Note: This article has been substantially updated and republished. See 13 Steps to Prepare for Civil Unrest.
According to an Army field manual “In these modern times, demonstrations, civil unrest, public disorder, and riots happen for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons are economic hardships, social injustices, ethnic differences (leading to oppression), objections to world organizations or certain governments, political grievances, and terrorist acts. An event can be triggered by a single cause or a combination of causes.”
The manual (FM 3-19.15) further states that “gatherings in protest are recognized rights of any person or group, regardless of where US forces may be operating. This fundamental right is protected under the Constitution of the US.”
These are interesting if not downright frightening times. To all but the most ignorant, government and elected officials have sold out to corporations with deep pockets and hidden agendas. The tenets of freedom from tyranny are being challenged on a daily basis. In addition, not a day goes by that a new financial or consumer scam comes in to the public eye, further eroding our trust in a system that was at one time steeped in honor and trust.
In addition to the challenge of a corrupt system of governance, we have massive unemployment and underemployment in all age groups. Cities, counties and even countries are bankrupt or close to it. Health care costs are out of control as are prescription drug costs. The food supply is being manipulated for the profit of greedy corporations.
Added to all of this dismal and gloomy news is the reality that sustained droughts have destroyed crops and is resulting in the premature slaughter of farm animals due to projected shortages in feed. And finally, we have an election year where neither mainstream candidate has the guts to speak the truth.
The Perfect Storm is Brewing
In my opinion we are close to the tipping point and close to a perfect storm of civil unrest. That tipping point is being triggered by the looming food crisis and the November election debacle. Evidence? Look around and you will see that we are already seeing unprecedented robberies, shootings and suicides – all of which are signals that all is not well in the homeland. It only stands to reason that civil unrest including riots, looting and domestic terrorism will be next.
For the sake of argument, let us take a look at recent suicides. According to some experts, including Eve Meyer, executive director of San Francisco Suicide Prevention, economic despair is common reason for suicide. In despondency, people feel that they would rather be dead than be homeless. But what if suicide is not the answer either due to religious reasons or simply due to the overwhelming need for vengeance and revenge against a system that has failed to deliver as promised?
The answer will be protests, crime and domestic terrorism and not necessarily in that order. After all, when you have nothing to loose, why not strike back? So what if you crack? It makes sense that you can risk it all when all is equal to nothing at all.
What happens when there is a perfect storm? Chaos, plain and simple. Whether at sea or whether on land, there is no rule book prescribing what will happen next. In a perfect storm, you may be able to ride the wave to safety and then again, maybe not.
Which gets us to the point: how do you prepare when a perfect storm is brewing? Today I present nine steps for prepping for civil unrest.
Nine Steps to Take Now to Help You Prepare for Civil Unrest
1. Make sure your basic backup supplies are in order. This includes adequate food, water and sanitation supplies for at least a two week period and preferably a month or even longer.
2. Take stock of your first aid kit to insure that you have sufficient medical supplies, remedies and prescription drugs. For ideas, see the first aid section of this article.
3. Inventory the security features in your home to determine weaknesses that need to be strengthened. See the article A Dozen Home Security and Crime Prevention Tips for the Prepper for tips on securing the homestead.
4. Set up a personal self defense system. If you own a firearm, apply for a concealed weapons permit, stock up on ammo and practice shooting at the range. Invest in pepper sprays, bully clubs, and heavy-duty tactical flashlight that can be used to temporarily blind an assailant.
5. Form a community of like minded people that will drill together and that will band together for protection and safety during times of chaos.
6. Stockpile cash in small bills. In a massive and chaotic riot situation, ATMs and banks are likely to be closed or inoperable.
7. Accumulate goods for barter. When the stores are closed – or the supermarket and hardware store shelves are empty – you may need to call on others for the supplies you need but did not anticipate. Have something to barter. Spirits (including beer, wine and good old Jack Daniels) are always good choices as as are candles, batteries and food items including fresh eggs and home grown garden vegetables
8. Don’t forget about children, the elderly and your pets. In a riot or lock down situation, they may become fearful and panicked. Stow away some amusements and comfort items for them as well.
9. Keep a level head and your mouth shut. If by some chance you are pulled into a police net, the first thing you should do is call a lawyer. Be courteous and polite and do not resist. Print out the following and keep it in your wallet and in your car along with your registration:
The ACLU also has a printable card you can download and keep with you: What To Do If You’re Stopped By Police. For more information, you can also download the booklet Your Rights When Encountering Law Enforcement.
The Final Word
The likelihood of civil unrest in the near future has been underscored by recent actions by FEMA and the rest of the Department of Homeland Security to requisition large stores of emergency food supplies and riot gear. Although people in the cities will bear the brunt of the unrest, rural communities and remote locations will not be immune as the mobs migrate outward in search of food, supplies and just about anything else they can get their hands on.
The writing is on the wall in plain sight for those that want to see it. And for those that care not to look? When the SHTF don’t come knocking on my door because there will be no one there to answer.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Bargain Bin: Here are some items to consider as you build up your fortress against unruly mobs who are out to get what they can out of anger and frustration.
Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart: You NEED this book if you care about defending your homestead.
Sabre Family Home & Property Protection Pepper Spray: This small fire extinguisher-style pepper spray delivers a strong blast covering an entire doorway. Offering extremely practical protection, SABRE provides distance from your threat with its 30 foot range. I like that it includes a wall mount. About $36.
Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: This light is awesome. I use mine downstairs and when I get up in the middle of the night, it comes on automatically. It is quite unobtrusive (I own two in black) and gives off a ton of light. Runs for a year on 3 D size batteries. About $20.
Security Decals – 4 Pack: Security surveillance camera system warning decals/stickers. Increase security whether you have a system or not -no one will know but you. Less than $10.
Uniden Bearcat 200-Channel Portable Scanner: A hand scanner with ham band for less than $100. Very portable.
Two-Way Radios and Scanners For Dummies: I will say it again. Yes, I love these books for “dummies” even though I actually think I am quite smart.
Motorola FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios: There are lots of good uses for the these radios. Handy while hiking, traveling, or simply keeping in touch with your partner while out shopping.
Keypad Deadbolt: Need a good strong lock? With this, you will never have to worry about locking yourself out plus, you can secure the deadbolt from inside the house.
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