Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Preparing your Electronics for Upcoming Deployment

No one really likes to think about an upcoming deployment. When a deployment is looming on the schedule, it means lots of extra work for the crew. Getting a ship ready for a deployment is an enormous amount of work. Sometimes as the family who stays home, we tend to think that we have the worst end being at home, but the extended hours and extended work really do take a toll on our sailors. 

While all of these wonderful things are going on 6-12 months prior to a deployment, we often forget little things that we can do ahead of time, and everything gets made "last minute". 

I'm going to write a few tips about things dealing with your personal electronics that can be done ahead of time. 

 - Cell Service. Who doesn't have a cell phone today? Well most are not just a phone, but are also a smart phone. Typically, before when the sailor left he would just turn in his phone or suspend his line, now carriers are making things more reasonable. 
          - Contact the carrier and find out about international cards or international as needed service. It may or may not work with your budget. 
          - Some carriers will sell or allow cards to be purchased that will allow the phone to work internationally. 

 - Cell Phones aren't just phones! Since most phones are smart phones, you have the options to add contacts, calendars, music, photos, etc to the phone. Even if you have cut off service to the phone, it will still work as a MP3 player, calendar and some will get Wifi. Use the time before he leaves to beef up these features. Go through the contacts and make sure you not only have everyone's phone number, but address as well. Mom would love a post card or 2 while you are gone. Use the phone as your personal calendar and electronic contacts. Make sure important dates like birthdays and anniversaries are all in the calendar so there is no excuse to forget. 

 - Don't forget Wifi! Most newer phones have the ability to work on Wifi for places that a cell signal is not available. If your current phone doesn't have this, look for it if you upgrade. Wifi on the phone means that even with no service, the phone could be used for email if it is on Wifi. Install an app like SKYPE and you can make calls when on Wifi. Granted, not every one, or every job has access to Wifi, so some will not have a benefit from this at all. 

-Make sure for any electronics that he will be take with him, you have the item registered with the manufacturer and you have the serial number recorded. Especially things like MP3 players, and tablets. Hopefully, nothing becomes lost or stolen while he is gone. But if you have recorded the serial numbers, it will make it easier to report. Take pictures of everything as well. 

It is always easy to say, oh nothing will happen. 
But trust me, electronics are lost and stolen everyday Be Prepared!