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Friday, December 03, 2010

My Advice on Army Deployments: Series 1, Family Preparedness

FAMILY PREPAREDNESS

So here are some things I do before my husband deploys to make sure we have everything in order.


Family Checklist/Fill-In Section

            Although deployments and separations are never easy on the family, the hardships involved need not be increased by failure to plan ahead.  A carefully prepared and executed pre-deployment checklist can save you and your family from giant headaches in the future.

            It is very important for you, as a military family, to have in your possession certain documents.  Military spouses are often required to take over family matters during the soldier’s absence, therefore, it is important that both of you sit down together to gather the information and documents named in this checklist.  You are encouraged to keep originals or copies of all listed documents in a special container that you can find immediately.  If you are using a safe deposit box, be sure you check with the bank to see what the regulations are for you to have access to it when your spouse is away.

LOCATION OF DOCUMENT HOLDER:  ___________________________________________

~Marriage certificate

~Birth certificates of all family members

~Shot records up to date of all family members, including pets

~Citizenship papers, if any

~Adoption papers, if any

~Passports, visas, if any

~Military ID cards for all family members 10 years and older

 ~Life insurance policies for family members, including name, address, and phone number of insurance companies

~ Power of Attorney drawn up, copies provided
  
~Wills for both spouses completed and filed, copies on hand

~Orders - at least 10 copies of TDY and/or PCS orders

~ Emergency data card updated in Military Personnel Record; copy on hand

~List of all credit cards and account numbers

~List of all bonds and stocks

 ~Court orders relating to divorce, child support, or child custody (if applicable)

~Real estate documents.  Copies of all documents relating to rent or ownership of land.  Documents relating to lease, mortgage, deed, or promissory note

~Copies of installment contracts and loan papers

~Death certificates for deceased family members

~Last LES (Leave and Earnings Statement)

~Discharge papers and other documents related to military service records

~Allotments updated with correct amount, name, address and account number

~Social Security numbers for ALL family members
  
~Inventory of household goods

~Titles to all automobiles

~Extra set of keys to house, car mailbox, etc.

~Next of kin informed of rights, benefits, assistance

~Family budget and business arranged

~Emergency services available explained

~Nature and location of important documents explained

~Moving of household goods explained

~Joint checking/savings account arranged. List all account numbers

~Parents and spouse’s parents informed of deployed’s address; how to contact soldier in case of an emergency

~Location and use of Red Cross explained

~Location of Army Community Service explained

~Location of JAG (Legal Assistance) explained

~Current addresses and telephone numbers of all members of immediate families of both spouses (include father, mother, brothers, sisters)

~Personal telephone directory updated; important/emergency telephone numbers available at fingertips

~All doors and windows have good locks

~ Problem areas with cars, household or appliances identified and resolved


Next Week, Family Preparedness: Finances


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