You Don’t Want to Be Here When Martial Law Is Declared

Life will change drastically when martial law is declared.

When this happens, the rule of law will be thrown out the window as the authorities take control and enforce their will with military and law enforcement.

There will be a suspension of civil rights, military tribunals in place of civilian courts, media censorship, and an imposed curfew where individuals are only allowed outside at certain times to control the movement of the population.

There may also be a mass confiscation of firearms, food, water, first aid supplies, and other essentials so the authorities can control the population more effectively as well.

Martial law is usually declared in response to a major catastrophe, such as a natural disaster, enemy invasion, or mass societal unrest. Regardless of the situation, there are certain plans you will want to avoid at all costs when martial law is declared.

Here are the top places you don’t want to be when martial law is declared:

Urban Centers

You Don’t Want to Be Here When Martial Law Is Declared

Cities always pose a higher risk during martial law because this is where the increased law enforcement and military presence will be strongest. The elevated population density can result in more significant challenges, including movement restrictions, shortages of essential resources, and a higher potential for civil unrest.

Ideally, you should avoid being in cities at all times during martial law. If you are in a city, avoid areas in the city that attract more people.

When urban centers descend into chaos during martial law, seeking refuge in the wilderness could be the only option. But surviving in the wild isn’t just about basic skills—it’s about knowing how to live off the land long-term.

That’s why I rely on this guide. This isn’t your typical survival manual; it’s a practical tool that teaches you the  forgotten wisdom of our ancestors who didn’t just survive in the wild – they thrived there. So, when you need to head for the hills, make sure this handbook is in your backpack; it could be your lifeline in uncertain times.

Government Facilities

This includes areas that are surrounding government buildings, military bases, or law enforcement headquarters as they will all become focal points for security measures and potential civil disturbances during martial law.

That’s because the military will seek to secure any government buildings first before proceeding with the rest of the city. When martial law is declared, expect to see a very heavy security presence around military buildings.

Protest Hotspots

You Don’t Want to Be Here When Martial Law Is Declared

Societal unrest that local law enforcement is unable to control could be a potential cause for martial law to be declared.

That’s why locations with a history of frequent protests or civil demonstrations will experience heightened tensions during martial law as the military will move in to control demonstrations and protests.

Avoiding these areas becomes crucial to reducing the risk of getting caught up in potential unrest.

Transportation Hubs

Airports, train stations, and major transportation hubs will also face increased security and restrictions during martial law. That’s because the military will work to contain the local population within the area where martial law has been declared.

Related: The Calm Before the Storm: What’s Coming Next?

Any airports, train stations, or bus stations operating within that area will be shut down, and any roads leading out of the city will be blocked off as well.

Critical Infrastructure Sites

This includes facilities like power plants, water treatment plants, and communication centers that are considered critical infrastructure. In an effort to control the population, the military will take control over these centers, and in extended martial law situations they will likely control how much power and water each household is able to receive.

Media Outlets

This includes locations housing media outlets, including television stations, radio stations, and newspaper offices as the military will work to take control over the local media and the flow of information.

Border Regions

You Don’t Want to Be Here When Martial Law Is Declared

Areas near national borders will also face intensified security measures during martial law. For example, if martial law were declared anywhere along the United States-Canadian border, the entire border area adjacent to the area where martial law is declared would be shut down and posted with a stronger force of military and border patrol units.

⇒ The First States That Will Go Down During Martial Law. Do You Live in the Red Zone?

The same will most likely apply to travel between states as well. On a larger scale where martial law is declared across the country, movement in and out of the country will be restricted if not shut down completely.

Commercial Centers

The military will take control over shopping malls, grocery stores, and other general stores so they can control the supply of food and other essential items.

Make sure that you are fully stockpiled with everything you need before martial law is declared so you don’t find yourself running into your local shopping market in a hurry. Hundreds if not thousands of people will be doing the same thing and you don’t want to become swept up in the chaos.

Hospitals and Medical Clinics

The military will also take control over hospitals, healthcare facilities, and clinics in your area.

Not only will this make access to medical services challenging, but it also means you’ll want to steer clear of hospitals as much as possible.

You Don’t Want to Be Here When Martial Law Is Declared

Given the inevitable scarcity of medical services, it will be crucial to prioritize self-reliance in healthcare. Start by stockpiling essential medicines, particularly antibiotics. These medications are often not available over the counter, but you can learn here the only way to accumulate a supply of antibiotics without a prescription.

Known Prepper Communities

Any communities that are known for openly engaging in prepping activities or militias are sure to attract attention by the government during times of unrest and martial law.

That’s because the government will view these kinds of communities and militias as a potential threat to their control. Instead, you should aim to maintain a low profile.

Schools and Educational Institutions

Schools, colleges, and universities will also face disruptions and security measures during martial law.

The schools may or may not become shut down completely depending on the scope of the situation, but either way they are sure to face an increased military and law enforcement presence.

Tourist Hotspots

Any tourist hotspots in your area will likely become shut down when martial law is declared, and any people in these hotspots at the time the military arrives are likely to be rounded up and escorted out. Any travelers or tourists just visiting the area may or may not be allowed to leave.

If you’ve noticed a common theme here, it’s that most of the worst areas to be in when martial law is declared are in cities and densely populated areas.

Think carefully about the institutions, buildings, and areas that the military will want to take control of and avoid those areas. The safest place you can be when martial law happens is in your own home.

This article was originally published by Nicholas Oetken on

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