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Moving tips: Learning about your new hometown

Prepare for your move by getting to know your new area - not just the tourist attractions, but the resources you'll need as a homeowner as well. 

If you are about to make a big move to a different city, state or even country, you're probably excited to explore your new home. Although learning the best restaurants, bars and local hotspots may be at the top of your list, there are a few places with which you familiarize yourself before moving to ensure your safety and comfort as you settle in. Here's the short list of sites to find before hitting the town:

Major medical resources

Particularly if you're about to start reorganizing furniture and installing home appliances, it may be wise to determine the location of medical buildings in town sooner rather than later. Look online to find the address for the local hospital, as well as a walk-in clinic for non-emergency situations. If your new home is located far from your current physician, it's also a good idea to start looking for a regular doctor shortly after you make your move. Your physician may be able to provide a recommendations for finding care in your new town, especially if you're looking for a doctor who specializes in a specific medical field.

Emergency contacts

Although you'll hopefully never need to get in touch, knowing where to find emergency services can be a lifesaver in the event of an unfortunate situation. Determine where the nearest police office and fire department are, and make note of their non-emergency contact information. It's also a good idea to jot down the number for your local utilities provider, particularly if you're moving to a location where inclement weather can cause breaks in power. 

Government buildings

You don't need a full-blown tour of the town hall, but knowing where important government buildings in your new town are located can save you time and energy later on. For example, you'll need to know where the nearest Department of Motor Vehicles office is in order to switch or renew your driver's license and obtain certain certifications. Other sites of importance may include the post office and local courthouse.

Additional services

In addition to the places above, certain locations around town can be helpful - if not necessary - to know. For example, a community center may be able to provide important resources for local residents, plus opportunities for recreation and events. Other sport- or activity-related facilities can be ideal places to make new friends in town, especially if you're moving to a place where you don't know many people.

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