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Things to do in and around MacDill AFB
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Are You Prepared?

July 27, 2015 By: Laura Category: Military Life, Military Spouse, News, Pets, Self Improvement No Comments →

Is Your House Ready For A Hurricane?

With the weather we have been having the past week I keep thinking to myself “Are you prepared for a big storm?”. The answer at this time is “No!”. With our recent downsizing adventure, my disaster kit is not ready. Watching the news, I wonder how many other people are not prepared.

For example, the warning today to not let your children play in the flood waters blew me away. Why would you? It is more than likely full of sewage, snakes and maybe a stray shark!! (Sharknado reference!) With this in mind I think “Do these people have a disaster plan?”. If you do not have one or you are like me and have become unorganized, then keep reading to get going on that plan and kit!

READ MORE..

I hope this will get you motivated to update or build your disaster/hurricane kit. Being prepared during bad weather is the best plan of action and if you are new to the area be warned the weather can change in an instant. That little bit of lightning and thunder can turn into a disaster in a matter of hours. Know your local weather stations and have batteries in your flashlights. A must for the MacDill AFB area is a battery operated radio, extra water, canned goods and some good flashlights! If you can afford it, a generator is a bonus!!

I have seen some great tips for your disaster kit from my fellow military spouses and my all time favorite is to pack a back pack for each member of the family including the pets. In these back packs have several bottles of water, snacks ,change of clothes and if possible any medication your family members might need. This is a great tip because if things get bad and you need to leave you will not necessarily have time or space to bring you large water bottles etc.. with you! Make sure all of your important papers and some cash are included in one of the back packs in a water tight bag. Please share with our readers any hurricane kit hints you have or have used. Just leave the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Please be careful and keep a watch on the weather during any storms!

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Back to School Tips

July 21, 2015 By: Laura Category: children, Communities, Events, Military Life, Military Spouse, News, Schools, Things to do Near MacDill AFB No Comments →

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Where did the summer go? Hillsborough County schools will resume classes on August 25th. Some parents are counting the days and others may be dreading that first day! Getting the kids ready to go back to school early instead of at the last minute will let you enjoy more of your summer. Here are some tips to get you and the kids ready.

  • Check your kids medical records and make sure all of their immunizations are up to date.
  • Go to the Hillsborough County School district site to get all the information on the first day of school. This is also a great place to check out the site for your child’s school and get information such as school supplies and summer reading lists.
  • Check in with the MacDill AFB school liaison for details on getting your military child enrolled in school.
  • Check out one of the many back to school fairs held by Hillsborough County Schools. This is also great opportunity to get your child their immunizations.
  • You will also want to check out the Back to School Fair being held August 8th at Westshore Plaza.
  • Back to School Tax free week! This year you get an entire week to shop. Shop from August 7th until August 16th.Visit the Florida Department of Revenue for a list of what will be tax exempt
  • If you have recently made a PCS move to the area you may want to check out these articles: “Ease the PCS Transition with the Youth Sponsorship Program” and “Tips to Enroll in Hillsborough County Schools“.
  • If you are living near MacDill AFB you may even want to get your kids involved with activities through the Youth Center so they can meet other kids in the area and get them out of the house for awhile!

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You Have PCS Orders, Now What?

May 27, 2015 By: Laura Category: Military Life, Military Spouse, News, PCS Move, Things to do Near MacDill AFB No Comments →

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You have PCS orders, now what? That is a question a lot of families in the MacDill AFB area are asking themselves at this moment. Receiving PCS orders can be stressful, and lately with the rules on shipping your household goods changing almost on a daily basis having the right resources to plan your move is essential.

I am seeing almost daily on social media questions on how to set up the shipment of your household goods. Along with the questions I have seen some interesting answers. Unfortunately with budget cuts etc.. the DOD has been making changes to the process. Some of the changes proposed this summer are in hopes of expediting the process. What your neighbor or husband’s CO did last year or even last week may not be the up-to-date information. The first step in planning your move is to go right to the horse’s mouth for your answers!

