Preparing for a deployment is an emotional time filled with a lot anxieties. Whether you’re the one deploying, or it’s your loved one, it’s normal to go through a range of emotions.
Depending on when you learn of the deployment, you could have months to prepare, or as little as hours. A major part of preparing for the deployment is preparing your family for your absence through both emotional support and by arranging your affairs. The whole family can participate in preparing for the deployment as a way to help cope with your departure.
The following are suggested ways to prepare your family for a deployment:
1. Research international calling plans for your home and cells phones, and set up a Skype account. It is important that your family feels they still have a way to reach you to stay connected.
2. Leave a list of important contacts such as Lawyers, Chaplain, Red Cross, etc.
3. Make sure that every member of your family has a military ID.
4. If you have young children, record yourself reading bedtime stories so they can listen while you’re away.
5. Inform your children’s school that you will be deploying.
It’s important to encourage your family to maintain their familiar routines while you are away. Your family will go through a series of emotional stages as they learn of your deployment, to coping with the fact that you are gone. Remaining on a familiar schedule is one less change to cope with.
In addition to preparing your family emotionally, there are many affairs to get in order before you leave, including medical, legal, and home maintenance. Don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of tasks you must complete before your deployment. Military AutoSource researched to create a Pre-Deployment Checklist, designed to help military members prepare for their deployment. The Checklist organizes all the affairs you should get in order before you deploy.