Red Cross eases access to emergency communication services

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As part of an ongoing effort to better serve the military community, the American Red Cross will move to a single telephone number for its emergency communication services in June.

Beginning June 13, service members and their families can use one toll-free number, 877-272-7337, to send an urgent message to a service member.

"The Red Cross has always been there for us," said Robert L. Gordon III, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy. "It's critically important to our men and women serving away from home that their families know whom to call in the event of an emergency. The Red Cross is now making it even easier to make that call."

In the past, military families living outside an installation needed to remember the phone number for their local Red Cross chapters for emergency communications, while those living on a military installation used the 877-272-7337 number. Now, military members and their families can use this single number to initiate an emergency communication, regardless of where they live.

For those people stationed overseas, the three options for calling will remain the same: calling 877-272-7337 direct, accessing the number through a military operator or calling their local Red Cross station.

"An emergency situation can be a very stressful time for a military family, and having just one common telephone number to remember can make a difficult situation a little easier," said Sherri Brown, the senior vice president of Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces. "U.S. military personnel and their families can remain confident that the Red Cross will be there to keep them connected when there is a crisis at home."

Through this number, Red Cross emergency communications services can put service members in touch with their families following the death or serious illness of an immediate family member, the birth of a service member's child or grandchild, or when a family faces other emergencies. Additional Red Cross services, such as case management and emergency financial assistance, are also available.

(Courtesy of the American Red Cross.)