Red Cross adds online tool to assist military families

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American Red Cross of Southern Missouri, Sept. 29, 2015Service to Armed Forces (SAF) has launched a new client self-service tool for military families to give them more flexibility and expanded access to help during times of crisis at redcross.org/HeroCareNetwork. This new and secure online option is easy to use and allows military families to access Red Cross SAF emergency communications services from computers, tablets or smartphones. And just like the toll free number (877-272-7337), the online option is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the world.

Red Cross-verified information will continue to assist service members and their commanding officers with making a decision regarding emergency leave. The knowledge that military families can reach loved ones and have access to financial and other types of assistance during an emergency brings peace of mind to families who are separated.

People eligible to receive an emergency communication message include:
* Anyone on active duty in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard
* An activated member of the Guard and Reserve of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces
* An immediate family member or dependent of anyone in the above categories
* A civilian employed by or under contract to the Department of Defense and stationed outside the Continental United States and any family residing with them at that location
* A Cadet or midshipman at a service academy; ROTC cadet on orders for training
* A Merchant Marine aboard a U.S. Naval Ship

When calling the Red Cross for emergency help, be prepared to provide as much information about the service member as is known:
* 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)

If someone would like to support the Red Cross mission and help those in need, they can visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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