In New Mexico and across the U.S., governors are issuing orders for their citizens to stay home except for essential activities like grocery shopping and outdoor exercise to avoid the spread of COVID-19. While staying home may sound like the safest thing you can do right now, there are other concerns that you should be aware of. Follow these tips to stay safe during the quarantine.
Make Your Home as Safe as Possible
A lot of people are wondering if now is the right time to purchase a gun for home protection. This is an especially important question for women who live alone. My advice? If you don’t know how to responsibly use a gun, or don’t have a safe to store the firearm, introducing a gun into your home can actually be more dangerous.
Instead, you can create a layering system of safety for your home. So, for instance, try having:
- Ample lighting on the outside of your home (automatic lights are great, too)
- A doorbell camera with a sign
- An alarm system (or at least signage that you have one)
- A barking dog (even a chihuahua will do!)
- Mace, an Equalizer, a kubaton, or another tool you know how to use
All of these obstacles will deter an attacker from targeting you. Remember: most criminals are looking for an easy target. The harder you are to get to, the less they’ll want to try.
There are a number of other ways to keep your home safe, like not leaving your garage door open or getting rid of spare keys you may leave under doormats, or above a door frame. Also, be extra aware of door-to-door scammers. If you don’t have a scheduled appointment with a service provider or technician from the cable company, phone company, or utility service, don’t let them in! And remember to follow safety rules when you do let someone into your home.
Maintain Your Safety Online
If you’re working from home, you probably don’t have the same firewalls and other security in place on your home network that you do at work. According to experts, hacking and scams are on the rise, because criminals know this. Now is a good time to institute online safety, especially on social media.
Guard your home address online and don’t give away identifying information, whether that’s on Facebook or to a scam caller. Stalkers may use this time to lash out, because they know where you’ll be (at home) and they have more time on their hands, too. Don’t hesitate to call the police if you feel threatened.
Keep Your Guard Up When You Do Go Out
Even though most of us are staying home more than we normally would, it’s important to remember to keep up your normal safety routines when you’re at the grocery store, pharmacy, the ATM, or out for an afternoon stroll or jog. Walk with confidence, keep your head on a swivel, and don’t be distracted, even if you’re fighting over the last roll of toilet paper on the shelf.
You can also take this time to practice your training. I’m giving tips and demonstrations during a live video chat on my Facebook page every Tuesday at 10 AM Mountain Time during quarantine. Join and get some ideas! You can also view previous episodes there, too.