The year 2020 has been a wild one. First we had the Coronavirus Pandemic which led to shortages of food and other supplies as well as loss of income for many people. This led to some people resorting to alternate means such as burglary and theft to get the stuff they felt they needed.
Next came the civil unrest stemming from the George Floyd incident and other high profile news cases. Without picking a side in this argument, we have to look at the greater impact on our safety and lives this is causing. In nearly every major city there have been protests and some rioting. During this rioting innocent people have been injured and property unrelated to the protests has been damaged, burned and looted.
These actions have many people wondering how they remain safe during these times. While some may argue that the civil unrest is only occurring in the large cities and you can just head out to the country or the suburbs, this may not be an option for everyone. In these cases, you want to make sure you have taken every step to ensure both your family’s and your safety.
Four things you should do to safely shelter in place during a riot. Should stockpile food, secure your residence, invest in an alarm system and avoid standing out when in public. These steps will minimize the risks you face.
Stockpile Food and Supplies So You Don’t Have To Venture Out
The first step you should take if you have not already is to insure that you have the supplies available at your home or business that will allow you shelter in place if necessary. This shelter in place could be for the coronavirus, a riot caused by civil unrest, a snow storm or other major event that makes traveling dangerous.
Some of the things that you will want to have on hand at a minimum would be enough food to last for a minimum of a month or two. You also want to ensure that you have medications and other medical supplies that you may need during that time as well.
Make sure to check out our article on the foods you should store. This will better enable you to remain sheltered in place during that riot or pandemic, since it will not be necessary to seek food on a nearly daily basis like many families do.
You may also want to consider some alternate means of preparing that food. It is possible that during a riot some utilities such as power, water and gas could be interrupted. Especially in cases where violent protesters are burning buildings.
Insure your Residence is as Secure as Possible
Once you have your stock piles in place then you need to make sure that your residence is secure. There are many steps that you can take to ensure that your residence is secure. These include things such as alarm systems which we will discuss in a bit, as well as reinforcing doors and windows.
Most exterior doors are made from either solid wood or sheets of metal over a solid wood core. These doors are excellent at stopping intruders, however they often contain a weak point at the point where they connect to the door frame. One way to combat these weaknesses in the doors are with a system such as this one from Armor Concepts.
While your door frame may appear to be secure it is frequently no more than a 1×3 board. With Armor Concepts design this weakness is replaced by a metal plate on both your door and frame. This system is easily applied and can be done so without removing the door. See the video below demonstrating its effectiveness.
Exterior lighting and landscaping can also play a large role in this area. Bright, well positioned motion sensor lighting is an excellent choice as they can give you an early warning and also spook any would be intruders before they begin breaking in.
There are numerous options that you can find HERE on Amazon or even your local home improvement store for motion sensor lights. Some of these come with self contained solar power supplies so they only need to be attached with a few screws making installation very simple. If you are unable to do this yourself perhaps you could find a neighbor willing to help you, these systems can usually be installed in a matter of minutes.
Landscaping is another area where you can improve the security of your home. Make sure to keep any shrubs and trees trimmed to prevent hiding places. Also think about your yard maintenance if going out of town. Arrange for someone to come and take care of the yard if necessary. You would not want someone realizing you were away by the fact that your grass is much taller than normal.
Invest in an Alarm System With an End Goal of Sheltering in Place During a Riot
There are two thought processes when choosing an alarm system. The first being that a silent alarm gives a higher chance of catching the suspect. However, an audible alarm is more likely to scare off an intruder. I prefer an audible system as the safety of myself and family is more important than trying to catch the intruder.
I recommend that you choose a system that has multiple cameras if you can afford it. Many of these types of systems can be had relatively cheaply if you are able to install it yourself.
You can find several versions HERE on Amazon or pick up one from your local electronics store such as Best Buy. Ring makes a very nice system that allows you to build a network with your neighbors.
Advanced Warning or Approach Alarms.
If you live in a more rural area and have a long driveway then one of my favorite options is this wireless monitoring system from Guardline Security. It gives you an early warning that someone has entered your property and may be approaching the house. This is great because it gives notice before they are already at your actual residence.
Another option is to contact a monitoring service and have them do the install for you. Many of these companies will install their equipment for free if you sign up for the monitoring service and a specific duration contract.
One feature that is great to have is a cloud based system that will allow you to review the system remotely. This would help you make sure the residence is secure before you returned if it is in an area that there have been rioting issues.
Having a working and dependable alarm system would let you rest assured that you are safe while you shelter in place during a riot.
Maintain a low Profile When out in Public
Ok assuming that you do not live right in the middle of the riot location then this is probably the single most important tip of the bunch. You need to maintain a low profile when out in public during this heated atmosphere.
What that means, is that you should try to blend in as much as possible without making yourself stand out. Obviously between the racial tensions, potential political tensions and even dislike of certain public figures such as law enforcement you do not want to obviously take sides in either of these issues.
That does not mean you cannot have your opinions. It just means that if you are concerned for your safety or that of your family these times may not be the best to identify yourself as a police officer when off duty. That support trump, back the blue or even the black lives matter logo could incite some unwanted attention.
I understand that you have a right to voice your opinions and wear what you want to, but remember if you have a family that these decisions do not only affect you.
When it does become time to head home then make sure you are not being followed, vary your routes. If you do suspect you are being followed then make an unscheduled stop on the way to see if it continues.
Take a moment to watch the video below which covers the Gray Man Theory. This theory teaches you to take notice of the environment and adapt your behaviors so that you do not stand out. This video was put together by City Prepping.
Social Media Dangers and how it Could Affect you Sheltering in Place During a Riot
Last, I understand that many people are social media warriors and choose to vent their opinions there. However, in most people’s cases they also have pictures of their homes, children and families. With all of the information online nowadays is it really worth stirring up unnecessary hatred that may somehow come back to your residence and endanger your family.
Also avoid posting pictures on your social media of those high ticket items that you recently purchased. Nearly every riot involves looting of some sort, and if the riot became large enough most looters would not hesitate to hit a residence where they knew they could get some high ticket items with little resistance.
Employ These Steps to Safely Shelter In Place During a Riot
Now that we have discussed four steps that are fairly easy to implement, consider doing so as soon as you can. While they do not absolutely guarantee your safety, they can definitely make you a harder target.
From my experience, most criminals tend to favor an easy target that they are sure they can make an easy victim and get away clean.
Make sure to check out some of our other articles such as Why You Should Become a Prepper.