Set up your iPhone to easily message your friends or family if you’re in trouble

With the Apple Watch’s new Fall Detection capability, you can quickly see how technology can update the old “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” concept.

Or maybe it’s not a fall, it’s a heart attack or low blood sugar from your diabetes, or a kidnapping, or a hostage situation or a sexual assault. The Watch can’t detect any of those situations, but you need to easily and quickly communicate to someone that you’re in danger, your location, and you need help.

Vivian put together a wonderful Apple Shortcut that puts you in control with a simple phrase, “Hey Siri, Mayday!” But Apple Shortcuts aren’t super intuitive especially if you’re not the tech savviest. I was going to call my parents and walk them through setting this up on their iPhone, but instead here are the step-by-step instructions to set this up. Please send this to all your friends and family.

Step 1: Ensure you’ve updated your iPhone to at least iOS 12.

Step 2: Download Apple Shortcuts.

Step 3: Download Vivian’s shortcut here which will add this shortcut to the Shortcuts App

Step 4: Click on the Mayday shortcut

Step 5: In the “Get Current Location” of the shortcut, allow Shortcuts access to your location

Step 6: In the “Send Message” section of the shortcut, allow Shortcuts access to your contacts.

Step 7: Think of the people you want to send a message to if you’re in trouble. Enter their mobile phone number in the “Recipients” section of the “Send Message” section. If you want to send this message to more than one person, enter another mobile phone number in the recipient section.

Step 8: Create the Siri Phrase by clicking on the shortcut’s settings (the thing circled in red below). You can make this whatever, but “Mayday” is quick and easy to remember.

Step 9: Contact the person you’d like to send the message to if you’re ever in need and let them know you’re going to send a message to them but it’s only a test.

Step 10: After they approve, say “Hey Siri, Mayday.” This will take you to the Shortcuts app where you have to approve running this shortcut for the first time (because this shortcut was downloaded from the internet). Say ok. Then, the shortcut will run and the message will be sent.

Step 11: Test it again. Say “Hey Siri, Mayday” and now the shortcut will run automatically.

That’s it. Now, if you’re ever in a situation where this would be helpful, it’s all set up and ready to go. Thank you Vivian for creating this. Now share this as broadly as you can.