Sending a Red Cross emergency message is about to get a hundred times easier with the introduction of a single, toll free message number June 13, the nonprofit announced last week.
In the past families living off base needing to send an emergency message had to hunt down contact info for their local Red Cross chapter and request a message through them – a process that could be very frustrating. Let’s be honest - no one wants to chase local contacts when dealing with something that warrants an emergency message. There are just better things to think about.
Now, the introduction of a single number for use by everyone, everywhere will allow military families across the country to easily file away the contact and never update it again no matter where they get stationed. Glory be!
Red Cross emergency messages are used by military families to get a message to a deployed servicemember under specific circumstances, such as the serious illness or death of a direct family member or the birth of a child. They can also be used to get stateside servicemembers emergency leave.
As someone who has been in the scrambling-for-Red-Cross-emergency-know-how position before, I cannot emphasize enough how much easier a single contact will make this process. My husband’s mother was in a very serious car accident in Ohio over our Christmas leave several years ago. Although we were based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, we were spending the holiday in Boise, Idaho. We needed to get an emergency message sent to our unit so that my husband could extend his leave and fly to be with his mother. But on Christmas Eve, which of the three Red Cross locations do you call – Idaho, Washington or Ohio? And how do you find a number for one with someone who will answer the phone on a holiday?
A universal contact is the perfect solution to such quandaries. It will also help units get families ready for deployment because it provides a clear, one option path in emergencies, instead of creating a confusing problem.
The number is: 877-272-7337. Write it down and put it somewhere safe, spouses!