Vacation Checklist

You're all packed and ready to go. Luggage is in the vehicle, kids and dogs are loaded, and you are locking the door on your home. A nagging thought hits you, "What am I forgetting?"

Review the following details that belong, or should belong, on your vacation checklist:
  • Service your car - fresh, clean oil is good for an engine about to make a trip that will take you farther than work or usual errands. Servicing your vehicle helps to identify and prevent any problems on the road, such as cracked belts, etc.
  • Refill any prescriptions you may need. Although you can get an emergency refill on your prescription, it is difficult and time consuming.
  • Test security lights and timers If you do not have them consider getting them. Timers are not expensive nor are they difficult to operate. You can use them on radios as well as lights, so your home sounds occupied. Security lights can be as simple as leaving your outside lights on.
  • Arrange for care of pets and plants - ask a family member, or trusted friend or neighbor to keep your pet or contact a local kennel for boarding. Either give someone your plants if you only have a few or give your key to someone you trust to water and care for them.
  • Arrange to have your lawn mowed or sidewalks shoveled. Long grass or snow covered walks are a sure sign that someone is gone.
  • Make a list of emergency numbers - doctor, vet, dentist, auto club, insurance and contact to make repairs. Take one with you and give one to the person caring for your children, pet or home.
  • Arrange to have someone pick up your mail or newspaper. A large pile of newspapers is a big clue that no one is around. You may also contact your post office and local newspaper office to temporarily stop your mail or paper.
  • Leave a key with someone you trust. Should your home require repair or an emergency arises, your home can be taken care of.
  • Secure lawn furniture and outdoor grills down, or better yet, take them inside - out of sight, out of mind.
  • Clean out the refrigerator of perishables should your electric go out or your refrigerator break, nothing will spoil and make your home unbearable to come home to.
  • Remove and hide the credit cards you will not be using by putting them in a lock box and hiding said box.
  • Contact your local law enforcement and fill out a vacation report; law enforcement in your area will make a daily check on your home.
Things To Do Before You Leave
The day you leave, you should complete the following tasks:
  • Check all doors and windows, to be sure they are locked - you'd be surprised how easy it is to forget this.
  • Cut power to the overhead garage door and put a padlock in the track - thieves can reprogram another opener that will work on your door. With the padlock, they cannot raise the door should they be able to discover your code.
  • Turn the water heater off.
  • Connect a radio and lights to a timer.
  • Remind emergency contact person you are leaving and give them a list of things they will need to know: pick up mail, water plants, feed pets, mow grass, phone number at your destination, list of people authorized to be at residence, authorized repair and phone numbers for them, alarm company information.
  • Be sure to wear seat belts and use child restraints to ensure safe trips.
On behalf of the Troy Police Department Auxiliary, who prepares the community safety tips, please be smart, be safe, and have fun.