Emergency Options: Be Prepared!

If you find yourself in an emergency situation while in the military, there are a number of organizations available to assist you. 

The Red Cross: The Red Cross works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help assist military families in the case of an emergency.  The Red Cross will help deliver notification of an emergency, such as the death or serious illness of an immediate family member, or birth of a child or whether a spouse is in labor.  Red Cross verified information assists the service member and his or her commanding officers with making a decision regarding emergency leave.

When I was pregnant with our daughter, for example, my husband was often out in the field, unreachable by mobile phone.  I kept a list of pertinent numbers, including the Red Cross, which would help me reach him if I ended up going into early labor.

All military members and their families can use this single number to initiate an emergency communication, regardless of where they live.  Contact the Red Cross Emergency Communications Center 24/7 by calling:

 (877) 272-7337

Be prepared to provide the following information about the service member you are trying to reach.


  • Full legal name
  • Rank/rating
  • Branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard)
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Military unit address
  • Information about the deployed unit and home base unit (for deployed service members only)

Relief Society: There are a number of reliefs societies associated with various branches of the military: they can help you with everything from financial assistance, to helping provide if something is to happen, like a fire, to your home. 

Navy-Marine Corps Relief: The purpose of the NMCRS is to provide assistance with basic living expenses such as utilities, food, assistance with emergency transportation, disaster relief, medical bills, emergency car repair, pay problems, and other emergency needs. This assistance is provided with loans or grants, depending on financial need.  The NMCRS also provides scholarships and educational financial assistance.  In some areas, the NMCRS has available nurses that will visit new mothers and check in and answer questions on basic infant care.  For more information, visit:  http://www.nmcrs.org/

Army Emergency Relief: The AER is a private non-profit organization dedicated to supporting soliders and their families.  The Army Emergency relief offers financial assistance,  emergency financial assistance, loans and scholarships. The AER also works with reliefs societies from other branches.  For more information, visit: http://www.aerhq.org/dnn563/AboutUs.aspx

Air Force Aid Society: Similar to the NMCRS and the AER, the Air Force Aid Society, or AFAS can assist with emergency travel, vehicle expenses, funeral expenses, child care, moving expensies, as well as provide emergency based loans and standard loans.  For more information, visit: http://www.afas.org/

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance: The CGMA operates as the above societies.  They offer disaster response, educational programs, free financial counseling, and emergency interet-free loans.  For more information, visit: http://www.cgmahq.

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