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8 Tips for Preparing for Deployment

By Jennifer • Jan 25th, 2010 • Category: Pre-Deployment

In between the emotional ups and downs of preparing for deployment, you have to ensure you have everything you need to take care of finances, the house, cars, etc. while your spouse is gone. You have to keep in mind that while you might have pretty regular communication with him or her when your spouse is deployed, there could be times where communication is spotty. Below are things you need to consider and work out with your spouse prior to deployment.

Power of Attorney
This is probably the most important thing you will need while your spouse is gone. The lawyers on the military base can provide this service and it is fairly easy and fast to get one. To be extra prepared, I also have my husband get his dad a power of attorney too. In the event something would happen to me, my fatherin-law would be able to take care of things. This is especially important if you have children.

Ensure that you and your spouse know and understand the difference between general and special power of attorney and select the appropriate one for whomever you are giving it to. When my husband is preparing to leave he gets a general power of attorney for me and his dad, which means we can handle anything and everything. A special power of attorney is for a specific situation like selling a car or boat.

This is not something you want to think about, but is also important. Be sure your spouse has a will and that you have access to it. Bills: If you don’t handle the bills, be sure you are up to date on how all the bills are paid (automatic bill pay through your bank, manual payments, etc.) and the deadlines. My husband and I find it easier that I manage the bills all the time so when he leaves the transition is a little easier.

From your wireless Internet to computer login, bank accounts and MyPay, there are various passwords you will need to access important information. Have you spouse make a list and keep it in a safe place.

Military Contacts
If part of your spouse’s unit is staying in the States, be sure to get the unit’s contact information. If not, have the Red Cross’ number handy. This is the number you will need to get in touch with your spouse if there is a major family emergency. The Red Cross will ensure your spouse gets the message if you are unable to contact him or her.

It is likely your spouse will make more money while he or she is deployed. If he or she is going to a war zone, the increase could be pretty substantial (tax-free pay, separation pay, hazardous pay, etc.). Discuss with your spouse how you will save or pay off debit while he or she is gone. Spending the extra income could be tempting, but after all it is your spouse that is earning the money and enduring the hardship.

Routine car and house maintenance
Be sure you are up to date on any and all routine maintenance for the car and house. This can include car oil changes, house air filters, knowing where the breaker box is, etc.

Location of important documents
Be sure you know where and how to access important documents like house deeds, car insurance, car titles, boat titles, birth certificates, passports, social security numbers, etc.

By no means is this a comprehensive list. Feel free to add other considerations in the comments section so that we can all help each other!

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