“Luck favors the prepared.”
This couldn’t be more true in the roller coaster ride for military life. With a multitude of things to worry about, military spouses and their families should be prepared for what life has to throw at them.
Aside from a Power of Attorney (POA), whether it be for deployments, PCS moves, or just everyday life: Here are 12 Things Military Spouses Shouldn’t Live Without.
1) A Weapon for Protection
Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it. However, having my baseball bat near my bed made it easier to sleep at night when my husband was deployed. Whatever you choose, always be sure that it is secure and out of the reach of children.
2) An Extra Phone Charger
If your husband is working late or deployed, you tend to spend a lot of time checking your smartphone for emails/texts/phone calls/social media updates. This will definitely drain your battery. Keep an extra phone charger on hand at the office or car.
3) A Organization Binder or Filing Cabinet
PCS, orders, deployment paperworks, power-of-attorneys… and those are just documents pertaining to the military! Having a central catch-all binde for all of this paperwork will save some headaches down the line.
4) A Spare House and Car Key
Even the most organized person can get themselves locked out at some point. Or there may be times, you need someone to go to your house to do or grab something important. Make a copy of important keys and keep them in a place that is accessible by you or someone else in case that ever happens.
5) A Slow Cooker
If your husband works late consistently, a slow cooker is ideal for meal prep. It’s not like you “slaved all day” for it. If you set the leftovers to “keep warm” after everyone else has eaten, he can still come home to a warm meal. Slow cookers are also good for those last minute requests for company potlucks. I own the one below and it’s amazing.
6) A Leatherman or Multipurpose Tool
Even if you are pretty handy with tools, a leatherman will come in handy for some of the smaller tasks around the house. It helps to not lug out a heavy tool set or dig through a giant tool cabinet when you need the little to-dos done.
7) Base Guide
A hard copy or access to one online is great when you or in search of something to do that is military friendly.They also have phone number directory for important resources, a list of facilities on base (restaurants, cdc’s, gyms, etc.), and best of all, there is a map. We’ve been lucky so far. The ombudsman for the incoming commands sends one to us before we arrive.
8) Emergency Kit
An emergency kit customized to your area and potential disasters would be best. Every once in a while, go through your kit to make sure things haven’t expired and that they’re still in good use. This emergency kit is perfect.
9) Car Emergency Kit
If you have an emergency kit for the house, it helps to have one for the car. You can buy them pre-packaged or make your own. Murphy’s Law of deployment always seems to involve motor vehicles.
10) Hidden Cash
Some mad money comes in handy for unexpected expenses or times when things are “cash only”. Keep multiple denominations in a secure part of the house and maybe even a small amount in the car. In my case, some cash came in handy for the command fundraisers that my husband forgot to tell me about.
11) External Hard Drive
With multiple moves, some of your household goods are bound to get lost in the shuffle. Back up your external hard drives with important documents or files so there’s less of a chance of losing something.
12) A GPS
Yes, this is the age of smartphones. Embrace it. Navigating around a new duty station can be intimidating. Technology is on your side. They’ll be great for the cross-country pcs moves.
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