How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest

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As the world seems to be on fire in countries across the planet, the threat of civil unrest and riots certainly feels like it’s increasing. People are responding with rage to perceived injustices, and whether that rage is warranted or not isn’t the point of this article.

Often when I write about surviving events like mass shootings or riots, people scoff and say, “That was a false flag perpetrated by government operatives” or “Those people got paid by [insert evil billionaire here.]” The simple fact you must understand is that it doesn’t matter who started it, who paid for it, who instigated it, or who is taking part in it. If you find your city or town under siege by irate protesters, none of those things matter at the moment. These are things to be sorted out later.

What matters is how to survive and how to keep your loved ones safe. What we witnessed via social media of the riots in Chile should be enough to make anyone want to be prepared.

The idea of an angry mob appearing in your neighborhood is a frightening one but understanding more about the patterns of civil unrest can make it feel a bit more manageable.

It happens fast

It’s extremely important to understand how speedily riots can occur. In his newsletter, Simon Black of Sovereign Man wrote of his ties to Chile. He shared an eyewitness account.

…this past Friday was a particularly beautiful day. By lunchtime, people were out in the parks enjoying the weather. It was calm, peaceful, and joyful.

Within a matter of hours the city had turned into a war zone. Hours.

One of my team members told me on the phone yesterday, “If you had said on Friday afternoon that Santiago would be in chaos by nightfall, I would have laughed… And then it happened.” (source)

Never underestimate the power, rage, and motivation of a mob. Never think it can’t happen where you are.

There’s a distinct pattern to civil unrest.

Civil unrest can be predicted to some degree. Jose shared some of the warning signs he has observed and they all share their part in this pattern.

Here’s how a protest turns into a riot:

  • A perceived outrage occurs.
  • Good people react and protest the outrage.
  • Sometimes there are not-so-good people in the group, those who want to see violence.
  • Those perpetrating the outrage try to quell the protest because they don’t think that the outrage was actually outrageous.
  • Others react to the quelling and join the protest.
  • A mob mentality erupts. Thugs say, “Hey, it’s a free for all. I’m gonna get some Doritos and while I’m at it, beat the crap out of some folks for fun.”
  • All hell breaks loose.
  • The police and military get called in.
  • The city burns, and neighborhoods get destroyed, and no one in the area is safe.
  • Cops act preemptively, out of fear, and for a time, there is no rule of law.
  • If you happen to be stuck there, know this: you’re completely on your own.

Tess Pennington wrote about societal breakdowns in more detail – read her excellent article for more information on these predictable scenarios.

The mob mentality and Freud

Some people are just waiting for the opportunity to behave in this fashion. They’d love to act like that every single day, but they don’t want to spend the rest of their lives in jail. But when a verdict gets rolled out, when a storm takes out the power, when a disaster strikes, they delight in the chance to rob, pillage, loot, and burn.  Who can forget the day before Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, when thugs were coordinating looting rampages via Twitter?

I remember learning about “sublimation” in a high school psychology class.

Sublimation is a defense mechanism that allows us to act out unacceptable impulses by converting these behaviors into a more acceptable form. For example, a person experiencing extreme anger might take up kickboxing as a means of venting frustration. Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity that allows people to function normally in socially acceptable ways. (source)

If you believe Freud’s theory, then it’s easy to see that many people look for an excuse to revert to their true natures.  In a situation where “everyone” is doing something, they are able to cast off the normal control of their impulses without much fear of reprisal. The number of looters and thugs far outstrip the number of arrests in most situations, so there’s a very good chance that someone swept up in that mentality can go burn somebody else’s home or business and completely get away with it.

In his course, One Year in Hell, Selco recounts how quickly and shockingly the SHTF in his Bosnian city. He explains that any time a group of people becomes violent, it’s possible for it to turn into a longer-term event than just a few rough days. In this article he talks more about mob mentality, and here’s his on-demand webinar about the topic of unrest and riots.

Never think “it can’t happen here.”

Remember in 2015 when Baltimore, Maryland was a war zone? It may have given you a sense of deja vu, flashing back to the fall when Ferguson, Missouri was under siege. We’ve seen riots in Sacramento, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin (which the media lied about); Charlottesville, Virginia; Portland, Oregon; and all over the nation after the presidential election in 2016.

And it didn’t slow down after the election. Portland has been the site of numerous protests that were really just all-out street fights and the police were ordered to stand down.

Some of the following information appears in my book, Be Ready for Anything, which has an entire chapter dedicated to surviving civil unrest.

How to survive a riot or unrest event

When you understand the patterns discussed above, you can make your plan with a bit more authority. But remember that no plan is engraved in stone in the survival world. You’ve got to be ready to pivot to Plan B in the blink of an eye if information arises that makes Plan A no longer the safest.

This article is about the safest ways to survive civil unrest. It’s not about making a stand or teaching those punks a lesson.  There’s always someone who chimes in with a snide remark about how cowardly it is to lockdown with your family in order to stay safe.

