Community Services DivisionVacation Tips
SECURE YOUR HOME BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Make sure your home looks lived in, not empty. Stop mail and cancel all deliveries or ask a neighbor to make daily collections. Hide empty garbage cans. Leave shades and blinds in their normal positions. Put an automatic timer on at least two lights and the radio. Ask a neighbor to keep your property maintained and park a car in your driveway occasionally.
Leave a house key with a trusted neighbor. Tell them your departure and return dates. Supply an itinerary with phone numbers where you can be reached in an emergency. Lock all windows and doors. Double check basement and garage doors before you leave. Test your smoke and burglar alarms. Consider obtaining call forwarding for your phone. This service automatically forwards your calls to another number where someone will answer them.
ON THE ROAD
Carry little cash. Use traveler's checks and credit cards. Keep a record of their numbers in a safe place in case they are lost or stolen. If driving, plan your route carefully, travel on main roads, and use maps. Have your car serviced and tires checked before leaving. Always lock your car when it's parked, even if the stop is brief. Keep valuables out of sight, preferably locked in the trunk. Don't leave wallets, checkbooks, or purses in the car. If you stop overnight, remove bags and other valuables from the car and take them inside.
Never pick up hitchhikers. Do not stop to offer help to a stranded motorist. Go to the nearest phone booth and report the problem to the police or sheriff's office. If your car should break down, try to get off the roadway. Turn on your emergency flashers. Raise the hood and tie a handkerchief to the aerial or door handle. If a roadside telephone or call-box is handy, use it. If not, sit in your locked car and wait for help. If a motorist stops to give you assistance, remain in your locked car and ask him to go to the nearest phone and call the police or sheriff's office and report your situation. Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries, flares, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit.
MOTELS AND HOTELS
Use all auxiliary locking devices when occupying or leaving your room. Know who's knocking before you open the door. Keep extra cash and valuables locked in the hotel safe deposit box, not in the room. Always take cash, credit cards, and keys with you. Inventory your belongings daily. Arrange your things in the closet and dresser so you will know if anything is missing. Be observant. Report any suspicious movements in the corridors or rooms to the management.
Learn about your surroundings. Ask local residents about problem areas and avoid them. Make sure your children know the name, address, and telephone number of your hotel or motel.