In our modern era, we like to take it for granted that we can travel whenever we want and return to find everything exactly as we found it. While this is often the case, sometimes Murphy’s Law comes into play and we find a disaster waiting for us. Knowing what can go wrong can help you prevent many problems. That’s why it’s a good idea to be prepared for the following six possibilities.

1. Burglars

Burglars seek out homes where the owners are away. This is well known, but many people still do not take the proper precautions to discourage intruders. It’s best to have someone collect your mail while you’re away or tell the post office to temporarily hold it. It’s also helpful to have lights on a timer so it looks like someone is home. A good alarm system is another way to discourage burglars.

2. Fire

Fire is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. If it happens while you’re away, you only have the consolation that no one was hurt. However, there are several things you can do to reduce the chances of such a disaster. Keep electrical appliances unplugged. If anything has been acting improperly, such as your furnace, stove or electricity, have it checked out before you leave.

3. Plants, Garden and Lawn Disasters

Without you to take care of them, your lawn, garden or houseplants may face certain dangers. Suppose, for example, there is a dry spell while you’re traveling and the lawn turns brown? This could also ruin your vegetable or flower garden. The simplest way to prevent this is to have a trusted friend or neighbor come over and do some watering and other maintenance. If you have an extensive lawn or garden, you may need to hire a gardener or landscaper to come over while you’re away.

4. Flooded Home

A flood can be one of nature’s most destructive catastrophes. Even if you don’t live in an area prone to flooding, there is always the possibility of a pipe bursting. This is especially likely during spells of cold weather, when pipes can freeze. If flooding does occur, look up a reputable service that covers water damage restoration in Marietta, or wherever you are located, to repair your home.

5. Mold

Mold may not seem as disastrous as flooding or fire, but it can do a great deal of damage of its own. It can also pose health risks, especially if someone in the house has allergies. The best way to prevent old is to keep your home as dry as possible while you’re away. You also shouldn’t let the house get too hot. If you’re in a warm climate, it’s best to have central air conditioning on to keep temperatures below 78F.

6. Vermin

There are many creatures, large and small, who will enter your home and wreak havoc given the chance. While you’re traveling, many unwanted invaders could gain entrance, such as ants, bees, squirrels, bats or even a raccoon, depending on where you live. To prevent this, make sure animals have no access to your home via broken windows, vents or crawlspaces. Seal up any holes or entryways you can find.

You want to make your travels as stress free as possible. One way to do this is to make sure your home is secure and that you’ve done everything you can to prevent any problems. While no one can completely circumvent Murphy’s Law, the above precautions can help you avoid some of the more common disasters.