Civil unrest could occur at any time without much (if any) advanced warning. Although there is no way to completely mitigate the risk of civil unrest, there are several things we can do as preppers to become as prepared as possible for an event like this.
What is civil unrest?
Civil unrest is a generic term used to describe a situation where, for whatever reason, a group of people are participating in lawlessness. This type of behavior is very common in disaster scenarios. Looting is a common form of civil unrest and is prevalent after natural disasters. In every natural disaster in recent history there has been some degree of looting and civil unrest during the aftermath of the actual disaster.
Civil unrest can also be a product of protests. All it takes is one overzealous police officer or protester to turn a relatively safe and contained protest into an all-out riot. These types of incidents are also common after a controversial court case that has gained national or local attention.
What can you do to prepare for civil unrest?
- First and foremost, you need to set up a network of people that you can trust during a disaster scenario. Many preppers like to form “groups” that will band together for protection and resources in any disaster scenario. In a case of civil unrest, having a group of like-minded preppers that you can rely on is a big advantage.
- If you are caught in the middle of some sort of civil unrest, be it looting, riots or any other form, there is a chance where you could be confronted and threatened. In a situation like this, you basically have 2 choices, escalation or de-escalation.
De-escalating the situation is advisable in this situation simply because you cannot afford to put all of your attention on one individual in a civil unrest scenario. Try to stay calm, respond clearly and make every attempt to get out of the situation peacefully. However, be ready to engage the threats if all attempts to de-escalate the situation have failed.
- Although protesting is the inalienable right of every citizen in this country, you should think very hard about participating in protests. Other than natural disasters, protests are the number one cause of civil unrest. Peaceful protests can turn ugly very quickly, so staying away from the center of the protest will always be the safest route to take.
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- Be sure to establish pre-determined procedures for meeting up with your family, friends or group that doesn’t require using a phone. In a serious disaster scenario, it is nearly impossible to make a call on a cell phone. Even text messages are unlikely to go through when you need them to. In recent years, government has even shut down cellular connections in times of civil unrest. Having a predetermined plan to meet at a specific location in the case of a disaster will ensure that you’ll be able to meet up with your group safely.
- It should go without swaying, but if there are reports of looters, riots or any other form of civil unrest in your area, stay away from them. There is very little that you can do to help in these scenarios and staying far away from them is really the only way to stay safe.
- There have been numerous cases of civil unrest in recent years that have lasted several days. The easiest way to mitigate these threats is to simply get home as quickly and safely as possible and then go on lockdown mode. You should enough food, water and other supplies (including defensive measures) to ride out the worst of it.
- In any disaster situation, especially civil unrest, DO NOT go out looking to buy more supplies. One of the most common things to happen in a disaster situation is that there will be a mad dash of people to the nearest Wal-Mart or gas station to buy supplies and fuel. The stores sell out extremely quickly and it is very common for cases of civil unrest to occur at these stores as people fight over resources. As a prepper, you should already have your supplies ready to go to avoid scenarios just like this.
- Make sure you have a Get Home Bag (GHB) stored in your vehicle or carried daily. Most people spend the majority of their waking hours outside the home, which means that if a disaster does strike, you’re likely going to be miles away from your preps and the defense of your home. A well-stocked GHB will ensure that you can get home safely if you are unable to use a vehicle or other form of transportation.
- If you have a smartphone, download a local police scanner application. During a case of civil unrest communication will be vital. You need to know what areas are affected and when the situation has been resolved. The police are going to be your best bet for relatively accurate information and having a way to monitor the communications to the police will give you an accurate idea of what’s going on.
- If you do find yourself in the middle of a civil unrest scenario, your number one goal is to get out of there are quickly and as safely as possible. You don’t want to attract attention. If you are on foot, refrain from wearing or having anything visible on your person that may look valuable. Not only will this help avoid a dangerous situation in normal times, but during a time of civil unrest you definitely do not want to look like a valuable target.
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