Lock and Load: Are You Prepared for Civil Unrest?
Do you get the feeling that we are right on the verge of chaos? With the government shutdown, the congressional budget deadline of the 17th, the EBT system under threat, and assorted “drills” that, if history proves to be any guide, could be a loose cover for an upcoming false flag, we could be looking at civil unrest in a matter of days.
These are all situations that we, as individuals, have little control over.
What we CAN control is our response to a crisis.
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 the welfare strings being cut or 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.
In her article Anatomy of a Breakdown, Tess Pennington wrote:
“When you take the time to understand how a breakdown behaves and how it progresses, only then can you truly prepare for it.
This glimpse into a systemic breakdown is based on an isolated, limited disaster or event where emergency responders have been deployed. I must emphasize that all bets are off if the event is wide spread, affecting multiple tens of millions of people simultaneously.”
Here are the most vital things that you can do to be prepared for civil unrest.
In a perfect world, we’d all be home, watching the chaos erupt on TV from the safety of our living rooms. However, reality says that some of us will be at work, at school, or in the car when unrest occurs. You need to develop a “get-home” plan for all of the members of your family, based on the most likely places that they will be.
Devise an efficient route for picking up the kids from school. Be sure that anyone who might be picking up the children already has permission to do so in the school office.
Discuss the plan with older kids – there have been rumors that children could be moved by the schools to a secondary location in the event of a crisis. Some families have formulated plans for their older kids to leave the school grounds in such an instance and take a designated route home or to another meeting place.
Keep a get-home bag in the trunk of your car in case you have to set out on foot.
Stash some supplies in the bottom of your child’s backpack – water, a snack, any tools that might be useful, and a map. Be sure your children understand the importance of OPSEC.
Find multiple routes home – map out alternative backroad ways to get home as well as directions if you must go home on foot.
Find hiding places along the way. If you work or go to school a substantial distance from your home, figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation. Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.
Avoid groups of people. It seems that the mob mentality strikes when large groups of people get together. Often folks who would never ordinarily riot in the streets get swept up by the mass of people who are doing so.
Keep in mind that in many civil disorder situations the authorities are to be avoided every bit as diligently as the angry mobs of looters. Who can forget the scenes of innocent people being pepper sprayed by uniformed thugs in body armor just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Once you make your way home or to your bug-out location …. STAY THERE.
By staying home, you are minimizing your risk of being caught in the midst of an angry mob or of sitting in stalled traffic while looters run amok. In most scenarios you will be far safer at home than you will be in any type of shelter or refuge situation. (Obviously if there is some type of chemical or natural threat in your immediate neighborhood, like a toxic leak, a flood, or a forest fire, the whole situation changes – you must use common sense before hunkering down.)
This is when your preparedness supplies will really pay off. If you are ready for minor medical emergencies and illnesses, a grid down scenario, and a no-comm situation, you will be able to stay safely at home with your family and ride out the crisis in moderate comfort.
Be sure you have a supply of the following:
- Necessary prescription medications
- Food and an off grid way to cook it
- Or food that requires no cooking
- First aid supplies
- Lighting in the event of a power outage
- Sanitation supplies (in the event that the municipal water system is unusuable, this would include cleaning supplies and toilet supplies)
- A way to stay warm in harsh winter weather
- Over-the-counter medications and/or herbal remedies to treat illnesses at home
- Survival and first aid manuals (hard copies in case the internet and power grid are down)
- Alternative communications devices (such as a hand-crank radio) so that you can get updates about the outside world
- Off-grid entertainment: arts and craft supplies, puzzles, games, books, crossword or word search puzzles, needlework, journals
Be prepared to defend your home
Sometimes despite our best intentions, the fight comes to us. Even though we stay home, something about our place draws the attention of an unsavory person or group. Defense is two-fold. Your best defense is avoiding the fight altogether. You want to stay under the radar and not draw attention to yourself. The extent to which you strive to do this should be based on the severity of the unrest in your area. Some of the following recommendations are not necessary in an everyday grid-down scenario, but could save your life in a more extreme civil unrest scenario.
Keep all the doors and windows locked. Secure sliding doors with a metal bar. Consider installing decorative gridwork over a door with a large window so that it becomes difficult for someone to smash the glass and reach in to unlock the door.
Put dark plastic over the windows. (Heavy duty garbage bags work well.) If it’s safe to do so, go outside and check to see if any light escapes from the windows. If your home is the only one on the block that is well-lit, it is a beacon to others.
Don’t answer the door. Many home invasions start with an innocent-seeming knock at the door to gain access to your house.
Keep cooking smells to a minimum. If everyone else in the neighborhood is hungry, the meat on your grill will draw people like moths to a flame.
Remember that first responders may be tied up. If the disorder is widespread, don’t depend on a call to 911 to save you – you must be prepared to save yourself. Also keep in mind, as mentioned earlier in the article – the cops are not always your friends in these situations.
If, despite your best efforts, your property draws the attention of people with ill intent, you must be ready to defend your family.
Many preppers stockpile weapons and ammunition for just such an event. When the door of your home is breached, you can be pretty sure the people coming in are not there to make friendly conversation. Make a plan to greet them with a deterring amount of force.
Have a safe room established for children or other vulnerable family members.
Plan an escape route. If the odds are against you, devise a way to get your family to safety.
Every civil unrest scenario is different. You must make a personal plan based on your environment, your neighbors, and the type of situation that triggered the unrest. By thinking ahead, you’ve already increased your family’s chances at surviving unscathed.
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Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org