First step after receiving those orders is to go straight to Move.mil. This site has all of the latest information on how to proceed to getting your move set up. If this is your first move, you will need to set up an account with DPS (Defense Personal Property System). This system was put in place to allow you to self-counsel and set up your move without going to the transportation office. Once you have set up or logged into your account, you will be directed on how to proceed with the latest steps in setting up your move. I am no expert in this procedure, but from the looks of the information procedures may differ depending on your present duty station and where your next will be.

The Move.mil site has nformation on how to prepare for packing, your weight limits, preparations for an overseas move, and checklists. By reading the info on this site, you should be able to answer a lot of those questions I see floating around on social media such as what do I do if I am over my weight limit etc.. If you cannot find the answer to your questions, contact information is included on the home page.

Once your move is set up, check out the great resource page and blog on MilitaryByOwner.com for great tips on packing, planning your move, how to keep the kids happy, and information on moving with pets. This is also a great resource for information on housing at your new installation.

Good luck on your next adventure! Please share with our readers any tips or suggestions you have about what to do after those PCS orders arrive!!

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Are You Prepared? Hurricane Season 2015

May 11, 2015 By: Laura Category: Health, Military Life, Military Spouse, News, Pets, Self Improvement No Comments →

Are You Prepared?

The 2015 hurricane season begins on 1 June! Are your prepared? This is a great time to get prepared. It’s not a good idea to wait until a hurricane is headed to the MacDill AFB area to start assembling your disaster kit and plan. Being prepared is the best way to keep your family safe.

According to Weather.com, this may be one of the least active storm seasons in years. That does not mean that one of the seven predicted storms could not cause severe damage here in the Tampa Bay area, so being prepared is a must.

Here are some ways to get prepared for the hurricane season.

  • You  want to pack a basic disaster supply kit to keep on hand not only for the hurricane season, but for any disasters that could occur. When packing your kit, make sure to include items for your pets and any extra guests that may need to evacuate to your home.
  •  Make a list of all the local agencies you may need to contact if a a disastrous storm should occur. Make sure to include the local emergency management office, the Red Cross, and your property insurance agent.
  • You’ll want to keep this information and all important legal documents along with medical cards etc.. in a water tight container with your disaster kit. You will want to include cash.
  • Plan a location other than home to meet if the family gets separated and going home is not an option.
  • Know the location of local shelters and if you have pets check to see which are pet friendly.
  • Know your children’s  school and daycare emergency plan.
  • Make sure to have copies of all prescriptions in your kit, and if you see a storm is a possibility get your prescriptions filled. This would also include your pets’ medications.
  • If you own a boat or water device, have a plan; and if you store these items at a facility make sure you know what policies are in place in regards to the care of your items.
  • Develop a plan that the entire family understands. You can download this Family Emergency Plan Worksheet to share with the family. Keep a copy in your disaster kit and maybe even in your car. Another great idea would be to take a photo of it and keep it as a file in your phone.
  • Know the FEMA guidelines for evacuating.
  • FEMA NOAA, the National Weather Service and Hillsborough County have a lots of great information on how to prepare for the up coming Hurricane season.
  • For those of you living in waterfront property or a flood zone, make sure your flood insurance is up to date.

Being prepared for the 2015 hurricane season will keep your stress level down should the MacDill AFB area be hit by one of the predicted storms. If you already have a disaster kit assembled, make sure you check that the items included are up to date. Here is to hoping we have a very quiet storm season!

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VA Loan Scam: Do Not Become A Victim

March 24, 2015 By: Laura Category: Finances, Military Life, Military Spouse, News, Self Improvement No Comments →

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Is it a VA loan scam or a deal? You cannot turn the TV on these days without hearing about some new scam. Here in the MacDill AFB area, we have the card skimmers at the gas station and on ATM’s. We also have heard the stories about the door-to-door security sales men who take your money and never install your system. The saddest scam stories are those involving our senior citizens and veterans.

Being educated and aware is the best way to keep your self safe from these thieves. For example, the IRS or your bank should never call you with a problem and then need all of your personal information; they should have that on file. If you receive a call that does not seem right, ask the caller to give you a call back number–if they are hesitant, that would be an indicator something is up. If you feel the need to call back use the 800 number you would normally use, not the number from the caller. But how do you know if that refinancing deal is a VA loan scam? Karina Gafford of MilitaryByOwner.com shares with us how to snoop out a scam.

Read More Here…….

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