Tensions are incredibly high in the United States right now. I realized that over the past three years, I've written that they're "at an all-time high" far too many times. So, I'll just say, they're high enough that all hell could break loose at any moment given the right (wrong) application of fuel to the flame. The number one thing you can do for this situation to keep your family safe is to be prepared for lockdown.
Pretending that it isn't happening or hoping to hug it out is not a rational response to the chaos that is coming. I know that some cling to their misguided views on the way the world works with the ferocity of a mother bear protecting cubs, but for the rest of us, there's this thing called reality. When we accept it, we can prepare for it.
People near the border are quite reasonably concerned that if thousands of immigrants push through our border illegally, they and their families could be at risk. People in other parts of the country are concerned about the aftermath of whatever happens when these people arrive at the border. Regardless of what occurs, somebody is going to be unhappy. Add in the fiercely-fought midterm elections and the threat of civil unrest is high.
Are you prepared for lockdown?
Which leads me to a very important subject. As the situation in the United States devolves, how prepared are you really? If you had to go into lockdown mode and keep your family safely at home, how long would you last with the supplies you have on hand? If the answer is "a few days" or "a couple of weeks" you need to work on that. Immediately.
By planning ahead, we can avoid the fear, panic, and confusion that leads people to rush to the store and clear the shelves like a horde of hungry locusts. We can stay away from the angry masses, the rioters who will use any excuse to steal, and the hungry people who are determined to feed their kids no matter who stands in their way.
Whether the next few weeks lead to pandemonium due to violent protests provoking some type of martial law, a prepared mindset, a defense plan, and a well-stocked home can help to keep you and your family out of harm's way.
Keep in mind that the decision may not be entirely in your hands. In a martial law situation, it's not unusual for the authorities to force people to stay in their homes. Remember in Boston when law enforcement was searching for the young man who, with his brother, was accused of setting off the bomb at the marathon? Residents were not allowed to leave their homes due to a "shelter in place directive." The directive was presented as voluntary, but if you didn't wish to have SWAT teams pointing guns in your face during this period of de facto martial law, staying home was the only option. Some people ran out of supplies the same day. Don't be one of those people.
This isn't the first time I've written about the potential need to lock down. It's a viable response to a variety of crises. For example, had the Ebola cases on US shores turned into a pandemic, a lockdown period would have been the very best way to keep your family safe.
With situations of civil unrest, it isn't as clear-cut. It depends on where you live. In a small town, far away from riots and protests, your lockdown area could be much greater than your own home. It could encompass your immediate community, too, and life might go on as it always has for you, aside from the need to stay just a little closer to home than before.