We compiled a list of essential tips, useful tips, and priceless information to keep you & your family safe and sane during the pandemic lockdown and beyond!
No matter where you are located in the United States right now, we’re certainly entering uncharted territory during this unprecedented event. As things continue to progress, the potential for violence increases as does our duty to protect ourselves and loved ones.
That being said, there are definitely steps that many gun owners and concealed carriers take daily that can help you stay safe!
We put together the best advice, tips, and tricks to help keep you safe and sane during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Stay Put and Be Mindful of What You Touch
The CDC advises maintaining a physical distance of 6′ from others during this pandemic to avoid contracting the Coronavirus. While many companies are asking employees to work remotely and more states and counties are issuing stay-at-home orders, people need to be mindful of things coming into their homes as well.
Amazon has confirmed the coronavirus outbreak has spread to employees in at least ten warehouses nationwide, infecting workers racing to deliver massive volumes of packages for consumers leery of leaving their homes to shop. Opening packages outside the home, wiping down items with cleaning wipes, and thorough hand-washing after handling shipped items is recommended.
Clean common surfaces in your home like light switches, remote controls, doorknobs, keyboards, gaming controls, and faucet handles with disinfectants often. Make it a game by giving your kids each one category to clean and time them – first one done earns an ice cream cone. Challenge your significant other to a clean off – winner earns a 5-minute backrub or loser has to make dinner. These chores can be lame and boring, so look for ways to make them fun.. ish, we get it – they’re still chores.
2. Stay in Condition Yellow in Public
Whether you’re an essential employee heading to work or picking up a prescription at the pharmacy, chances are, you’ll have to leave your house at some point. When you do head out, stay in Condition Yellow and make sure your situational awareness is shifted into high gear.
- Even if you’re traveling a short distance, take your gun
- Keep your face out of your phone but keep it charged and within reach
- Back your vehicle into or pull through parking spaces with easy access to exit roads so you can drive straight out quickly
- Know where the emergency exits are at all times
- Watch people, make eye contact, identify situations that could potentially escalate into violence and leave
- Trust your gut
Living in Condition Yellow simply means you function with your head on a swivel, remain aware of your environment and the people in it, move with purpose, and always have an escape plan. Once practiced, it becomes natural but in today’s climate, it’s essential to realize just how necessary it is to avoid or escape danger.
Another great tip: When returning from a public space, take your shoes off before entering your home and wash your hands as soon as you’re done unpacking your goods. Infectious Disease Specialists warn that COVID-19 can live on the soles of your shoes for up to 5 days, so make sure you’re not tracking bacteria, fungi, and viruses into your home!
3. Refresh and Rehearse Your Home Defense Plan
A home defense plan is what you and your family do if your home security becomes compromised. The plan should involve who does what and who goes where. Every home should have one, and now is a great time to rehearse it and possibly update it.
With a lot of families currently confined to their homes, now is the perfect time to rehearse it during different times of the day. See what works and adjust what needs to change, then run through it again. Heck, practice fire and tornado drills, too!
You can also make this an opportunity to go over the four rules of gun safety with everyone and do random pop quizzes with the kiddos throughout the day.
The time we have at home during this pandemic could serve to reinforce ideas, rules, and lessons that could end up saving a life, so make it a priority to drill them in while you have time.
4. Carry All Day, Everyday – Even at Home
I advise carrying religiously every single day regardless of the situation but especially right now, even when you’re at home. With states actively releasing inmates from correctional institutions and law enforcement departments announcing they will not be responding to service calls to limit physical contact with the public, you need to be prepared at all times
If you’re like me, you use a long gun for home defense but the long gun by the bed is useless when you’re in the living room and the door gets kicked in. Or if you keep your handgun in your Secret Compartment end table in the living room and happen to be in your child’s room when you hear someone at their window.
If you carry all day, every day – you don’t have to think twice before walking across the street to get the mail or walking around your own yard to pick up dog poop: you’ll always have your gun on you if you need it.
5. Don’t Be Complacent
Keep your mind and your home in Condition Yellow at all times. It’s easy to feel safe in your own home and think your neighborhood is secure, with everyone looking out for each other on apps like Nextdoor and Neighbors. But the fact is, whether it’s 5 AM or 11 PM, you’re in charge of securing and protecting your home.
Lock your doors and windows during the day, don’t let your kids play outside without a watchful eye on them, and secure vehicles, outbuildings, and garages. Adjust window coverings so perps can’t peep inside – the less they know, the better.
