Moving Your Family: Strategies for Safely Navigating Your New Neighborhood
According to information provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, around 14.9 percent of the American population move each year. Whether you’re moving your family temporarily or on a permanent basis, it’s important to check out your new neighborhood and establish some safety strategies for your kids. Here are some steps you can take to improve your safety.
Safety in Your Home
As soon as you’re unpacked it’s time to lay down some home safety rules, especially for those times when your children will be home alone. Key issues to establish are:
- Keep doors and windows locked at all times.
- Do not answer the door to someone you do not know.
- Turn off appliances after use.
- Note the location of your fire extinguisher.
- Write down emergency numbers and post them on the refrigerator.
Get a Child ID Kit
It’s important to create an ID kit for each of your children in case they should get lost in your neighborhood. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has great ID kits. You should include a recent photo of your child, a full physical description, dental x-rays and teeth impression, fingerprints, and a DNA sample.
Find Important Buildings in Your Neighborhood
If you’re new to the neighborhood, you need to locate your nearest hospital, fire station and police station in case of emergencies. Jump into your Chrysler Pacifica or similar vehicle and find the fastest route to the hospital. It’s also a good idea to know where the local library and chamber of commerce are. Show your children where these buildings are located and remind them often.
Join Neighborhood Watch
These days, most communities have a local neighborhood watch program. It’s a good idea to participate. Weekly meetings are a great way to get to know your neighbors. You can feel good about doing your part to help maintain safety in your neighborhood, while keeping up to date on local crime.
Install Home Security
A home without a security system is up to 300 percent more likely to be broken into. If your new house doesn’t already have a system installed, now is a good time to think about it. Many home security companies offer security automation. This means you can receive a text message when your kids get home from school or if a door has been left unlocked or open. You can even use your phone to turn on your security lights. If you need some advice about which security system is right for your home, you can find more information here.
Once you’ve settled into your new home, becoming a resident is the final step. Applying for residency within your state means you can vote in elections and become an active member of your community. Head over to your local DMV and update your driver’s license or state ID. When you’ve done that, you can go to the Office of the City Clerk to register to vote.