Post-Election Safety Plans

Post-Election Safety Plans

Post-Election Safety Plans

What they are and why we should have them in place.

What they are and why we should have them in place.

Text: Juliana Bakumenko

With the 2020 Presidential Election almost over, (there’s still some time to vote if you haven’t already!!), we all know the results will have serious ramifications. Not just long-term, irreversible impacts on our deteriorating global climate, the legal status of LGBTQIA rights, and deserved equality for Black and Brown lives, but also directly after the results are official, there can be some major threats to public safety.

The current US president has already said he will not accept the election results if they are not in his favor, and these blatant challenges to democracy could also lead to heated protests and actions from supporters if he is not re-elected. While even the idea that a president would refuse the people’s choice to vote in a new president is absolutely ridiculous, it is an entirely too real possibility right now, and we should all try our best to be safe because we don’t know what the outcomes from that may be.

Because it is such a contentious point in our nation, regardless of who wins, the results from the election could lead to some direct attacks and acts of violence toward or against certain communities. We urge everyone to be safe and take caution for some time after the results come out. Here’s what a post-election safety plan is. 

Physical Safety

You and your loved ones should prioritize your physical and emotional safety following the election. Keep an ear open to what’s going on in your community following the election, if tensions may be rising near you or certain groups are having strong reactions. It could be a good idea for you and your loved ones to have a plan in case it’s safest for you to go away from your home for a little while.

Pack a bag of essentials in case you do need to go, including your ID and important documents, any medications you may need, some clothes, toiletries, snacks, cash, cards, your phone and laptop and their chargers, and some form of personal protection, just in case.

If getting away for a bit isn’t a viable option, staying inside is also a good form of safety. We should already be doing this as much as possible amidst the pandemic and all, but, before the election results are out, getting groceries and anything else you might need to last you a couple weeks isn’t a bad idea.

If you or someone you know is an undocumented immigrant, we urge you to look into the nearest sanctuary city as we’re not sure exactly what could happen following the election. It’s always best to have a back-up plan.

Mental Safety

This election had already placed an emotional toll on many of us, and with heightened anxiety leading up to the election, it’s important to think ahead at how we may feel about the possible outcomes. If you know that the outcomes will have a serious impact on your mental health, talk to your work about it, schedule ahead in case you need personal days to feel a bit more safe and collected.

If you take any medications for any emotional disorders, make sure you have them refilled beforehand so you can be prepared in any instance. Talk to people who love you and support you, and find other outlets of channeling your frustration, anxiety, or fears.

Especially at a time when so many marginalized communities are already under attack, having a physical and emotional safety plan if you belong to a community that has been historically and systemically targeted and discriminated against could be very important. If you are at a point of privilege where the outcome of this election may not have as much of a dire impact on you, check in your friends who will be impacted.

Again, this is not a pleasant or lighthearted topic, but with our current reality, it is important to think of these things ahead of time and make sure you and your loved ones are feeling safe and protected. V is here for you all, and let’s hope for the best, but be prepared for the not so good.

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