As you are all well aware, a pandemic, the novel-Corona (COVID-19) virus, has been sweeping the globe, and with it, leaving bare shelves and a panicked populace in its wake. If you’ve been following the news like I’ve been, you’ve undoubtedly noticed a disturbing trend in the number of reports surfacing over interpersonal violence at checkout lines, supermarkets and public venues where, a short two or three weeks ago, no such concerns existed. You may have also taken note of various governments and municipalities announcing a cutback in police and other first-responder services, contemporaneous with many inmates in jails and prisons being released early to avoid COVID-19 spreading throughout the penal system. How do we secure ourselves, our families and our homes in these tense and uncertain times? *Note- this article will not address the precautionary measures necessary to mitigate COVID-19 or associated viruses. For information pertaining to that- please consult the CDC or other reputable sources.*
Situational Awareness- No longer just a platitude, knowing your immediate surroundings is a critical component to personal security, and this means getting your face out of the personal electronics while out and about and actually checking your surroundings. When arriving at the grocery store / gas station (insert destination of choice here) take a second to examine your surroundings. Does anyone look out of place? Is there anyone loitering about who appears to be hassling patrons for money? My rule of thumb is “if it feels wrong, it probably is”, and that little axiom has kept me out of more trouble over the years than I can recount. There’s no shame in taking stock of your surroundings, spotting possible trouble, and departing the scene. Remember, discretion is the better part of valor, and you going home to your family is what ultimately matters.
Beware of transitional spaces- Transitional spaces can be defined as parking lots, parking garages, or similar venues where a criminal might seek to close the distance from them to you via a ruse (asking for the time) or by ambush, due to you being preoccupied with another task, such as fishing for car keys, loading groceries, etc. I prefer to park in well lit areas, and am constantly checking my surroundings. If someone is making a direct approach, you have to ask your self why. If feasible, use the buddy system, where one person keeps watch and the other completes the task at hand.
Securing your homestead- While we like to think of our homes as our respite from the bustle and worries of modern life, there are steps that we can take to ensure that our sanctuaries are safe from those with nefarious intentions in these difficult and uncertain times. Here are some of the steps that I take to keep my family safe while at home;
* Lock your doors- This sounds simple, but many people like to keep their doors unlocked while they are at home. It takes very little effort to lock the doors, denying a criminal easy entry into your abode. Also, if you have a drive in garage with door, keep the door down at all times, unless you’re leaving or returning with your vehicle.
* Social Media- Avoid the temptation to “virtue signal” or be boastful of your foodstuffs or preparations. There have been cases where criminals have used social media to identify potential target homes. Also, keep any preps to yourself. Don’t brag to the neighbor or colleagues about how much _____ you have. It’s no one’s business, and you have no idea how far that intel will spread.
* Check your exterior lighting- Having a well lit exterior of your house denies criminals obvious hiding places or blind spots, as well as potential ambush points.
* Answering the door- We’ve been conditioned as a society to be “nice” to everyone, and many criminals are quick to take advantage of this. If someone knocks on your door (or rings the doorbell) that you don’t know, I do not open the door for them. we can converse through the barrier that the door provides. Some criminals will attempt a ruse by which they gain entry to your home (and family). If someone asks to use your phone, offer to call the police for them. Having a remote doorbell camera offers additional security, and affords you the opportunity to share info with neighbors / law enforcement regarding suspicious persons going door to door in your neighborhood.
Travel Smart- If we must travel during a pandemic, these pointers will help ensure that you stay safe.
* Keep your vehicle fueled & maintained- As a general rule, I refuel my vehicles if they are at 1/2 a tank. Don’t run the risk of running out of fuel, and having the cars at your homestead fully fueled affords you options should you have to leave in great haste and travel for an extended distance. Also, keeping your vehicles in good working order minimizes potential mishaps with regard to their function. Cheaping out on vehicle maintenance means YOU will be stuck on the side of the road at the most inopportune time.
* Have cash on hand- In the event that credit card readers are down / compromised, cash is king. Maintaining a supply of cash (the amount determined by you) in small bills beats not having any on hand for those emergencies.
* Have IFAK / white light- You DO have an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) and flashlight in your vehicles, don’t you? If not, it might be time to remedy that.
Final Thoughts- The points articulated about are not just about staying safe during a pandemic, but are applicable during times of calm and plenty. Also, this list is not all inclusive or exhaustive. At the end of the day, calm and deliberate actions, coupled with a sober mind will prevail during times of chaos and uncertainty. I hope that you find the information in this article useful, and feel free to contact me at any time for additional tips or training at – Fred@green-ops.com
Fred is a full-time law enforcement officer with an agency in the Washington D.C area. He is also a Field Training Officer (FTO) and full-time law enforcement firearms instructor.
Prior to this, Fred served in the U.S Army for eight years, deploying to the Former Yugoslavia several times to support international peacekeeping operations in Bosnia & Herzegovina. After leaving the military, he would deploy multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan, in support of DOD efforts in the Global War on Terror as an intelligence & security contractor. Fred has also trained and qualified support contract personnel in the use of small arms prior to their deployments in the Global War on Terror.
Fred is a graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Firearm Instructor Training Program (FITP), and RangeMaster’s Instructor and Advanced Instructor development programs. He has trained with many of the very best in the training industry, to include Larry Vickers, Kyle Defoor, Mike Green, Todd Louis Green, John Murphy, Jared Reston, Tom Givens and Bob Vogel. To date, he has completed over 400 hours of formal firearms & instructional training and is an avid student to this day.
Fred is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment and has shot competitively in KSTG as well as 2-Gun matches.
*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.