Marilyn Buskohl
Public Affairs Director
O: (605) 310-4614
C: (605) 367-3964

May 26, 2017 — Whether you’re jet-setting across the seas or taking a “stay-cation” nearby this summer, protecting your home should be a top priority. With nearly 40 million Americans planning to kick off the summer travel season with a Memorial Day Holiday weekend trip, AAA offers tips to help make vacations less stressful.

“Vacations require preparation and planning,” said Marilyn Buskohl, AAA spokeswoman. “Just as you ensure all your items are packed for a relaxing time away, it’s also important to take steps to safeguard your home and keep your possessions safe from theft and hazardous weather.”

Tips to protect your home while you’re away

  • Lock up. Dead-bolt window and door locks are the first line of defense to secure your home, since they can slow burglars down and may deter them entirely. Check with your insurance agent for discounts when you install these devices.
  • Use an alarm. Invest in an effective burglar alarm that alerts the police, fire department and other emergency services. Check with your insurance agent for a discount for having an alarm system.
  • Disconnect computers. Make sure any personal information on your computer is difficult to access. Disconnect your electronic devices from the Internet to prevent hackers.
  • Keep your valuables locked and well-hidden. Expensive jewelry, electronic devices and other valuables should be hidden from plain view and placed in safe lock boxes.
  • Make your home look inhabited. Use timers to turn lights on and off. Temporarily stop newspaper deliveries and arrange to have your mail picked up or held by the post office. An unkempt lawn is also an indicator to burglars that you are away; hire a lawn service to maintain your yard if you will be gone for an extended period of time.
  • Tell someone you trust. Ask a dependable neighbor, friend or family to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. Alerting the local police will also add a level of security.
  • Use discretion. Avoid discussing your vacation plans in public places such as at the grocery store or at your local café. Although vacations are exciting, try not to post about it on social media; someone may see your posts and target your home while you’re away.
  • Create a home inventory. In the event that you do need to file a claim, preparing a home inventory including pictures or video of your possessions beforehand will help make the process easier.
  • Plan for pets. Make pets a part of your plan by creating a pet emergency kit including pet food, toys, and a leash. If you are unable to evacuate your pet, a pet rescue sticker affixed to a front window can alert rescuers that your pet may be trapped inside. Identify pet-friendly accommodations since pets are not always allowed in emergency shelters. Also consider micro chipping pets, so they can be easily identified if you’re separated.
  • Check your insurance policy coverage. In case you experience theft or damage to your property, ensure that you have the coverage you need. Find out if your insurance policy covers the types of disaster-related damages that could impact your neighborhood. Standard home insurance policies do not provide coverage for floods


AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and nearly 97,000 members in South Dakota.  AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years.  AAA is a not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app ( for iPhone, iPad and Android.  For more information, visit


TEDx Wilmington Salon

Who's in the Driver's Seat? The Transformation of Transportation

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, AAA and TEDx Wilmington held the first TEDx Salon dedicated to ideas worth spreading in transportation.

This event had:

  • 12 live talks given by 13 speakers
  • 368 people in attendance at the live event
  • More than 7,500 viewed the event online through Livestream, viewing events, and on the AAA Associate network
  • Online viewers came from all 50 states and approximately 30 countries around the world

View a slideshow from the event

This TEDx WilmingtonSalon was organized in partnership with AAA

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