Deployment Safety Tips UPDATED: July 7, 2020; originally published April 18, 2008.
We all hate deployments, but unfortunately, most of us will have to experience them at least once.
Keep in mind that I am a firm believer that a woman can do just a capable of a job protecting herself as a man could and that a woman does not need a man to feel safe. However, there are some deployment safety tips that are good for everyone (including men).
While your spouse is away there are important deployment safety tips you need to consider to keep yourself safe:
Try not to follow a daily routine. Mix things up a little each day.
Do not give specifics when your loved one will be returning, how long they will be gone, or even where they are. Remember the old saying “Loose lips sink ships”. This is not only for your safety, but theirs as well. You never know who might be listening in on your conversation.
Put an old pair of his boots by the front door and remember to move them around daily. You never know who might be keeping an eye on your house. This will give the appearance that a man is still around.
Put a large dog bowl outside by the front and back doors, even if you do not have a dog. If you can afford it, buy a large igloo type dog house. This will give an appearance that there is a large dog at your house.
Enroll yourself in a self-defense class. This will accomplish two things; one, it will allow you to either get in shape or stay in shape, and it will give you the knowledge of how to defend yourself should that situation ever arise.
If you get a phone call for your spouse while he is away, don’t say he is not there. Instead, just tell the caller he is unavailable and ask if you can help them. Remember when you were younger and a stranger called your house, your parents always informed you to never tell a caller they weren’t there? The same applies here. It’s for your safety. A stranger doesn’t need to know that you are alone and will be for months on end.
Don’t let your bumper sticker give away he is gone. As much as we love those “1/2 my heart is in Iraq” bumper stickers, refrain from putting them on your car. What better way to tell a criminal you will be alone tonight? It’s like a rolling advertisement!
Install motion lights. If you are able to, install motion lights on your front and back doors. Nothing is more frightening to a burglar than him being seen.
Install a wireless alarm system. You can buy cheap wireless alarm systems from so many different places now. They are simple to install and do not involve running wires.
Keep social networking accounts set to private. For those that have social networking accounts, keep your profiles private. I have time and time again seen wives talk about their husbands being away and how long they will be gone; and of course, their city and full name are listed on their profile. It’s an open invitation to criminals.
For those of us that have kids, no matter how young they are, teach them rule number two. Children seem to listen to and hear every little thing we say (even if sometimes they pretend not to). Teach them the importance of not repeating any information on troop movements.
Don’t open strange packages. If you get a package from your spouse that seems a little off (maybe the handwriting doesn’t look like his, or it smells funny, etc,) call the police. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Even though it sounds silly and far-fetched, it can happen. Just be cautious. (This was a tip from my husband).
Remove any reference of the military from your car. It will make you less of a target. (This was a tip that was sent it, I personally don’t believe that having a Military Wife or Army sticker on your car makes you a target, plus it is pointless to remove that but leave that nice-looking DOD decal on your vehicle since they both pretty much say the same thing. However, to each their own, if it makes you feel safer then do it).
I welcome any more tips that should be added to this Deployment Safety Tips list. Feel free to list them in the comments section below.
Getting ready for a deployment? Check out my deployment binder!