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A Checklist for Snowbirds Before They Fly
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Are you heading to Florida, Mexico or another warm place for part of the winter? If so, you’ll want to protect both your home and your health while you’re gone. Here are some key tasks to consider:
1. Talk to your neighbours. Tell your trusted neighbours when you will be leaving and returning. Also, provide them with your cell phone number or other contact information.
2. Stop mail and newspapers. Stop or forward your mail. Also, stop your newspapers and magazines.
3. Notify your bank. Inform your bank you’ll be out of Canada for a while. By doing so, you reduce the risk of your account being frozen temporarily if your financial institution can’t reach you with questions about charges from an unexpected location.
4. Keep the lights going. Use a timer to turn lights on and off at various points in the day.
5. Unplug your electronics. Unplug your televisions, PVR and DVD players, computers, small kitchen appliances and power bars.
6. Monitor your home with your smart phone. With an interactive home security system and a smart phone, you can monitor your home security and other alarm systems, such as smoke alarms, remotely.
7. Besides protecting your home while you’re away, you’ll want to address your health care needs. You may have to supplement your provincial or territorial health insurance plan with travel health insurance.
When you know your home is in good shape and your health insurance is sufficient, you’ll enjoy your days in the sun even more.