Originally published September 12, 2014. Updated June 14, 2020.
We all want to know that our family will be okay in the event of an emergency. While we can’t control every variable, we can make sure our families are as prepared for an emergency as possible. This free 7-page printable Personal Emergency Contact Checklist will make sure that should a sudden emergency arise, the right people are contacted quickly and your family is taken care of.
I designed this checklist for use as a Military Family Emergency Contact Checklist. It works ideally for any family, because we all want the same thing – to take care of our family.
Military Family Emergency Contact Checklist
Every anniversary of 9/11, I review our emergency plans and preparations. As a veteran and military wife, I’ve experienced too many situations of no-notice deployments and emergencies when my husband was deployed (and we’ve experienced fewer of both than most military families).
There have been times when I barely knew our neighbors and had no family nearby. I worried about what would happen to my children if something happened to me.
Because being organized helps me sleep better at night, I created our Personal Emergency Contact Checklist. Each time we move, I fill it out and give it to a neighbor or friend so that they’ll know who to contact in case of an emergency.
For military families, moving to a new location without any family nearby is a common occurrence.
Moving is a stressful process in and of itself. But, moving somewhere where you hardly know anybody has the added stress of worrying about what will happen to your family in the event of a sudden emergency. Filling out this Military Family Emergency Contact List and giving it to a neighbor can help relieve some of that stress.
You can have some peace of mind knowing that in an emergency someone has the information to contact the right people and take care of your family until the emergency contact can arrive.
How to Get a Red Cross Message to a Soldier or Military Member
For a military member to return from a deployment or TDY (temporary duty), they will have to have a Red Cross message to verify the legitimacy of the emergency.
You can contact the Red Cross through one of five ways:
- By phone – 1-877-272-7337
- Online – https://www.redcross.org/get-help/military-families/emergency-communication.html
- Download the free app – Hero Care App
- Text GETHEROCARE to 90999
- Contact the first sergeant, commander or unit emergency contact. They will help you with the Red Cross process.
For the Red Cross to be able to assist you, you will need the following information:
- Full legal name of the military member
- The military member’s rank
- The member’s Branch of Service
- The member’s Social Security Number or Date of Birth
- The Member’s Military Unit Address
- If the member is deployed, you need both the home unit and the deployed unit information
- The name and contact of the immediate family member with the emergency
- The type of emergency
- Where to contact to independently verify the emergency, such as a hospital, funeral home, etc.
Personal Emergency Contact Checklist
Another way you can make moving to a new location as a military family less stressful is to make the transition as easy for your kids as possible. These Tips to Make Military Move-in Day Easier for Kids will make moving less stressful for your kids–which will make it that much easier for you.
You can personalize this Military Family Emergency Contact List for your own family and situation. It’s great for military families and also for anyone who wants to prepare, just in case.
Hopefully, there will never be a situation in which you need this checklist. But should an emergency arise, it’s always better to be prepared and have made a plan beforehand.
Taking just a few minutes to fill out this checklist and give it to a neighbor or friend will make sure your family is prepared in case of an emergency.
How to Get Your Copy of the Emergency Contact Checklist
You can download your own copy of the Personal Emergency Contact Checklist so that you can complete it with your personal information.
- Click on the link above. Right click on the pdf when it opens.
- You can then either
- Print it directly from there
- Or save it to your computer and then print it
- Print it on regular computer paper or heavier card stock paper that will hold up better to use.
How I Use the Checklist
The checklist contains 6 information sheets:
- Emergency Contact List – Key family member & Red Cross contact information
- Deployment or Separation List – Contact details for the military unit
- Family Contact List – Contact details for extended family members
- Local Friends Contact List – Contact details for your local friends
- Special Instructions – Allergies and other special instructions
- Additional Instructions
I fill in the emergency contact information for my husband when he deploys so that my local friends will know how to easily get a hold of the appropriate contacts and will have the exact information needed to reach my husband. I also explain how to contact each person and why.
My non-military friends are often not familiar with the specifics of the situation for a military family, so it’s important to provide them with detailed instructions.
I fill out the second page of the Military Family Emergency Contact List with the names and contact information for my parents and my in-laws.
Our parents have rarely lived near where we’re stationed. It would take a day or two for them to be able to coordinate transportation to come to help me or my children in an emergency. The sooner my neighbor can contact them, rather than wait for my husband’s unit to do it, the better for my family.
If the military contacts them more quickly, that’s fine, then my neighbor can provide additional information to our parents.
I also list down any information that my neighbor might need to take over my family’s care while waiting for our parents to arrive, since it may take a few days for them to travel.
I’ve also included a couple of sheets for special instructions, like allergies or special care, so that you can tailor to meet your own family’s needs.
I hope that none of us will ever have a need for this Personal Emergency Contact Checklist, but I fill a new one out each time we move, just in case we ever need it. I encourage you to do the same. What do you do to prepare for an emergency?
Be safe. Be vigilant. Be kind.
Be sure to pin for later so you can find this checklist whenever you need it for your family or to share.