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Ready to Fly South for the Winter? Protect Your Northern Nest First!

Ready to Fly South for the Winter? Protect Your Northern Nest First!

Love the holiday season, but hate the cold? Can’t wait to escape winter’s chill and fly the coop to a warmer, likely more southern nest? OK, snowbirds, we feel you! But, while you’re escaping away to warmer weather this winter, how can you make sure that your northern nest stays safe and sound?

Everything from burglary to below-zero temperatures can wreak havoc on your heavenly escape in the winter, but there are some things that you can do to prepare your home for your time away.

Here are five tips for snowbirds who are preparing to fly south this winter:

1. Take care of regular winter home maintenance issues first. Do all of the little things that you typically would do to your home before winter weather hits. Check for leaky roof spots and drafty windows and doors. Clean your gutters, chimney and give your furnace a tune-up and new filter, too. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and make sure they are working properly.


2. Then, take some extra home maintenance steps. Frozen pipes are a big concern for snowbirds, but you can help to make sure that your pipes withstand winter’s cold by draining them before you leave, then keeping your home’s thermostat set at around 55 or 60 degrees. It is also a good idea to shut off water to your dishwasher and washing machine before you fly south for the winter.


3. Lock your home down and brighten it up. Burglary is a top concern for anyone who leaves their home, particularly for an extended period of time. So, snowbirds, making your home appear to be inhabited is a great way to deter would-be criminals from capitalizing on your absence. After you make sure there are locks on all of your doors and windows, see to it that you have some bright lights set on timers outside and random timers set for some lights inside, too.


Anytime you leave your home, it is a good idea to lock up valuables that you do not plan to take with you. Snowbirds, you may also want to stop or transfer your mail or newspaper delivery service to keep your mailbox from overflowing while you’re away. Finally, if you live in a snowy area, you may need to hire a snow removal service to keep your home properly manicured during the winter months.

4. Monitor your home, even when you’re not there. Rely on a trusted friend or neighbor to check in on your home from time to time. Leave a key with them in the case of any emergencies or to simply bring in any delivery or flyer that is left on your doorstep. But, keep in mind that your friends and neighbors do not need to be the only way you’re able to check in on your home when you’re away for the winter. You can download a security app that will enable you to use a webcam or other security camera to peer inside of your home from just about anywhere.


5. Don’t share too much information. In the age of social media, it is very easy to divulge too much information on the web. “So long, snowy days… enjoying the beach today and for the rest of the winter!” may not be the best status update or tweet to post while you’re away from your home. While you may think that you’re only communicating with your “friends,” that could be an easy way for a criminal to find out that you’re away and that you will be for the entire winter season.

There is a reason that warmer temperatures attract snowbirds year after year; but, that annual migration does not mean that snowbirds should forget about taking care of their northern coops while they enjoy a few sunny days away. Some simple maintenance and preparation may be all a southern snowbird needs to protect their northern nest this winter!