Readiness is a constant duty for all of us. We relentlessly train, study and prepare for the challenges, real or envisioned, that we are likely to face in our chosen fields. Unfortunately, the same rigor is often not applied to our personal matters. Preparing to sail or fly into a hurricane is vastly different than preparing for that hurricane to hit your home.
The Personal Readiness Plan (PRP) is offered to provide you and your family a framework to organize and store your personal information and paperwork. It is private, so it need not be shared with your command or anyone else outside of your family or trusted friends. Ideally, the plan will be useful in your daily living and indispensable in an emergency.
The PRP is divided into ten sections, which are further subdivided into subsections. Additionally, there is a “Resources” area that contains useful web links to help complete your plan. Some topics, such as Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Healthcare Directives, will require consultation with an attorney to produce the documents. The other areas, particularly ones such as credit reports, taxes and benefits, may generate legal questions. Coast Guard legal assistance attorneys are available to provide guidance and answer those questions. Click here to find the attorney most convenient to you.
Many people will not need to use every line of the PRP. You may choose not to draft a complete inventory of your personal items. Similarly, you can skip Section 7 if you do not own a vehicle. After you have completed your plan and your circumstances change, updating your PRP to reflect new circumstances should be fairly simple.
Coast Guard readiness is often framed in terms of unit, mission or even agency readiness. All of those are built on a foundation of personal, and by extension family, readiness. If you are distracted by your personal circumstances, you are not completely focused on mission execution. The PRP is a tool to help you ensure your focus is where it belongs.
If you have suggestions or questions about the PRP, please feel free to provide them by clicking here.
The sections are:
Section 1 – Personal Identity & Vital Documents
Section 2 – Emergency Information & Powers of Attorney
Section 3 – Healthcare & Medical Directives
Section 4 – Income, Savings & Investments, and Life Insurance
Section 5 – Monthly Expenses, Debt, and Credit Reports
Section 6 – Primary Residence, Insurance & Household Services
Section 7 – Vehicle Information, Insurance, Titles & Documentation
Section 8 – Taxes
Section 9 – Survivor Assistance & Benefits
Section 10 – Estate Planning & Funeral Instructions