Civil Unrest has occurred in pockets across the country over the past few years and is perhaps one of the more likely scenarios that could adversely effect us in the future. It’s possible that we could see more protests and riots like those organized by the 99% movement. Other widespread civil unrest could be caused by financial inequities or collapse, food shortages, loss of confidence in government, or storms that leave people homeless.
Occasionally even peaceful protests turn violent because of outside agitators that flock to any event where they think they can run amok. These anarchists are the cause of much of the violence we see on TV at what would otherwise be peaceful protests.
While civil unrest is something that can strike any part of the country it is perhaps the most straightforward to avoid. In the past we have seen civil unrest in large or even medium sized cities but it has not spread to the suburbs. On a few occasions there may have been minor fights between picketers in small towns but nothing like we saw in Los Angeles and other inner cities.
So how exactly do you avoid getting swept up in any type of civil unrest? First of all you should not live in a city unless it is absolutely necessary. We have discussed time and time again how dangerous cities are. They are unlivable without electricity, put you in close proximity to a large number of undesirable neighbors, and are practically impossible to evacuate. In an emergency, population density is your enemy.
Secondly, keep an eye on the local and national news. Civil unrest occurs most commonly from a planned protest or event. If you hear there will be picketing, protests, or even a “peaceful march” in a particular location you should avoid those areas completely. If you were planning on going into the city for a business meeting simply reschedule it for another day or better location outside the city. Simply staying away from locations that are likely to flare up with protests is not difficult. Avoiding a hurricane that’s bearing down on you is much tougher to do…
If for some reason you find yourself in a place that is quickly becoming a hot spot you should leave the area immediately and by any means possible. If that means leaving a car behind and walking out to a safer spot then that may be the way to go. Don’t think that automobile glass offers you any kind of defense. A tire iron or large rock makes quick work of it.
There is always the possibility that civil unrest could become more widespread than it has in the past. If that is the case I recommend using the plywood you should have stored in your garage and covering up any vulnerable windows. The use of firearms in a situation like this is something that needs to be carefully considered and researched. Every state has a different view of what constitutes shooting in self-defense. Some states would actually require you to evacuate your residence if at all possible rather than fire a weapon at an intruder. Other “castle law” states see things differently. I’m not a lawyer but I know enough about gun laws to recommend that everyone should do what they need to to understand the laws that affect them.
So, while there are many disaster scenarios that we can do very little to steer clear of (although we can still prep and plan for them) civil unrest is one situation that with good situational awareness we can avoid altogether.