Notify your news carrier to discontinue paper deliveries.
Notify the Post Office to hold your mail or arrange with a neighbor to pick up and hold your mail.
Make arrangements to have grass cut and watered while you are gone. Have someone check daily to remove throwaway papers and circulars from your doorway and yard.
If you have valuables in the house, take them to your bank for storage in a safety deposit box. Deposit extra cash in your bank account.
Notify your sheriff’s office or local police station about your departure and return dates, and give a name and telephone number of a neighbor or relative to notify in case of a burglary, fire, or other emergency.
Make sure any broken windows, door locks, or window locks are repaired.
Arrange with a neighbor or relative to watch your house and give them a key. Let them know how you can be reached in an emergency. Write their telephone number down so you can check with them during your trip. Give them your car description and license number.
Move all ladders, tools, lawn implements, garbage cans, and yard furniture to your garage, basement, or storage shed.
Unplug all electrical appliances, such as radios, television sets, irons, washers, and fans to prevent possible damage from electrical storms.
Set your thermostat so that your furnace or air conditioner will maintain reasonable temperatures -80o F in summer and 55o F in the winter. In winter, make sure outside water taps are drained to prevent freezing.
Close your fireplace flue to prevent birds or animals from entering.
Make sure all gas appliances are in good order and that pilot lights are working.
Turn off water to automatic washer to prevent possible damage from broken hose.
Turn down volume control on the bottom of your telephone so it cannot be heard from outside.
Close all windows and sliding doors and lock. Make sure that “Charley bar” is secure on sliding doors, and that all screens or storm windows are locked or fastened.
Put window shades in normal daytime position, and make sure all main floor drapes, shades, and curtains are arranged so that neighbors and police can see into your house.
If you are leaving a car or other vehicle in your driveway, make sure it is locked.
Set your electrical timer to turn some lights on and off during the evening hours.
Lock your garage door.
Make sure the last person out locks the door. Take a walk around the house. Check the doors and windows.
If you haven’t already done so, leave your key with your neighbor or relative. Check to make sure you have their phone number.
Do not leave a note on your door which may indicate your absence.
Do not leave a message on your machine that you are out of town.