While many military families try to prepare the best they can for a deployment, it‘s nearly impossible to know everything that might happen. Between “Murphy’s Law” and any major life changes that might come up, it’s easy to worry about how to be proactive in preparing for a deployment.
This unique article will give you plenty of tips on how to prepare for those crazy, last-minute, major life changes that military life can bring. Use the checklist below to make sure you are ready and prepared during that next deployment.
1. Financial Hardships
Sure, your spouse may be getting paid extra during a deployment, but that doesn’t mean that financial hardships won’t come up. During my husband’s first deployment, I got locked out of our joint bank account. Never in a million years did I think that would happen and I was definitely not prepared!
- Who will be in charge of the finances?
- Is there a budget in place?
- How will you make it work?
- What bills (mortgage/rent, car tags, insurance, etc.) will need to be paid and how will they be paid?
- Are you saving for something special? (post-deployment vacation, Christmas presents for the kids, etc.)
- What should you do during an emergency financial situation?
- Should you take out a loan or borrow money from a friend or family member?
- Are there any insurance policies you should put in place now in case of emergency?
2. Travel & Moving
- Where will your family reside during deployment?
- Will you be traveling?
- Will you be staying with family for an extended period of time?
- Will you be staying home the entire deployment?
- Will someone be coming to stay with you and your family? For how long?
- What will you do with pets while traveling?
- Will you be PCSing or putting household items in storage?
- Will you be moving or PCSing before, during, or after deployment?
- Do you have valuable item insurance?
- Will you be putting your household goods in storage?
- How long will your items be in storage?
- What time of the year will your items be in storage?
- Will you be selling your house or renting it out?
Emergencies do happen, but how can you prepare for them? The key is thinking about what could happen depending on what state you live in, your living situation, and more. Here are just a few emergency scenarios you should discuss with your spouse before they leave on deployment:
- What should you do if there is an emergency situation?
- Break-in or unexpected home damage
- Injury or death of a family member
- Car accident
- Who should be contacted if there is an emergency?
- Have a list of family members and friends you can contact should there be an emergency. Is there someone you could stay with both in your city and out-of-state?
- Have a list of phone numbers for doctors, your insurance company, and local emergency services (e.g., poison control)
- What if there is a natural disaster (flood, fire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake)?
- Do you know what to do should a natural disaster happen?
- Do you have the proper insurance coverage should a natural disaster happen?
- What if you or your teen is in a car accident or the car breaks down?
- Do you know your auto insurance policy?
- Do you know who you would call?
- Do you have emergency road services through your insurance?
- Do you have an emergency plan or medical information in the car?
- Where should the car be towed to?
- Does your auto insurance cover car rentals?
The list above is just a few of the major life changes that can happen during a deployment. Overwhelmed by this list? Don’t be! Make an emergency plan now before your spouse leaves. Create an emergency binder or folder and have your emergency contacts, doctor phone numbers, and insurance contracts ready to go.