As the travel season approaches, I wanted to share some important safety tips for you and your family. First of all, we all love social media and posting pictures of our family and what we’re doing, but just know that is an invitation to let people know that you are not at your home. So as you are traveling this season make sure you are taking all those pictures, but consider not posting any of them or letting people know where you are until you’ve already come home.
Another great tip is to get programmable timers for your lights as we all know it’s very easy to assume someone is not home when the lights are not on. So if you have some programmable timers for both your internal and external lighting it’s great to have a light pop on or off in the kitchen or living room and even your outdoor lights so it appears that someone is home. Also if you still get the newspaper like I do and it’s delivered to your house, make sure to have someone picking that paper up for you every day or call your provider to see about suspending your service until you return. Nothing screams “We’re not home” more than three or four newspapers piled up in the driveway. If you do have a neighbor stopping by you’ll also want to give them permission to notify the police or to alert emergency if there seems to be something going on. Remember there are still fires and weather related damage that can occur at any time.
It’s always a good idea to have an emergency card in your purse or wallet. Keep it right behind your driver’s license so someone can find it. On that card you are going to want to have people’s names and phone numbers that are your emergency contacts. We want to make sure those people also have access to your healthcare documents, such as your Power of Attorney, Living Will, and HIPAA Release form so that if they are contacted they will have the ability to use those documents in an emergency.
Also you may want to proactively call your credit card company and let them know the dates as well as the locations you will be traveling, especially if it’s out of state. Credit card companies sometimes flag charges made outside your normal spending patterns as fraudulent use of your credit card. Most credit card companies are really great about taking those notes and saving them into their system if you alert them to your travel plans ahead of time. This will help prevent charges getting declined or your card getting cancelled for suspicion of fraud.
Let’s not forget about our pets! If you are traveling and leaving your fur baby at home with a loving pet sitter, make sure you share with them your vet information, as well as a 24 hr vet care facility that is local to you as well. We had neighbors who left their dog with us while they were out of town once and we actually had to take their dog to the vet because of an emergency situation. It was kind of scary on our end because we didn’t know what vet they normally used and we had a hard time reaching them to get the information quickly. Another suggestion is to leave your pet sitter with a letter stating they have permission to seek medical treatment for your pet and that you will be responsible for the bill so that your vet does take the animal in for an emergency situation.
I hope these tips are helpful as you prepare to head out to make some memories this season- and from our whole team at Cholewka Law we wish you safe travels!