The United States is going through a very difficult period. In 2020 we have been challenged by a pandemic, riots, and an economic downturn with a possible depression. The country is hurting, and we are not sure where this leads. We lack leadership at the highest levels to calm the public and take responsibility. Even the news we consume has become highly politicized. It is important to view social media with a critical eye, as many (foreign and domestic) players look to agitate the situation. Below we present means to staying safe and protecting yourself, your property, and your family during these uncertain times.
Please stay at home – we’re in the middle of a pandemic
Even if you choose to be out on the street and vocal about police brutality, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. An injustice occurred, and there are ways to protest online, so consider staying inside amid worries of COVID-19 spikes following large street protests – a recipe for another wave of infections. When the police make arrests, they hold protesters in locations not ideal for social distancing. New York is an example as “the demonstrations that have rocked New York City and other cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd “could potentially be infecting hundreds and hundreds of people, after everything that we have done,” the governor said.
If a protest rally occurs near you, stay inside and do not watch from a window. If possible, sleep in an inside room in a protected area. Your safety is the number one priority.
Plan local travel in advance
With uncertainty on the streets, prepare for even local travel. With COVID-19 an additional concern, inform a responsible party of your destination. A good rule of thumb is “before you go out, establish where a demonstration has taken place, and if possible avoid the area. Take a map so you will know where you are at all times.” Charge your phone and map your route. Drive with a full tank of gas. While some may believe these actions are overly cautious, it’s best to play it safe.
Do not engage with protesters
No one receives points for being a hero. If you’re in an area being looted by protesters, leave immediately. While most protesters are not violent and many are legitimately angry about police brutality it is not a good idea to engage them – err on the side of caution and stay away. This is common sense, but some are swept up by emotions and not thinking rationally.
Speak with your insurance company
If you are concerned about your property during a possible protest, speak with your insurance company. Like the force majeure over the past few months, it is wise to know what insurance will cover in the case of damage.
We are dealing with three unprecedented situations: a global pandemic, protests and riots on a scale not seen in recent times, and a deep economic downturn. When society is functioning well, we don’t think about potential problems. Unfortunately, many aspects are out of our control, so the need to prepare for every situation is essential.