‘Tis the Season to Prepare: A Master Plan for Military Families
There is a saying among military families that they only know two seasons—when their service member is home, and when they aren’t. For many, the well-known adage of Murphy’s Law, the theory that ‘anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,’ is commonplace when a service member is away. And with September designated as National Preparedness Month, what better time to get a master plan in place for you and your family?
The Three C-Lists: Checklists, Contact List, Can-and-Can-Not List
An easy first step in a preparedness plan is to create checklists, an up-to-date contact list, and a list of can and cannot for each family member.
- Checklists: The Department of Homeland Security hosts a website specific to staying ready for cases of emergency. It includes complete lists for emergency supply kits that include the recommended quantities for everything from batteries to water. Free preparedness publications can also be mailed to make planning even more seamless. Checklists are a military family’s best friend!
- Contact Lists: An up-to-date contact list is also extremely important. If you’re an active duty family, it is a requirement that your DEERS information is current at all times. The assigned unit of your service member should also have this information, including emergency contact information for next of kin. Military OneSource has a pre-deployment fillable form that can be easily printed and used for your emergency kit.
- Can-And-Can-Not List: Don’t let this important list get left out of your preparedness kit. Every family member should have a list that can guide any first responder coming to assist. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a webpage full of information, toolkits, and resources that make this process simple and efficient. Question and answer documents, like communication or language barriers that responders need to be aware of, are included. The kits also pose questions that may not come to mind, like diet or allergy precautions. Needs like an EpiPen, insulin, feeding tubes, and wheelchair use are all notations that can help provide life-saving aid.
National Military Family Association Can Help
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly was a catalyst for many of us to think ahead of our master preparedness plan. The Department of Defense quickly outlined measures to keep our service members and families safe during it, and NMFA did the same. With a list of resources by topic, such as medical and pharmacy, NMFA always keeps a watchful eye on news and issues that our military families need to know.
Murphy’s Law is inevitable in military life. Take some time to address these critical steps and outline a master preparedness plan that can follow you and your family anywhere the military sends you.
By: Angela Sablan Tenorio, Content Manager