WROL stands for Without Rule of Law. It is a fairly common acronym among preppers and survivalists. Basically, it refers to a total societal collapse, a scenario when police, paramedics, and other agencies will not be coming to your aid.
Every week, over on my Facebook page, I run a feature called Ask Me Wednesday. While I’m always available for questions and concerns, it is on Wednesdays when I encourage any and all folks who are interested to post their prepping or survival related questions. I and everyone else then work together to get them answered. Among the queries posted today was this: “What do you think a WROL/SHTF scenario would look like?” Rather than post a lengthy comment in response, I felt the subject was a great topic for a blog post. So, here we go.
What would a world WROL look like?
A lot depends upon the nature of the disaster or crisis causing the collapse, of course. If it is an economic collapse, for example, there likely won’t be the widespread damage and debris that would be associated with, say, the New Madrid fault slipping in a spectacular fashion. That said, no matter the initial cause, once it become apparent all bets are off, so to speak, you are likely going to see civil unrest, riots, looting, and property damage in urban and even suburban areas. There will always be a segment of the population that will take advantage of a lack of law enforcement and just do as they please, often in a very violent manner. “Some men just want to watch the world burn” and all that, y’know?
Within the area affected by WROL scenario, utilities will be shut down, either by accident or design. For many, this will mean no running water, no electricity, no natural gas. Supplies will essentially be limited to what you have on hand at the time, plus whatever you can scrounge. There won’t be any trucks coming to the stores, nor employees filling the shelves.
What is yours will only stay that way if you can defend and protect it. This includes your supplies, your home, even your family members.
It could be days, weeks, even months before assistance arrives. 911 will be nothing more than memory. If someone breaks into your home, it will be up to you and yours to handle it, nobody else. Broken legs and other injuries will have to be handled at home as well. Hospitals, if anyone is staffing them at all, will be overrun with casualties, with only the very most dire of injuries being addressed. Among the injuries will likely be gunshot wounds (accidents, self-defense, even self-inflicted) and other trauma.
As time goes on, you’ll see groups of people banding together for safety and comfort. Human beings are social creatures and few of us truly desire a hermit’s lifestyle (despite what many keyboard warriors will tell you). These groups will be formed out of necessity and centered upon proximity. By that, I mean you’ll have small communities arising out of apartment complexes as well as small towns that close their borders, in a sense. Gated communities are another almost premade survival group.
Within these groups, leadership will be established and basic community roles filled, such as food production, security, and medical needs. Out of necessity, some of these roles will be taken on by people who may not be fully qualified but are the best available. For example, the Widow Hudson, who has been gardening for 50+ years, may find herself in charge of massive food plots scattered throughout several backyards, with former office drones being tasked with the heavy lifting and other manual labor. Joey and his two hunting buddies might be the only ones who are intimately familiar with firearms and thus end up being in charge of security.
See, the thing is, as a species, human beings are pretty difficult to eradicate completely. If even a few of us survive, we’ll find ways to stay that way. It won’t be quick, pretty nor easy, but eventually we’ll make it.