Military Families Can Now Send Emergency Messages Online

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American Red Cross Introduces Hero Care Network

The Red Cross has an unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families.  Always has, ever since founder Clara Barton began to recruit nurses to support Army soldiers.  And now, more than 130 years later, a new digital tool has been developed to give military families the ability to get an emergency message to loved ones immediately from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

The Hero Care Network provides a new online option for emergency communication among military families, as well as the toll free Red Cross Emergency number at 877-272-7337.

“Close to 1,200 military families from Northeast Ohio reached out to the Red Cross for emergency assistance last year, and more than 900 needed to make an emergency contact with a loved one in uniform,” according to Jessica Tischler, Director of Service to Armed Forces for Northeast Ohio.  “Our military families are among the 110,000 families nationwide, some 300 every day, who rely on the Red Cross during their time of need.” Any member of any branch of the military on active duty is eligible to receive an emergency communication message from family members through the Red Cross Hero Care Network.  This includes activated members of the Guard and Reserve of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, along with civilians employed by or under contract to the Department of Defense and stationed outside of the continental United States, and any family member residing with them.  A Cadet or midshipman at a service academy, an ROTC cadet on orders for training and Merchant Marines aboard U.S. Naval ships are also eligible for emergency communications assistance through the Red Cross.

The new online tool, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at redcross.org/HeroCareNetwork is a secure way for family members of the men and women who serve our country to notify their loved ones about the birth of a child or grandchild, a serious illness, or the death of an immediate family member.  The Red Cross has taken multiple steps to ensure the safety and security of all personal information.

While many military families are in constant contact through email and text messaging, information verified by the Red Cross assists service men and women and their commanding officers when it comes to making a decision regarding emergency leave. And with the new online tool, users who initiate an emergency message can monitor the status of their message as it goes through the verification and delivery process.

“It’s important to remember that people can always speak to a Red Cross worker at any time during the process,” according to Koby J. Langley, Senior Vice President of Service to Armed Forces for the American Red Cross. “regardless of how families initiate an emergency message, military members can depend on the Red Cross to relay urgent messages to service members serving anywhere in the world.”

For more information about Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, contact Jessica Tischler at Jessica.tischler@redcross.org, or visit redcross.org/military.

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