Military Families: 4 Steps to Prepare for Deployment

Practical matters, like paying the phone bill and checking the oil in your car, are the last things on your mind when your dear husband gets called to duty. But the demands of the real world will start to haunt you if you are not prepared to run the house solo. Here, you'll find four simple steps you can take to make your life easier while your husband is away:

1. Make sure you have a general or special power of attorney. This document, which can be obtained in the legal office on the military base, allows you to sign legal papers, write checks and handle other household matters on behalf of someone who needs to travel for extended periods of time or is ill. A special power of attorney clearly defines the tasks that you can handle on behalf of your spouse, whereas the general one gives you more access, according to the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Website. You should talk to your spouse and a legal adviser to decide which is right for you.

2. Pay the bills in full and on time. If you usually do not take care of the family finances, find out when all payments are due and around how much you'll need to save up for each. This will secure good credit ratings and keep you out of financial trouble while your husband is away. To avoid forgetting, keep a running list of bills you need to pay or sign up for online payment if it is available. In addition, you should know where to find your tax records and investment and bank account numbers.

3. Keep a list of emergency numbers, especially if you live in a foreign country. This will save valuable time in a crisis. Some numbers you should consider keeping by the phone are the police, local firehouse, paramedics and all of your family doctors. On many military bases, 911 either goes to base police or downtown. In foreign countries, there is usually a universal number. For example, in Germany, you can reach the German Polizei by dialing 110 from anywhere in the country. Other on-base numbers that might be useful include family support, military police, the American Red Cross, the base chapel, the 1st sergeant/commander, the orderly room and for urgent matters the command post. Housing often gives you a list of important branch numbers when you move in, so you might want to track that down now.

4. Take care of your car. Make sure it has good tires and a spare. Also, take it in for a tune-up and oil change before your husband leaves. With all of the other things on your mind, the last thing you need is for the car to break down!

Click here for Military Wives' 21 Best Tips for Dealing with a Spouse's Deployment>>>

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