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Pre-Deployment Preparedness Tool
for Family Members

Preparing for deployment can be stressful, both for the service member who is leaving and also for the family members who will stay behind. The American Red Cross offers this overview of practical matters you may want to discuss with your service member before he/she leaves on deployment. Being prepared to deal with challenges that may arise at home can give everyone some peace of mind and help the service member focus on his/her mission ahead.
  • Attend mobilization meetings and take notes
  • Know the exact name of your service member’s unit
  • Know how to reach the rear detachment
  • Have a copy of your service member's orders
  • Know service member's full legal name, branch of service, rank/rating, Social Security number, date of birth, and complete military unit address
  • Know your service member’s cell phone number, email address, and any other contact information
  • Prepare a communications plan in the event of an emergency and share it with your extended family (What does the service member want to know via social media?)
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Have a primary and alternate child care plan
  • Have a primary and alternate elder care plan
  • Have emergency plans in place in the event of a disaster – where you will go; how you will communicate
  • Have an emergency plan for pets in the event of a pet’s illness or injury or the family’s need to shelter or evacuate in a disaster
  • Know how to contact the American Red Cross Emergency Communications Center (1-877-272-7337)
  • Know the name, address, and telephone number of your local Red Cross office
  • money icon
    Your Finances

  • Discuss what bills are due and when, where receipts are kept, where tax documents are located, etc.
  • Have enough money saved to cover an emergency, including emergency travel
  • Create a family budget
  • house icon
    Around the House

  • Have extra sets of car and house keys
  • List of repair persons to call; location of service agreements and warranties
  • Know your neighbors
  • legal icon
    Legal Affairs

  • Have a will for each adult in the household
  • Have multiple copies of a current power of attorney signed by the service member
  • Have current military I.D. for every eligible family member
  • Alerts
    Get Immediate Assistance

    If your military family has an emergency need for communication, you can:

  • Submit a request online
  • Call the American Red Cross at (877) 272-7337