A snowbird checklist: Winterizing your home

The Iceman cometh

Are you ready to flock south?

Now that the month of September has come and gone, the official Snowbird season is about to begin. Thousands of Snowbirds are preparing their recreational vehicles for travel to Ol’ Airy Zonie, Southern California, Texas, Florida, or another warm southern destination.

Flocking south for the winter? A home checklist for snowbirds

Located near Mesa and Apache Junction, Lost Dutchmen State Park is a popular Snowbird destination. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Preparing your home for an extended absence requires thorough thought and planning.

Before heading south for the season, snowbirds must take steps to secure and winterize their homes. Whether you’re new to the snowbird lifestyle or an experienced RVer, creating your own customized checklist is a great way to keep track of your seasonal preparations. Remember, it will be much easier to enjoy your winter in the sun if you have taken steps to protect your home while you are away for an extended period of time.

Consider the following tips when creating your own winter-ready checklist:

Check expiry dates
Well in advance of your departure, check expiry dates for your passport and other travel documents, driver’s license, motor vehicle registration, vehicle insurance, credit cards, and membership cards—and renew if necessary.

Home insurance

Clerbrook RV Resort in a popular Snowbird park at Clermont in Central Florida. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Check with your insurance ageny to determine how extended absences may affect coverage. Determine if your insurer requires regular walk-throughs during your absence and if so, how frequently.

Snow removal
You are escaping the snow, but your home is not. Arrange with a neighbor, relative, friend, or snow removal service to keep your sidewalks clear of the white stuff that Northerners know all too well.

Contact person
Ask a friend, neighbor, or relative to be the contact person for your home. The contact person should have access to your home. It’s important to have someone check your home on a regular basis, remove sales flyers, be available in emergency situations, and make repair appointments if necessary. Your home should look like someone is living there.

Contact information
Provide the contact person and other neighbors, relatives, and friends with pertinent information including cell phone and email address, vehicle and home insurance, security system, furnace repair, description of RV and toad or tow truck and trailer with plate numbers.

Notify neighbors

Rockport-Fulton is a popular Snowbird destination on the Texas Gulf Coast. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Inform trusted neighbors that you will be away for a specified period of time. You’ll want them to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. Ensure they have a list of contact persons, phone numbers, and email addresses.

To be continued…

Worth Pondering…

It started out a dream

A simple someday soon

But we worked hard

and made it real

This snowbird life

behind the wheel.

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