Emergency Communications Service to the Armed Forces
The American Red Cross is proud to offer its Emergency Communications Service to the Armed Forces using Red Cross Messages. Red Cross Messages provide objective, timely, confidential, factual, complete and verified information about emergency or potential emergency situations involving service members and their immediate family members, which can enable service members and military authorities to make informed decisions. (The American Red Cross defines "emergency" as a sudden, generally unexpected, occurrence of a time-critical and short-term nature that disrupts or threatens to disrupt the norm and that demands immediate action or attention, including death, serious illness, and life-threatening situations, as well as the good news of the birth of a child.)
Who Is Eligible to Initiate a Red Cross Message?
- Active Duty
- DOD Civilians
- Dependents of All the Above
How to Initiate A Red Cross Message
From the Continental United States: Call 1-877-272-7337, the toll-free number for the Service to the Armed Forces Center, which will assist your family in initiating a Red Cross message.
From Okinawa: Call 1-877-272-7337 from any A-class DSN phone line.
Have the following necessary information ready in order to initiate an emergency message:
- Who is the emergency regarding and what is their relationship to the service member (e.g. mother, father, brother, sister, grandparents)?
- What type of emergency (e.g. death, illness, disaster, child-care breakdown, etc.)?
- Where is the location of the emergency?
- When did the emergency occur? Is there a timetable of other events in conjunction with the emergency (such as funeral or other arrangements)?
- Who is the local Point Of Contact, and how can they be reached (e.g. the name, relationship, and telephone number of a relative or friend in the area who knows all the information regarding the emergency)?
- Medical Authority (if applicable) including the doctor's name, hospital name and address, and if possible the telephone number to either the doctor or the hospital.
- Medical Release. If the message regards the release of medical information, please have the family contact the doctor to sign a release form (HIPAA Statement), so when the local Red Cross calls the doctor or the hospital, the needed medical information can be released right away.
Additionally, we will need the service member's current information:
- Sponsor's name
- Social Security number
- Branch Of Service
- Service member's unit or military address, including FPO/APO number (not your PSC Box number).
- If service member is forward deployed, please tell us where and with what unit.
Once the Red Cross Message is received, it will be passed to the unit S-1 (Admin Office) or First Sergeant. We will call by phone to pass to the unit the case number and contents of the Red Cross message. We also request, once you have received your Red Cross message, that you call our office to confirm receipt of the message and whether or not you require any further assistance.
Leave policy is directed by your unit and not by the American Red Cross. The case number is what will be used for your leave orders. The American Red Cross does not ordinarily give out hard copies of the Red Cross message.
DO NOT USE E-MAIL FOR EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS. MAKE DIRECT CONTACT!
Please contact the Kadena Red Cross Office for further assistance.