Once a unit has deployed, it is too late to realize you need
your spouse’s signature or don’t know where things are or how important tasks
are done.  These problems can easily be
avoided.  The best solution is to be totally prepared.


True family readiness comes from a series of minor tasks
accomplished well in advance rather than a sudden “crash” program begun after
receiving an unexpected deployment notice. 
Last minute rushing produces needless family worry and stress.  It causes many parts
of the family readiness plan to be left undone.


By looking ahead and anticipating the likelihood of a
deployment, you and your loved ones can adequately plan for this
separation.  Remember, once your
soldier/airman is deployed, the responsibility for your family transfers
directly to you.  Ultimately, you are
responsible for knowing your rights and privileges and what resources are
available to you as a spouse.




 __________            Get automobile key (and duplicates)


__________            Get garage key (and duplicates) if applicable


__________  Have oil changed, new
oil and air filter installed, and car lubricated; know the mileage reading when
the oil should be changed next


__________  Make sure all fluid
levels are up to normal (oil, transmission fluid, brake and steering fluid,
water); know how to check and fill them yourself (if needed) and what gasoline
to use


__________  Make sure all vital
equipment is in good condition and working order (including brakes, tires,
battery, belts, hoses, headlights/high and low beams, tail lights, brake lights,
turn signals)


__________  Review your insurance
policy to make sure it provides adequate coverage (liability, medical, uninsured
motorist, damage to your car and others); know the renewal date, cost of
renewal, who to contact to renew the policy (name, address, and telephone


__________  If
the vehicle(s) is/are financed, do you know the name and address of the loan

Do you
have the title papers or know its location?

you have the vehicle’s registration?

you have the vehicle’s insurance policy? 
How often do you pay it?






you know the renewal date for the license plate?

you know when to renew the inspection sticker?

you insured to drive?

you have a valid car or truck state driver’s license? When does it expire?

Is the car or
truck in good operating condition and do you know where to go for repairs?


__________  Can
you make emergency repairs on the car if the situation arises (such as
overheating, flat tire, dead battery)? 
Who do you call?


__________  If you have a trailer,
motorcycle, motorized recreational vehicle, and or boat know where the
registrations and insurance policies are for each


__________  Investigate a road
service policy (if desired) to provide assistance with flat tires, towing,
stalled engine, being locked out of your car, and other emergencies; know what
your policy covers, when it expires and has to be renewed, cost of renewal, who
to contact to renew (name, address, and telephone number); know what to do if
you do not have this coverage and one of these events happens


__________  Look into the renewal
of state and on-post vehicle registration (year, cost, where to go, what to


__________            Check your state driver’s license expiration date, cost to renew, where

go, what to do


__________  Check your annual
state automotive safety check, if required (when it expires, cost to renew,
where to go, and anything that may have to be repaired or replaced to pass this


__________  Take possession of
automotive papers (car registration, safety inspection, tire warranties, battery
guarantee, insurance policy and certificate of insurance, road service card);
know where they are, what they mean, how to use them


__________  Learn where to go, who
to see or call when you have problems with the automobile (routine maintenance,
auto repair, tires, oil changes, and lubrication)


__________  If
you are not licensed to drive, make arrangements to have transportation available





__________  Learn what alternative
transportation is available (on post, car pools, taxis, city buses,


__________            Prepare a list of automotive “do’s and don’ts” and hints on car



__________  Make sure your
spouse’s unit has your name, address, and telephone number, along with the name,
address, and telephone numbers of one or more people who will know where you are
at all times (even if you travel or move)


__________  Get the name, address,
and telephone number of your landlord, mortgage company, or government housing


__________  Get the names and
telephone numbers of key members of your Family Readiness Group, your unit’s
rear detachment commander and chaplain, Family Assistance Center, Guard or
Reserve Family Program Coordinator


__________            Make sure you have a military ID card for each member of your


__________            Get the keys to your house, safety deposit box, personal storage


__________  Know when ID cards
expire, and have required forms signed by sponsor before departure


Make sure you have
(if appropriate)


__________            Marriage certificate


__________            Birth certificates


__________            Insurance policies (life, home, auto)


__________            Family social security numbers (including your children’s)


__________            Rental or lease papers (if appropriate)


__________            Deeds and/or mortgage papers (if appropriate)


__________            School registration papers (if appropriate)


__________            Spouse’s proof of military service documents



Make sure you have
(if appropriate)


__________            Copies of your spouse’s orders and all amendments


__________            Shipping documents and/or household goods inventory


__________            Court orders for support and custody of legal dependents


__________            Unit mail card


__________            Copy of your most recent allotment request (if appropriate)


__________  Naturalization papers
(if appropriate)—know the expiration date and prepare paperwork in


__________            Divorce decree (if appropriate)


__________            Adoption papers (if appropriate)


__________            Death certificates (if appropriate)




__________  Obtain appropriate bank books, ATM cards,
checkbooks, credit union papers or books, credit cards. 

Know the address of banks where you have money.  Know the account
numbers and types of accounts that you have

Know the location of the bankbooks (checking and

Do you need a safe deposit box?  Do you know where
the key is?


__________  Know how to report lost credit cards and how
to request replacements. If a credit card is lost or stolen, report it
immediately to the issuing company AND the credit-reporting agencies.  Ensure you know where each of our credit cards is?  Are their
numbers logged and kept in a safe place?  Do you know the company address
for each so you can notify them immediately of any loss?


