May 14, 2020

Need to Leave The House for Essentials? Here’s How to Stay Safe When Going Out in Public During COVID-19

best essential item safety tips

Social distancing, self-quarantine, and stay-at-home orders are the new normal. Many cities and counties all across the United States have instructed residents to stay home to hopefully stunt the spread of the coronavirus. At least 316 million people in the United States are being urged to self-quarantine and in recent weeks, those who are obeying stay at home orders are now accounting for 95 percent of the population. This change in routine is different, chaotic, and can be very stressful.

Places like grocery stores, parking garages, and gas stations are included in this large section of businesses that remain open because they are deemed as essential. What about these essential businesses? How can you protect yourself and others when you need to go to these places? One option: carry the Silent Beacon wearable panic button

The Silent Beacon allows you to call any number including 911 while sending multiple people your live GPS location. Different emergencies require different responses. Silent Beacon allows you to customize who you call for help, whether that’s 911, emergency services, a family member or friend, even phone numbers overseas. Silent Beacon uses your smartphone’s GPS to send your location in real-time via text, email, and push notifications to people who can help you in an emergency. This feature adds a whole extra layer of safety, enabling contacts to find you if you’re incapacitated or unable to talk. Unlike competing devices, Silent Beacon requires no monthly or hidden fees. Once you purchase your device and connect it with your smartphone or tablet’s Bluetooth® you won’t have to worry about additional fees or setup costs. Anytime you leave your home, especially during a time of social distancing and panic, bring your Silent Beacon with you as that extra safety precaution.

Continue reading to hear some of our best essential item safety tips when dealing with social distancing and a worldwide pandemic.

Grocery Stores:

Going grocery shopping to get food and supplies for you and your family is essential. Since grocery stores are essential businesses and cannot close, a change in routine is required. The need for change has forced many grocery stores to implement new store hours and tools to help cater to this changing and chaotic time. There is always still a chance of danger with the constant spread of germs so here are our Best Essential Item Safety Tips to stay safe when going grocery shopping.

  • Try to shop during off-peak hours:

Multiple grocery stores are changing their hours to accommodate this virus. If you type in your preferred store’s name and location into Google, a box should pop up explaining when the store is busiest and least busy. If you are “high risk”, find out if your grocery store has special hours for you.

  • Wash hands, counters, and all other surfaces you’ve touched:

Do this before going shopping and after you’ve put away your groceries. Keep in mind that washing your hands with soap and water and washing your counters with a wet towel is just as good, if not better, than using disinfectant wipes.

  • Wear a mask:

Whether it’s a DIY mask or an official mask, covering your face when in public is recommended to keep you and those around you safe. Examples of DIY materials include any secure piece of cloth, a bandana, scarf, or even an old t-shirt.

  • Bring germicide with you and keep hand sanitizer in the car:

Use germicide or hand sanitizer to wipe your hands and cart before and after you shop.

  • Follow social distancing guidelines:

Continue to practice social distancing at the grocery store. Many supermarkets have set up lines on the floor so shoppers can keep 6 feet of distance between them and the next person. Also, try to avoid busy aisles and keep space between you and check-out employees.

  • If possible, pay with apps on your phone like Apple or Google Pay:

Paying through a device prevents you from touching widely used and germ-filled items like cash or credit card keypads.

  • Only touch items you plan on buying:

In order to protect against the spread of germs, avoid touching access items at the grocery store. Try to only touch produce and other items you are positive you will purchase.

  • Make sure the self-checkout area has been cleaned if you decide to use it:

If you decide to check-out your groceries at self-checkout, make sure that the stations are being cleaned after each use to avoid the spread of germs.

  • Use plastic bags instead of reusable:

While using reusable bags saves the environment, during COVID-19, the reusable bags can easily spread the virus. Using plastic is a better alternative for the time being.

  • Park far away:

Park far away from the entrance of the store to keep your distance between other shoppers and workers.

Gas Stations:

Similar to grocery stores, refilling your tank at a gas station is an essential activity, even during a worldwide pandemic. Here are some tips to stay as safe as possible when pumping gas.

  • Pump gas at off-peak hours:

Just like for grocery stores, go to gas stations at off-hours. You can find out the least busy times for gas stations by googling your preferred station.

  • Wipe the gas pump before use:

To avoid the spread of germs, wipe down the pump and the credit card keypad before getting started to keep the area clean.

  • Keep hand sanitizer, gloves, masks, and disinfectant wipes in your car:

In order to protect yourself from the germs at gas stations, use gloves, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes whenever possible. Avoid directly touching the pump and bring gloves if you are able.

  • Try full-service gas stations if there is one in your area:

Search for full-service gas stations in your area and give one a try so you won’t be required to touch anything at the station.


Banking is often essential for many people whether that be for personal banking or for work. During the coronavirus pandemic many banks remain open, but there are easier and safer ways to accomplish tasks through banking.

  • Register for online and mobile banking:

Most banks provide online banking services where you can check balances, transfer money between accounts, deposit checks with mobile check deposit, and pay bills.

  • Drive-Thru Banking and ATMs:

In addition, many banks have drive-thrus and ATMs so social interaction isn’t necessary. Make sure you still sanitize your materials and anything you touch!

Leaving your home during coronavirus may be frightening and stressful. There is a lot of danger when it comes to leaving your house but there are ways to take precautions. Silent Beacon and these best essential item safety tips will help you stay safe while running essential errands during COVID-19.

Purchase a Silent Beacon to ensure your safety during the coronavirus pandemic. To learn more about Silent Beacon visit www.silentbeacon.com for more information.