Wendy Poling
Frequent Contributor

The summer is peak season for military moves and combined with the start of the school year, we can find ourselves needing to put down an emergency contact on school forms. You might also find yourself with a new job that will require an emergency contact on your new hire paperwork. The trouble is how do we know whom to list when we just moved to our new location!?


Today we are talking with Navy wife, and Ombudsman, Tori, about emergency contacts:


Wendy: How do we determine whom the best person is to list as our Emergency Contact?


Tori: A lot of times we are alone in places where we have not lived long enough to make friends. If your spouse is gone to sea, the field, or some type of school, there maybe no one to realize that you are not okay. I always recommend having a contact that is local and also one that isn't (like your mom/dad, sibling, friend). Even if you haven't been somewhere long there are still people that you can place as an emergency contact, like your Ombudsman (Key Spouse, Family Readiness Officer), FRG leadership, or neighbor. Most people that live in the military community realize the importance of the emergency contact especially when you have just moved somewhere. It is however important to let the person know that you are listing them as your emergency contact.


Wendy: How about if you are pregnant? Should you automatically list your Ombudsman? Also, what if I'm waiting on a friend or family member to arrive from out of town and feel like I don't have anyone else to call?


Tori: If you are pregnant and go into labor, there should be someone to call, someone that is aware of your situation and it is not just thrust upon them. Having an emergency contact in another state is okay, but not exactly what you need in this situation. We all know babies don't wait for people to make it here. Get out and get involved in your FRG, community, church, etc. This is how you find the people you can trust to be a reliable point of contact. Especially if you have other children, someone is going to need to watch them and you need someone you can trust and that your child knows!


Wendy: What else is important to know when choosing an emergency contact?


Tori: The most important thing is to get out make friends; more then likely there are people that are also looking for an emergency contact. While your ombudsman and FRG are great resources and can be used as emergency contacts, keep in mind that they are also dealing with all the other families at your command. The odds of two or more families having a crisis at the same are pretty good! They are good people to place as temporary emergency contacts until you can get out meet people!


Thanks Tori for all of your great advice!


What is your advice for finding an emergency contact when you first arrive at a duty station?


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