Prepping for Civil Unrest

Posted on: August 19, 2014

The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, serve to highlight the need for being prepared for civil unrest. While this is more of an issue for urban preppers, anyone who travels to larger cities needs to be aware of the possibility of riots and protests breaking out during the trip.

One element of civil unrest that needs to be addressed is its unpredictability. Riots can happen quickly, often with absolutely no warning at all. You may have no clue what predicated the unrest, all you know is suddenly there are large groups of people who are obviously very upset and taking it out on the businesses, buildings, and even other people around them.

If you find yourself caught up in a crowd and things are getting ugly, get out of the area as quickly as you can. Rather than fight against the mob’s movement, work your way sideways across the group and as soon as you’re free of the group, head down a side street. If you are traveling with your family or a small group, link hands as you move so you don’t get separated. Once you get a block or two away, stop and collect your thoughts. Figure out where you are and how to get to a safe location, such as your home or hotel. This is why it is important to have a street map in your EDC (Every Day Carry) kit.

If you are at home or in your hotel when rioting breaks out, the best thing to do is hunker down and wait it out. Heading out on the streets, particularly after sundown, is just asking for trouble. Always have enough food, water, and supplies on hand to meet your basic needs for at least a few days. This is easier to accomplish at home than when traveling, of course. However, many travelers routinely stock up on snacks and such for their rooms to help offset having to eat out for every meal. At the least, hotels that offer breakfast for their guests will likely have some amount of food on hand as well.

Generally speaking, it is safer to travel during the day rather than at night. Therefore, mid-morning to early afternoon is probably the best window of opportunity for you to beat feet, should you choose to do so. This is not a bad idea, provided you are confident you can get out of town quickly AND you have someplace to go. The worst thing to happen would be you get lost and end up on the streets when the worst of the rioting and looting are taking place.

Bear in mind, too, that if things get really bad, the authorities may enact curfews and possibly travel restrictions. In other words, if you are planning to bug out in the event of civil unrest, you should do so sooner rather than later. Again, though, for most people and in most situations, sheltering in place may be your best option.

Chance Sanders has produced an entire DVD full of great information on urban survival. Called Surviving Civil Unrest, the video shows you exactly how to plan for, and survive, these all too common events.

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