Deployment: How To Prepare
Deployment Prep How-To
Being deployed is pretty much inevitable for many military service members. For deployments lasting from just a few weeks to up to a year, there are many types of obstacles that can arise for the families and friends of service members to tackle. Having a checklist or even just an idea of what to do before getting deployed is crucial to your financial and family success.
Paperwork and Personal Information
Power of Attorney
Having a power of attorney during a deployment, and even when not deployed, can be a tactical move. Granting legal access to your bank accounts and health information can be some of the benefits of one. Being able to make the decisions while you are away and ensure that your assets, family and or pets are taken care of in case of an accident gives the service member a great peace of mind. With four different types of power of attorney, it is important to understand which is a good match for the service member.
Family Care Plan
Completing a family care plan for your children can be stressful but it is also necessary. Making a detailed information sheet of daily activities and routines, noting the locations of preferred medical facilities and providing medical information are just some ways to allow the caregiver to have access to necessary information. Even if there is a spouse present at home with the family, it is important to still make the family care plan to ensure that both parents are on the same page while one is deployed.
Updating personal documents like an identification card or drivers licence before the deployment will make the transition post deployment smoother. Make sure to note when certain documents expire to ensure there is no overlap or discontinuation during the deployment. If the document is set to expire within one month of returning from deployment, it would be smart to update it before leaving if possible.
Writing down and safely storing usernames, passwords or any other important information for bills and update the information needed for them. Making sure that the service member’s pay is being allotted to different insurance and credit card or monthly subscriptions is a good way to stay on top of payments and expenses. Some credit card companies will lower monthly interest rates or even freeze for the service member while deployed. Additionally, it is a good idea to take the service member off of the family car insurance while they are deployed to cut expenses where they are not needed.
Gathering emergency contacts for everyone in the family is something that is often overlooked. Making sure your family pet is taken care of in the case of a broken tooth or upset stomach is just as important to include in the power of attorney.
Home, Car and Personal Upkeep
Understanding that vehicles still need to be maintained even when the service member is away, as well as having a full understanding of your home can be challenging. Making sure the spouse or house sitter knows who to call in the case of a broken faucet or where to flip the breaker may not come to mind until the damage is already done. Making sure to change the car’s oil and keeping your home in order will decrease extra expenses and ensure everything is taken care of.
Ordering a free care package kit from the United States Postal Service is essential. The kit comes with six boxes tape and customs forms for free. Packing things like baby wipes and beef jerky may seem like simple things but receiving anything in the mail from back home will be a pleasant surprise for the service member at any point in their deployment.
Next Step: Financial Planning For Your Next Deployment
- Take Ownership of Deployments
- PCS Pay Entitlements
- Service Members Now Have More Options to Invest in TSP
- Freebies for Military and Veterans