Play it smart and remember criminals don’t work from home or follow laws, even during a pandemic.
6. Increase Your Firepower
If you are traveling outside the home for any reason, it might be wise to supplement your .380 with a Glock 19 or replace it altogether with a bigger handgun. A bigger gun is easier to shoot, has a higher capacity, and is typically easier to fix malfunctions on.
Guns like the SIG P365 or Springfield Hellcat should be the minimum you carry. Bigger is always better and believe it or not, you can carry nearly any handgun with the right holster and clothing options.
Add an extra magazine (or two!) along with a knife, small flashlight, multitool, and tourniquet to your EDC on outings during the pandemic and you just may find you’ll carry it all well beyond.
“I wish I would have brought a smaller gun with less ammunition,” said no one who has ever survived a gunfight ever.
7. Improve Your Shot
Being stuck at home during a pandemic can be boring, so why not use this time to make sure you’re still hot? Practice reloading, malfunction drills, and dry fire train to your heart’s content. Most ranges are closed but even if they were open, you may not be able to draw from your holster there.
The MantisX is probably my all-time favorite piece of training gear. It gives you real-time data for drawing, dry firing, and offers detailed feedback to improve your shot. It’s a must-have for being stuck at home during this pandemic and getting better with your handgun.
Work on your draw, presentation, grip, trigger control, and more while you’re cooped up and able to. Time spent preparing is never wasted time so make sure you’re better prepared and more efficient should you need to defend yourself or others!
8. Gussy up Your Gear, Baby!
What’s on Netflix? Who cares – break out your guns, knife, holster, flashlight, belt, and whatever else you carry daily and freshen it up until you’re the king of clean gear!
Clean your gun and magazines, check your ammo for issues like rust or deformation, make sure the clips on your holster are tight, oil the leather, make sure you haven’t developed any cracks in the Kydex or other issues, replace or charge your flashlight’s batteries, sharpen knives, oil multitools, you know – the whole shebang!
You got the pandemic time, use it for the kind of spring cleaning we’ve always wanted time to do.
9. Catch Up On Reading
Knowledge is power and I don’t know about you, but there is a stack of great informational books in my office that I just haven’t had time to read. Break out your laptop, cell phone, tablet, reading device, or go retro with an actual book and exercise your eyes and brain!
Reading is always great but for the purpose of being prepared, focus on books that can teach you something from a survival perspective. Here are a few great ones to choose from:
- Principles of Personal Defense, Jeff Cooper
- The Law of Self-Defense, Andrew Branca
- The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker
- Fighting Smarter, Tom Givens
- Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals, Michael Martin
- The Cornered Cat: A Woman’s Guide to Concealed Carry, Kathy Jackson
- Deadly Force – Understanding Your Right to Self-Defense, Massad Ayoob
- Sheep No More: The Art of Awareness and Attack Survival, Jonathan T. Gilliam
- 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team
- Guns, God, and the American Dream: The Story of Tim Schmidt & the USCCA, Tim Schmidt
In addition to exercising your brain, make sure you’re also moving your muscles! Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and improve the quality of your sleep, and bonus: exercise can have a powerful effect on your immune system “by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.”
10. Prepare to be Your Own First Responder
No matter where you live geographically right now, the idea that police can save you is naive. To limit contact with citizens, many sizeable law enforcement departments have announced they will not dispatch officers to calls of nonviolent offenses including theft, burglary, and other property crimes. If criminals want something valuable in your home and know the police won’t respond to your 9-1-1 call, that’s a recipe for a crime wave so stay alert and prepared.
It’s also important to ensure you have the means to handle other issues that may arise, like having the means to treat a deep gash, a fire extinguisher (just in case), a few tourniquets, wound packing supplies and know-how, a quality first aid kit, cold medications, and other essentials. Brushing up on your technique or teaching your family how to perform CPR is another great activity that fills time and could potentially save a life.
The most important step in any process is recognizing problems you could possibly face. From there, work to ensure you’re prepared, so get to it!
Wrapping It Up
While a lot of you may already be doing many of these things, there is always room for improvement and this is the perfect opportunity to advance your skills and preparedness!
What do you think? Are there any other actions you would suggest to help keep people safe during the Coronavirus pandemic? What have you been doing so far? Sound off in the comments – as usual, we want to hear from you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record-setting 11 months at sea. Travis has trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines, and the Afghan National Army.
He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and pursues a variety of firearms based hobbies.
©MTC Holsters, LLC and CrossBreed Holsters Blog, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Travis Pike and the CrossBreed Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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