VIAL OF LIFE
Vial of Life is an emergency preparedness program sponsored by Iron County Emergency Management as part of its mission to make Iron County both disaster resistant and resilient through community member involvement. The purpose of the Vial of Life program is to encourage residents – particularly those who are homebound or living alone – to compile personal medical information and place it where it can be easily located by first responders in the event of an emergency.
The most important component of the program is the Information Sheet which includes personal medications, allergies, medical history and other pertinent information on each individual who lives in a home. The completed Information Sheet(s) is folded, rolled and then placed in the Vial of Life container provided for this purpose.
Once completed, the container is placed in a visible location – preferably on a shelf in the door of the refrigerator – where first responders can easily locate it to access your information. The program also includes a magnet to place on the outer door of your refrigerator where it can be seen by first responders. The magnet acts as a beacon to important and possibly lifesaving information!
- What does it cost to participate? The program is free! What it “costs” is a few minutes of your time to complete the form.
- How often do I need to update the form? The form – or Information Sheet – should be updated at least annually and every time you have a change or addition to your medications or other pertinent information.
- What if I move? Take the vial and magnet with you! When establishing your new residency, update the Information Sheet, put the magnet on the refrigerator door, put the vial in the fridge and you’re done!
- Can I put more than one person on the form? NO! Use a vial for each individual in the home who has a medication list and medical history and may need emergency medical help. The vial and form are usually for senior members of our community, but it can be also used for special needs children. If you have more than one vial in the refrigerator, write the first name of the individual in bold letters on the outside label of the vial.
- Does it have to be in the refrigerator? No, but that’s where it’s recommended. If you elect to place it in a kitchen cabinet, DO NOT put the magnet on the refrigerator door. Attach the magnet it to the kitchen cabinet door where the vial is stored. The idea is to have the Vial of Life easily accessible to first responders.
Obtain your FREE Vial of Life kit which includes instructions, the Information Sheet,, magnet and vial from Iron County Emergency Management, 581 N. Main Street, Cedar City.
After receiving your kit, fill out the Information Sheet for each individual in the household for whom you received a kit. Fold and roll the Information Sheet, place it in the vial and put the vial in the refrigerator. Don’t forget to place the magnet in a conspicuous place on the fridge door! Done!
Remember to update your Information Sheet as needed. We suggest marking it on your calendar… put it in October when you change your smoke detector batteries and get it all done at the same time!
You can make copies of the form to place in your automobile or purse or “man bag” as it may be taken to the hospital with you.
Extra copies are available from the Division of Emergency Management at the office located in the Visitors Center in Cedar City or on the County’s web site: https://www.ironcounty.net/department/emergency-management
Information Sheet Completion Tips
Personal Information: Complete as thoroughly as possible. If more space is needed for emergency contact information, place an asterisk (*) in the section to refer the reader to the back of the form.
Medical History: Check off any and all medical conditions that apply to you. If you are not sure what a term means, take the form to your physician on your next visit and have him or her help you complete that section of the form. If you need to provide specific information about a medical condition, place an asterisk (*) in this section and either place the information on the back of the form or add an additional sheet with the information attached.
Medications Taken: List all prescription and non-prescription or OTC (Over the Counter) medications taken. As an alternative to handwriting this section, call your pharmacist or physician for a printout of current medications and attach the printout to the Information Sheet. Remember to update the Information Sheet anytime you add a medication, change a dose or stop taking a medication. (Hey, don’t stop taking a medication unless directed by your Doc! That’s not smart!!)
Please download the blank form to print and fill out here: Information Sheet
Other Emergency Information / Instructions:
- Develop an individual or family preparedness plan.
- Perform a fire and safety inspection of your home.
- Maintain fire extinguishers and smoke detectors…. And know how to use them!
- Develop and perform emergency exit drills with all members of your family.
- Learn basic first aid skills and how to perform CPR.
- Store emergency supplies including medications for at least 4 days
- Call the Division of Emergency Management for any questions or help concerning emergency preparedness and how you can become more resilient!
VIAL OF LIFE
- Clearly and carefully fill out the information sheet. You may write on the back, if necessary, and you can make more copies if needed for you or someone else.
- Fold the information sheet and place it in the plastic vial provided. Place the lid on the vial.
- Place the vial with the information sheet in your refrigerator.
- Place the magnetic sticker on the outside of the refrigerator in a place where it can be easily seen.
- Update the information as needed and at least annually.
- When the information is needed by emergency personnel, they may take it with you to the hospital and make copies for their records. Be sure that the original is returned to you.