Snowbird Tips from OnStar

December 12, 2011 by

A Snowbird Checklist for Securing and Winterizing Your Home

Older couple relaxing on the beachWhen you have OnStar, you’ve got 24-hour peace of mind. That’s especially helpful for you snowbirds who travel to warm climates for the winter. You know that if you need Roadside Assistance(1) or Emergency Services(2), OnStar is only a button push away. On your trip south, Turn-by-Turn Navigation(3) can be especially helpful when you’re visiting unfamiliar areas. Knowing that you can get directions to anywhere you need to go, anytime, helps make traveling a more stress-free experience. Plus being able to keep in touch with loved ones — no matter where they are — with Hands-Free Calling(4) provides you with plenty of peace of mind, too.

Here are a few tips and reminders to help make your travel time away from home worry-free:

Thermostat on wall being turned down• Turn the heat down and set programmable timers for lights and the TV.
• Unplug any appliances you won’t be using.
• Lock all windows and doors, including the inside garage door to the house, and place steel bars in slider doors.
• Give a trusted friend or neighbor a key and ask them to check your house periodically.
Hand turning key in door• Tell the police when you’ll be gone and when you’re returning.
• Arrange to have the snow cleared from your driveway and sidewalk.
• Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway periodically.
• Add motion-sensor security lights outside.
• Make sure your gutters are cleared of leaves and debris before you leave to help prevent ice dam damage.


• Don’t forget to take your tax documents if you’ll be gone past April 15.

• Make a list of emergency contact numbers and prescriptions and give a copy to a family member.

Are you heading to warmer climates this winter? Or do you wish you were? Tell about it in the comments section below.

1 Roadside service provided by Cross Country.
2 Visit for vehicle availability, details and system limitations. OnStar acts as a link to existing emergency service providers.
3 Requires ABS and Directions & Connections Plan. Visit for coverage map. Services vary by model.
4 Visit for coverage map, details and system limitations.