The American Red Cross keep military personnel in touch with their families following the death or serious illness of a family member or other important events, such as the birth of a child. The Red Cross quickly sends these emergency communication messages on behalf of the family to members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and isolated military units. The information or verification in a message assists the service member’s commanding officer with making a decision regarding emergency leave.
How to Contact the Red Cross to Send an Emergency Communication Message
• Immediate family of active duty service members may call the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Centers for help 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The toll-free telephone number is 1-877-272-7337.
• Other family members who do not reside in the service members’ household, members of the National Guard and Reserves, retirees and civilians may access Red Cross services through their local Red Cross chapter, which is listed in local telephone books and at http://www.redcross.org/where/where.html
• Overseas personnel stationed on military installations should call base or installation operators or the on-base Red Cross offices.
• At overseas deployment sites, contact the American Red Cross deployed staff.
When calling the Red Cross to send an emergency communication message to a family member, it is helpful to have the following information:
The Service Member’s:
• Full Name
• Branch of Service
• Social Security Number
• Military Address
• Information about the deployed unit and the home base unit (for deployed service members only)