in to comment on this story!