The scouts' motto "Be Prepared" is a good one to live by. How many of us have a list of emergency contacts ready to dial on our programmable phones?
* Who would you call if you can't drive and needed a ride during the workday or at night
* Do you have a backup if the primary contact is unavailable?
* Do you have some place to evacuate to in case of an emergency?
* Have you made a pact with someone to stay with you post-operation for a week?
The key to having contacts who are less likely to fail you in an emergency is to be specific about it. In other words, make sure that the person is fully aware that he or she is your emergency contact and willing and able to deliver.
It is often a mistake to simply assume that someone will be there for you just because they are family or you had done great by them. It may be revealing and sometimes hurtful to find out that you are mistaken. It is however far better and a lot less stressful to find out prior to an emergency.