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Reserve Families Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I do to prepare my family for an emergency before leaving for active duty?
A: There are a number of things that should be done:

  • Prior to departing, make sure your spouse and additional family members have the gaining command's complete and official mailing address, your Social Security Number and the Navy Ombudsman or Marine Corps key volunteer telephone number.
  • If you haven't done so already, find out about the services that are available to your family through the Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society and Fleet and Family Support Centers. Also look into the services provided by the American Red Cross in case of an emergency that involves you or a family member.
  • Before deployment, make sure that you and key family members know the location of important documents such as wills, marriage and birth certificates, and insurance policies. Verify DEERS enrollment so family members can receive needed medical care in the absence of the service member. Call 1-800-538-9552 to confirm enrollment.
  • Check all of the pages of your service record to make sure the information is correct. An incorrect address or phone number can delay quick response in an emergency.
  • Make sure that the correct beneficiary is listed on your Serviceman Group Life Insurance (SGLI).
  • Visit the base legal office to have a will drawn up for yourself (and your spouse). This may seem like a particularly difficult thing to do, but you will want to take control instead of letting the courts decide for you.
  • Decide whether or not you need a power of attorney. This is a legal designation by an individual for a person to execute certain duties on behalf of the service member in his/her absence. Some parents like to have a special medical power of attorney drafted for a neighbor, grandparents and/or child care providers. For example, these individuals would be authorized to take action in the event of an emergency should the parents be unavailable.

Q: Whom should I contact if an emergency comes up while a service member is away?
A: You should contact your local American Red Cross, which has Emergency Communication Services. Check you telephone directory for the Red Cross branch nearest you. You can also find that information online at
Red Cross. When calling the Red Cross to send an emergency message to a family member, please have the following information ready:

  • Service Member's Full Name
  • Rank/Rating
  • Branch of Service
  • Social Security Number
  • Military Address Where Deployed
  • Naval Reserve Unit

For more information about Red Cross Emergency Services, go online to Red Cross services or call the information hotline 1-866-GET-INFO (1-866-438-4636)

Q: Where can I learn more about medical and dental coverage for mobilized reservists?
A: The best source for up to date information is the Internet.

For more information on TRICARE benefits, visit the program's Web site at TRICARE. Information on the TRICARE Dental Program can be found at the TRICARE Web site.

Q: Can a service member who goes on active duty get out of a lease or rental agreement?
A: Yes, if the lease covers property used for dwelling, professional, business, agricultural or similar purposes if:

The lease/rental agreement was signed by or on behalf of the service member before he/she entered active duty; and The service member or his or her dependents have occupied the leased premises for the above purposes.

Q: How do I go about terminating the lease?
A: You must deliver written notice to the landlord after entry on active duty or receipt of orders for active duty. Oral notice is not sufficient.


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