- Cancel newspaper
- Forward or stop mail delivery
- Find a friend to care for your yard-mow, water, chlorinate the pool, etc.
- Find a friend to care for the house – water plants, etc.
- Find a friends to care for pets
- Give a key to friends who will need to get into the house
- Put a few lights on timers
- Put a radio or television on a timer
- Forward the phone or get an answering machine that allow you to check messages from out of town
- Leave emergency phone numbers with a neighbor and the friends who are caring for the house and yard
- Lock away valuables or place in a safety deposit box
- Take copies of valuable papers such as deeds, wills and insurance with you. Lock up originals.
- If you may travel across the border take family birth certificates and photo IDs.
- Turn off or turn down air conditioner
- Turn off or turn down water heater
- Turn off water to house
- Turn off gas to the house…make sure to have the utility company restart when you get home (only if you’ll be gone more than a month or you are leaving during hurricane or tornado season)
- Empty all garbage and trash cans.
- Empty refrigerator and freezer of items which will spoil
- Turn up refrigerator or unplug and secure door to open position if you will be gone for more than a month
- Put all landscaping sprinklers on battery powdered timers
- Empty bird bath and water features, they are a great breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Move outdoor furniture, lawn ornaments and toys into the garage if you live in hurricane or tornado country or if there is the chance of a flood.
- Leave house clean so you won’t have old clutter and dirt to come home to
- Close damper on fireplace
- Set out mouse traps and ant traps
- Make sure toilets are not left running
- If leaving for more than a month turn off the water to the toilet and flush the toilet. This will reduce bacteria and staining while you are away
- Make sure dishwasher, washer and dryer are all turned off and the doors left open.
- Close all blinds and shutters so a prowler can’t see in. You can adjust them so the lights on timers can be seen, leaving the impression someone is at home.
- Double check that doors and windows are locked