This month is Pride Month, and as we can expect Los Angeles will be home to many events in celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. For all this community has endured being allowed often basic human rights, this time is supposed to be a time for the celebration of the hard work that has been accomplished and to proudly walk in the fullness of who they are.
However, there are those who would, but often for baseless reasons, see to not only vilify the community but see any events held in their honor turned over into a chaotic mess. This mind you is not an attack method faced exclusively by the LGBTQIA+ community but has occurred in protests or other outreaches of other social movements, like what occurred at many Black Lives Matter protests.
When others attack BLM protestors, the LGBTQIA+ community, the Asian community, and all other groups victimized by constant hateful rhetoric and violence, it is not only the targeted community that pays but the wider society at large. The resulting looting and property damage can cause families and businesses thousands of dollars to replace–if they can even afford to. Here are our tips to keep your home and business safe during such an event.
CHECK FOR VULNERABILITIES: Walk around your property and make note of all points of entry one could take into the business or home. This includes doors, windows, skylights, and other potential entry points.
- Windows can be secured with boards, metal gates, and roll-down shutters.
- Doors can be fastened with locks and reinforced with other elements.
- Move larger items that can be climbed or utilized to reach potential higher or harder to reach access points.
- We strongly encourage investing in any internal security items such as cameras, alarm systems, or security guards,
REMOVE VALUABLES FROM THE PREMISES: Simply hiding valuables away in a closet safe isn’t going to guarantee enough protection, especially for businesses. Looters can haul a safe away–even if it means going Fast & Furious style. As much as possible, move all valuable items–cash, computers, merchandise, and other valuable assets to a location removed from the area that is expected to be in the vicinity of potential unrest. If this cannot be done for all items, for what cannot be removed, make sure it is out from the street view as much as possible. Keep all doors and other points of entry locked down and secured. Also, remove any items that could create further harm (i.e. combustible products, projectiles, etc.)
HAVE EVACUATION PLANS: If you expect to be present in an area where an event could be manipulated into a riot, it’s best to have an evacuation plan in place. Have routes planned for your family or employees to take, several at least, as some options might be blocked by crowds, police, or other obstructions. And if for any reason you are prevented from taking any of the routes and have to remain in the area during a riot outbreak, we recommend having an emergency kit prepared in your car. Items it should contain:
- First Aid Kit
- Water bottles & Food
- Cordless radio
- Secured face masks (tear gas and other harmful elements may be utilized)
DEBRIEF: Should your family or employees experience a riot firsthand, we strongly recommend holding a debrief time with all members, especially if the home or business premises was in the space of the riot. Such events can be traumatic for some individuals and understanding everyone’s headspace is important to know how to proceed through the immediate aftermath. Some may be ready to resume normal activity, some may not. Be sensitive to this. Also, take time to evaluate the implementation of implemented procedures and field what can be improved on.
If you are a celebrant of Pride month, we wish you safety and happiness during this time. May you not encounter any form of hate, but instead, the acceptance and love that every person deserves.