Friday, May 27, 2011

American Red Cross Eases Access to Emergency Comms with single phone number

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2011 – 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 next month.

Beginning June 13 at 8 a.m. EDT, 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," Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, said. "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 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, senior vice president for 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 military personnel 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 also are available.

(c) DoD

[cross-posted from War on Terror News]

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