Whenever we move to a new home, especially in a different city/state, I've done as much research about the area as possible ahead of time. It's a lot easier now with the internet including great moving resource apps like Trulia and Zillow. In this day and age, tech tools of all kinds are such abig help in a move – including safety tools.
I've research on police and sheriff websites under the relatively recent “Megan's Law” options to check on the safety of an area we are househunting in. I also check to see if they or another local site has crime statistics listed. Granted, there are no guarantees in life! But when you are moving long distance, those are some practical ways to figure out which areas might be a better location to shop in.
- The Klaas Foundation has a list of the Megan's law websites by state.
I've also had excellent success by typing into Google:
- City state I am moving to AND Megan's Law
- City state I am moving to AND crime statistics
You might also try typing:
- County State I am moving to AND Megan's Law
- County state I am moving to AND crime statistics
Another thing I now do to prepare for moving to a new city is look up the websites for the city and county (and sometimes adjoining cities and counties) that I will be moving to. I can then bookmark their sites to visit regularly. You might also subscribe to email updates if the sites offer that or add them as “friends” on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Once you have your new address, check your local area to see if they are one of the cities/counties offering emergency alerts. You can often sign up for those even before you move – another good way to get a feel for the new area.
To save time before moving, you might also research news outlets, weather apps and stations, etc. and bookmark/follow those as well. That way, if you move into your house one day, and get a tornado alert at 4 am (like we did when we last moved), you won't be quite as shocked as we were. 🙂 Type in:
- city or county AND state AND radio news
- city or county AND state AND TV news
- city or county AND state AND news updates
- city or county AND state AND weather
You should come up with several great links. And if you hit the jackpot like I have a couple of times, you'll get a full page of several links for the whole area. WOOHOO – that's always a big timesaver! 🙂
Of course, low or no-tech tools are just as vital. As you are househunting, keep your eyes wide open and ask lots of questions, including about how safe the neighborhood is. If you are working with a real estate agent, legal obligations may preclude them from answering some of your questions. I have often called the local police departments and they are always very helpful in updating me to their neighborhoods crime statistics. Plus it's always wise to talk to neighbors in the area and ask how they like living there and if they have any concerns.
I would also highly recommend joining or starting a Neighborhood Watch group once you do move. It's a great way to meet neighbors and help each other stay safer as well.
Those are some of my safety tips for pre-moving and moving to a new location. How about you? We'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments below!
P.S. Linking up with Pink Saturday today.