Family members can use the Red Cross emergency communication system to notify service members of an emergency or other important event. Red Cross messages are delivered 24x7x365 to military personnel at any duty station.  American Red Cross communication services 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 sends messages quickly, anywhere in the world, including ships at sea, embassies and to isolated military units.  The information or verification in a message assists the service member's commanding officer in making a decision regarding emergency leave.

Red Cross for Emergency Communications Services:
  • Active duty service members stationed in the United States and their immediate family members can call the Red Cross Emergency Communication Services Centers for help seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The toll-free telephone number is (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. Red Cross chapters are listed in local telephone books and on the American Red Cross Web site at
  • 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 message to a family member, please have ready the following information which will speed the process of sending your message:

  • Service Member's Full Name
  • Rank/Rating
  • Branch of Service
  • Social Security Number
  • Military Address
  • Information about the deployed unit and the home base unit (for deployed service members only)
Other Red Cross services of interest to military personnel

Emergency Financial Assistance

Information & Referral Services

Services for Veterans

Deployment Services

How you can help

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