At Garden of The Gods Storage in Colorado Springs, we run into military personnel monthly who are looking to put items into storage because they are getting ready for deployment oversees.
Talking with our happy customers, we have gotten quite a few tips from many of our military veterans and those leaving for deployment, so we’d thought we would share just a few…
How to Prepare for a Military Deployment
A military family knows that any active duty member may be asked to deploy at least a few times in their career. These trips can last anywhere from a few weeks up to a year. The short trips will require less planning but the longer trips, especially if you have a family, can take weeks of planning ahead of time.
Regardless of your specialty, being deployed is part of the military lifestyle. And, it is not just the service member that has to prepare for deployment. The spouse of a service member will have just as much planning to do to get ready. Keep reading for some practical tips to help you get your whole family prepared for deployment.
Get All Paperwork In Order
Before a service member deploys, the first thing they can do to get ready is to make sure all of their personal paperwork is in order.
Remember that emotions may be running high as deployment approaches. With that in mind, it may be smart to get the practical tasks out of the way first. If you are married, you may want to ask your spouse to create a power of attorney, writing a will for both parties involved.
You will want to schedule an appointment with your legal base before you leave. Do this early on because the base legal office will be busy before any large deployment cycle.
Review your insurance, both life and homeowners and make sure you have an up to date passport. Make sure your important paperwork is filed away somewhere safe, and this includes your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and any other documents such as house deeds and car titles.
Have a Family Care Plan
If you are a single parent or in a marriage that involves two active duty service members, you should have a family care plan in place. It is wise to have at least one trusted family member to serve as a caretaker of your children.
You should also consider having a backup person to care for your children in case anything happens to your first choice. Finally, speak with a members base legal office to make sure that all legal requirements are fulfilled before deployment.
Also, don’t forget to make plans for any of your pets while you are away. And make sure the person caring for your pets has access to any valid paperwork such as pet licenses and vaccinations to help keep them healthy and safe while you are away.
Married People Should Have Joint Bank Accounts
Make sure that the person staying home has a joint bank account with the service member about to be deployed. This will save the person staying behind a lot of time and effort while paying bills and managing finances.
As well as joint bank accounts you should join your cable, insurance, and credit card accounts too. If you can, set up automatic payments so things don’t get paid late. It is wise to know your military spouses’ social security number and to have the pin and passwords to all important accounts.
Buy a lot of phone cards and make sure they work on your spouse’s base or ship. Set up a Skype account before deployment so you can keep in touch. Finally, have a copy of your spouse’s orders handy.
Decide on a Household Budget to Follow During Military Deployment
Be prepared to have your budget change during deployment. Before your spouse leaves, set a household budget that covers what you will spend at home.
Then, have the budget include what your deployed spouse can spend. The budget will help everyone stay on track with their finances, and keep things better organized.
Get Your Household in Order Before Deployment
Spend some time getting the house in order before deployment. Change batteries in smoke detectors, fix all the little things in the house like hard to reach light bulbs.
Getting all these practical things out of the way will make things easier later on. Make a list of important numbers for the spouse staying home.
These numbers should include the landlord if renting, a person to call for electrical and HVAC maintenance if not renting.
The spouse staying home should know where to take the car in for repairs and maintenance. The person staying at home should also have their spouses family phone numbers as well.
Communication With Family Is Important
Technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch with your family while being deployed. It was suggested above to set up a Skype account so you can have face time with your family. Reliable wifi access is not usually a problem if you are deployed in the mainland United States or a larger overseas location.
However, you may be in a place with limited wifi so it will help greatly to research beforehand if there are any limitations before you are deployed. If there are limitations, schedule a time to communicate with family before you leave.
If there’s a family emergency, the Red Cross can contact your spouse on deployment even when there is no internet access. Put this number in your phone: 1-877-272-7337.
Have a Natural Disaster Plan in Place
It is important to have a natural disaster plan in effect for the spouse who is staying behind. If you live on the west coast, that means having an earthquake and wildfire plan in mind.
If you live in a place with storms have a tornado or hurricane plan in effect. Have a list handy of things to take with you before you evacuate. Know where your important documents are so you can take them with you.
Have Those Hard Talks Before Military Deployment
Before leaving for deployment, you will need to have a conversation with your spouse about what to do in case something happens during duty.
Discuss funeral arrangements, life insurance policies, and trusts for your children. Some active-duty servicemen write letters to their loved ones before they leave just in case a worst-case scenario occurs.
Store Your Belongings With A Trusted Storage Company
And, of course, our best piece of advice (or at least we think so) is to make sure to store items that are valuable with a reputable storage company such as Garden of the Gods Storage. Our facilities are protected, monitored, and provide safe spaces for all of your belongings while you are away.
By storing your items with us, you will have peace of mind that they will be in the same condition when you return. If you are interested in storing your belongings with us at a great price get in touch today!