__________  Make sure you can make deposits and
withdrawals with only your signature. 
If the account shows an “and” between your spouse’s name and yours, it
requires both signatures; an “or” ensures you can make deposits and withdrawals
in the absence of your spouse.  This
can be changed only while the soldier/airman is here.



 CHECKLIST – Page Five




__________  Keep a list of
automatic deposits and withdrawals or payments made to financial accounts
(paycheck, insurance, loan, or bill payments)


__________  Have your spouse
apply for a Class EE Savings Bond allotment (if desired and appropriate), and
keep a copy of the signed application


__________  Know who to contact
in case of a pay problem


Other Financial


__________  Will you have money available to you on a
continuing basis during your soldier/airmen’s absence?


__________  Has your
soldier/airmen initiated an allotment to be sent to you or directly to the bank


__________  Will the allotment
provide you with enough money to buy all the necessities needed to maintain a


__________  Do you know all
payments that must be made?  To whom they must be made?   And


Important Documents


__________  Get a Power of
Attorney, unit mail card, and military ID card if you will have to pick up your
spouse’s paycheck and/or mail from the unit


__________  Prepare a list of
outstanding payments, loans, and other obligations with due dates, amount owed,
who to pay, contact person, address and telephone numbers


__________  Prepare a list of
investments such as securities or bonds with their value, contact person’s name,
address and telephone number; know how to cash these in an emergency


__________  Get copies of the
past five years’ state and federal income tax returns and everything needed for
the next filing, including due dates and who to contact for assistance in
preparing the returns







__________  Prepare a list of
military and community organizations that offer financial advice, counseling,
information, and assistance



__________  Get the name,
address, and telephone number of your military or private attorney or legal


__________  Get a Power of
Attorney (general or limited) if you will need to sign documents or act on your
spouse’s behalf during the deployment


__________            Make sure your will and your spouse’s will are up to date and


__________  Get copies of all
insurance policies, and find out what is covered and to what extent; get contact
person’s name, address, and telephone number; ask whether you need a Power of
Attorney to file a claim during your spouse’s deployment


__________  Secure a list of
military and community organizations that offer legal advice, counseling,
information, and assistance



__________  Make sure you have family medical cards for
you and your children.  Do you know where the medical and dental
records are kept?


__________  Make sure you have family shot records for you
and your children.  Are the immunizations up-to-date?


__________  Make sure current
prescriptions for medicine and glasses or contact lenses are


__________  Get a list of
military, community, state, and federal organizations that offer medical, mental
or emotional, dental, and optical assistance


__________  Do you know how to get medical assistance if
it is needed?  Who lives nearby that you can call if you need


__________            Do you have one or more reliable sitters for absences or


__________            Who will help take care of aging parents while your spouse is


__________            Request a military or local police crime prevention survey for your






__________  Add a “peephole” to
at least your front door and adequate locks to all of your doors and


__________  Place your family’s
name on the Military Police Quarters Checklist (or notify the local police if
you live in a civilian community) if your family will be away from home for an
extended period


__________  Install a smoke
detector (or check existing detectors) in key areas of your residence (kitchen,
bedroom, living room, shop/garage)


__________  Install a fire
extinguisher (or inspect existing extinguisher) in key areas of your residence
(also recommended for your automobile)


__________  Discuss with your
family alternate exits they can use to leave your home from each room in case of
a fire or other emergency


__________  Get a list of
military and community organizations that offer security/safety advice,
counseling, information, and assistance



It is very
important for the military family to keep copies of important documents and
other valuable information in a safe place. It is equally important that the
wife and husband jointly organize this file so that each knows how and where to
find the documents when they are needed.


FIND IMMEDIATELY. At a minimum, the following documents should be included:


  • Marriage certificate.
  • Birth Certificates
    for all family members.

  • Citizenship papers,
    if any.

  • Adoption papers, if

  • Passports, if any.
  • List of Social
    Security Numbers of family members.

  • Shot records
    (up-to-date) for all family members.

  • Powers of attorney,
    if any.

  • Wills.
  • Insurance policies
    (both government and civilian)-with a list of companies, policy numbers,
    types of insurance coverage, addresses and phone numbers of agents or

  • Vehicle titles, if

  • List of all members
    of immediate families with current addresses and phone numbers.

  • List of all credit cards
    and account numbers.

  • List of all bonds and
    stocks and where certificates are located.

  • Court orders relating
    to divorce, child support, custody, alimony or property division, if any.

  • Real estate
    documents-leases, deeds, mortgages and promissory notes, closing papers.

  • Copies of any sales
    or installment contracts and finance agreements.

  • List of bank accounts
    with types of accounts and account numbers.

  • Armed Forces
    identification cards for all family members 10 years of age or older.

  • Nine (9) copies of
    your spouse’s TAG and/or PCS orders. [If you must move by yourself, you
    will need extra copies of these orders. However, with these copies, you
    can have other made without cost to you by going to your soldier/airmen’s

  • Current addresses and
    telephone numbers of all members of immediate families of both you and
    your spouse. [Immediate family includes father, mother, children,
    brother(s), and sister(s). You should have all other important telephone
    numbers you may need in case of emergency.]

  • Notify your child(ren)’s
    school that a family member is deployed and that your child may need the
    school staff’s support.