I don't have to tell you we live in uncertain times. Politics. Terrorism. Severe acts of violence. There are threats everywhere, and it's only going to take a few incidents for martial law to be declared. And that's not a good thing. Because martial law is the last resort. The last hope for the government to impose order as society slips into chaos.
And they might not succeed.
To be a survivor, you need to know exactly what you're in for. Plus, we're going to give you a few tips to actually keep your family safe during these uncertain times.
What is martial law?
At the most basic level, it's when the situation gets really, really bad. The military takes control of the local area, to combat a number of scenarios. It may be because of rioting and protests, a natural disaster, the outbreak or a war, or to squash a rebellion. Once martial law is applied, you lose your civil rights, and the military has absolute power to impose their rules as law. It's not fair, but that's how it goes. The real trick is to be prepared and organized, so martial law doesn't affect your life.
Here's how you can get prepared.
Be totally self-reliant
I know you're already working towards this, but I need to reiterate it for everyone who is still in the planning stages. In martial law, the government will take control of everything. Unless you want to be surviving off hand-outs and rations, you need to have your own supplies. And keep them under wraps. Anything you have stored can be confiscated by the government.
Be able to generate power
Electricity cut-offs are common in areas struggling with a localized disaster, and you may find that the grid doesn't come back online for days. Ensure you've got a number of different ways to generate power on your property, from solar panels to a quiet little generator. That way you can keep your lights, water filters, and portable devices charged.
Be ready to leave the area
This is a decision you need to make once you see the warning signs that martial law is coming. It's up to you to decide, whether or not it's safer to hunker down and ride out the disaster, or to leave and make the trek to your bug out location. My only advice here is to be ready to go at a moment's notice, with your bug out bag packed and waiting by the door.
Be quiet and under the radar
The trick to making it through a disaster safely is to ensure you're not putting your family in any danger. Stay away from areas with rioting, and ensure you've fortified your home against any intruders, without broadcasting the fact you've got plenty of food and power. The more you can stay under the radar, and avoid getting noticed by the other survivors, the better.
Be aware of what's going on
Information is worth its weight in gold during martial law, so be sure to tune into the official communication channels to stay up-to-date on the latest rules and requirements. Knowing what's going on can give you an edge in planning your next move, and having a communication system like a HAM radio can ensure you stay current with the "unofficial" updates from other survivors too.
Be constantly improving your skills
It's a given when you're a survivalist, but the best way to survive is to be able to adapt and overcome. Have an idea what you'll do if you need to find a new source of water or food, along with basic first aid techniques, and of course, self-defense. The more wilderness survival skills you have, like hunting, fishing and trapping, the better your chances of staying alive.
Be part of a bigger group
I know I harp on about this in our blog, but you cannot underestimate the power of a group during a crisis. You need a support system, as you can't go it alone and hope to be successful. But developing trust can be hard. So start slow, start building relationships with your friends and neighbors now, that may blossom into a fully-fledged commitment to prep together.
Be aware of OPSEC
We touched on this in an earlier point, but it's important you know how to keep your mouth shut. Bragging about your supplies, your weapons, or anything else you've prepared can get you in big trouble, not only with the military who is now running things, but other desperate members of the community who are willing to do anything for a plate of food, or a bottle of clean water.
Be ready to get raided
No matter what, you need to have a strategy in place to ensure that if your home is raided, you're not stripped of all your supplies. If the military decides to search your home, there's nothing you can do about it when martial law applies. Find ways to hide the supplies you've stored. In our home, we've got a fully-stocked pantry that's quite open, but there are a number of places with supplies that are not immediately apparent. The hidden room under the stairs for one, along with a hidden room that we've blocked off with a wardrobe. Our supplies will stay ours.
The trouble with martial law is that the military will do what they think is right, to help the majority of the population survive. Unfortunately, this may put your family at a disadvantage. The trick is to prepare, be ready for anything, and ensure you keep just how well your family is doing under the radar. That's how you'll make it out alive.