I shouldn't have to tell you the streets are no longer safe. Heck, you just need to turn on the evening news and you'll get your choice of armed robberies, assaults and much worse. And they tell us that we're living in a society right now? Pfft. We're on the brink of chaos, and it's only going to take one big even to tip us over the edge. To push the population towards all hell breaking loose.
- Any time there's a natural disaster, the streets are no longer safe.
- Any time there's a cause to riot, the streets are no longer safe.
Our society is on edge, and it's up to us to be prepared for the inevitable. Smart survivalists prepare for every eventuality, and one of the most imminent threats I see is your local community. Whipped into a frenzy for whatever reason, be it anger at a ruling they don't agree with, or a need for basic food and water once the grid goes down. You need to know how to stay safe.
Get your stockpile in place
Barricading yourself and your family inside your home is one of the safest strategies. But that relies on a single core fact. You need supplies. It's no good trying to do a grocery-store run when the shelves are stripped bare. The trick is to plan in advance, so you've got at least a few months' worth of food, water, and survival items. Yes, I said months. If you've only got enough food to last a couple of days, you're going to be in big trouble should an event send your family into lockdown. Because having a stockpile means you can focus on getting home. You're not trying to buy emergency supplies along with every other Tom, Dick and Harry who are also unprepared. You can avoid it altogether and just go home.
Get yourself home
The next step is to make it to your safe haven. Your home. Of course, in a perfect world you're already home, but life is far from perfect, and it's most likely you've got kids at school, and you and your wife are both in the office. That's our reality anyway. So, we've got to get the kids and get home. Which involves a little planning. My wife's work is much closer to their school than I am, so out initial response is for her to pick them up and we all re-connect at home. We've got multiple routes we can follow (that we've already practiced) so we can avoid any blocked streets, and in both our cars are bug out kits, packed and ready to go. If we decide to escape the city, we've got a primary (and two secondary) rendezvous points, where we can all reconnect and bug out.
Get hiding places scoped out
Now we assume that getting home will be possible, but realistically this may not be the case. There's a thousand different things that could go wrong, from police-enforced road blocks to a disaster washing out bridges. You never know. So, it's important you know where you can hide. A few years ago, I started running, to build my fitness, but it's also given me a better feel for the city than I've ever had before. I make it a mission to take a different route almost every run, but not only that, pay attention as you're running. You're looking for places you could hole up for the night, whether it's a community hall, a church, or even empty houses for sale. Knowing where to hide could give you the upper hand should someone be coming after you. Especially if you don't want to lead them straight to your home.
Get away from people
To me there's nothing scarier than mob mentality. A group of people wound up into a frenzy, they throw good common sense out the window. Stay away from any rioting which you may get caught up in, and pay attention to the local news so you're aware of where the trouble points are. Our get home routes are also designed to avoid major highways and thoroughfares, sticking to backstreets that will hopefully get us home safer (albeit a little slower) than taking the main roads. Our goal is to keep away from as many people as possible.
Get under the radar
Operational security is key when chaos is on the streets. You don't want to do anything that attracts any attention to what you've got going on. Simple things, like having the lights on when your whole street is dark is like a beacon. It shows you've got a generator, and probably means you're better prepared than any of your neighbors. Where do you think any group of thieves is going to target? Be smart, and don't do anything that sticks out. Like having a barbeque in your yard that can be smelt blocks away. The last thing you want is to catch unwanted attention.
Get your home secured
On a similar note, it's important your home is locked down. That means windows and doors shut, and depending on the scale of the crisis, boarding these up too. We've got "decorative" metalwork over all of our windows, that makes these impossible to get through without an angle grinder. Use duct tape and black plastic to stop any light escaping, and use your common sense. Don't open the door to strangers, and keep your pets inside. There's no shortage of sicko's who will do whatever they can to get you to open up.
Get a means to defend yourself
Finally, it's important you're ready to defend yourself and your family. I'd highly recommend investing in a firearm and taking the appropriate courses and training on how to use it. No matter what steps you take to keep yourself safe, sometimes the fight will come to you. It's up to you to be prepared to fight back. And a firearm is the ultimate equalizer. I'd also recommend keeping your firearm on you at all times, because it takes just seconds for your home to be breached. Your gun won't help you if it's locked in the safe in your bedroom closet.
When the streets aren't safe the key is to stay home. Don't partake in the riots, the looting, or the chaos that ensues, and you stand the best chances of making it through unscathed. The trick is to have enough food and supplies to outlast whatever crisis comes, have a plan to get home, and know how you're going to defend it if trouble comes knocking. That's how you'll stay safe.