Blah, blah, blah. If you want to go get involved in a battle to make a political point, that’s certainly your prerogative. If you want to fight the police enforcing martial law, it’s your call.

However, if your priority is your own safety and the safety of your family, the goal should be to avoid engaging altogether. This article is about surviving, not about How Things Should Be. Well before the emergency happens, you should be sure you’ve done a risk assessment and created threat mitigation plans.

Get everyone together

If your area is beginning to devolve, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to get everyone in the family home or to a safer secondary location.)

Here’s how to prep your home or apartment FAST for civil unrest.

In a perfect world, we’d all be home, watching the chaos erupt on TV from the safety of our living rooms.  The reality is, family members are likely to be at work or school when things start to break down. You need to have a plan laid out in advance to get everyone together and you need to be flexible enough to know when to move on to Plan B.

  • Devise an efficient route for picking up the kids from school.  Be sure that anyone who might be picking up the children already has permission to do so in the school office.
  • Find multiple routes home. Map out alternative backroad ways to get home as well as directions if you must go home on foot.
  • Find places to lay low along the way.  If you work or go to school a substantial distance from your home, figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation.  Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.
  • Avoid groups of people – it doesn’t take much to turn a peaceful protest into a riot.
  • Keep in mind that in many civil disorder situations the authorities are to be avoided every bit as diligently as the angry mobs of looters. The police won’t stop to ask you questions nicely in a tense situation. You’ll be treated as a threat.

Know when to abandon the plan to get home. Sometimes, you just can’t get there. Going through a war zone is not worth it. Find a different place to shelter. Pay attention to your instincts.

If you find yourself inadvertantlyswept up in the mob while you’re just trying to get home or to work, here’s some advice on how to survive and get out of it.

Don’t be there.

The number one piece of advice regarding survival in a civil unrest event is, “Don’t be there.”  During the survival course, I took with Selco and Toby in Croatia, Toby repeated one thing over and over, and it’s truly the key to surviving many different situations.

Don’t be there.

If you aren’t part of the crowd in a protest, you can’t get swept up in it. If you see outside your window that a group is gathering, it might be a good time to grab the kids and visit Grandma.

A lot depends on where you live. If you’re in a small town or remote area, far away from riots and protests, your lockdown area could be much greater than your own home. It could encompass your immediate community, too, and life might go on as it always has for you, aside from the need to stay just a little closer to home than before.

However, if you live in a city or suburb, you may need to make a speedy decision. Do you lock your doors and stay home? Or do you get out of Dodge?  It is a question only you can answer, but generally speaking, leaving will always be the safest course of action under one very important condition.

You’ve got to leave on time.  Do NOT miss your window of opportunity to leave safely.

If the entire city is facing a breakdown, a lot of others will also be leaving and you’ll most likely be stuck in traffic and trapped in your car. Protesters have shut down the highways more than once in recent years, and you’ll be far safer behind the brick and mortar of your home than you will be in your car. As well, police will often enforce curfews and respond with extreme violence, as you saw in the Chile videos.

If you think that you’ve waited too long to leave, you need to stay home.

If you are stuck there, go into lockdown.

Once you make your way home or to your bug-out location… STAY THERE.

By staying home, you are minimizing your risk of being caught in the midst of an angry mob or of sitting in stalled traffic while looters run amok.  In most scenarios, you will be far safer at home than you will be in any type of shelter or refugee situation. (Obviously, if there is some type of chemical or natural threat in your immediate neighborhood, like a toxic leak, a flood, or a forest fire, the whole situation changes – you must use common sense before hunkering down.)

This is when your preparedness supplies will really pay off. If you are ready for minor medical emergencies and illnesses, a grid-down scenario, and a no-comm situation, you will be able to stay safely at home with your family and ride out the crisis in moderate comfort.

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Check your pantry and fill any gaps in your food preps.
  • Order emergency food buckets
  • Get your water preps in order
  • Get cash in small denominations out of the bank.
  • Make sure you have enough garbage bags, pet supplies, and toiletries.
  • Pick up a copy of a comprehensive preparedness guide like The Prepper’s Blueprint
  • Check your supply of candles, matches, and lighters. (This article has more information)
  • Flashlight and spare batteries and/or dynamo wind up flashlights.
  • Make sure all electronics are fully charged and keep them charged during the lead-up to an event
  • Make sure any cell phone battery packs are fully charged.
  • Fill up your gas tank up to the max.
  • If your vehicle isn’t in a garage park it trunk end in as close to a wall as you can. This makes it harder to get to the tank to either steal the fuel or set fire to it.
  • Check your home security – walk around looking at your property as if you were a burglar and take appropriate action to improve security if required.
  • Have something on hand for the kids to do in case of school closures.
  • Make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit and enough OTC medications to last the family for at least a couple of weeks
  • Make sure you have enough of any needed prescription medications to last a few weeks

If you find yourself in an area under siege, the odds will be further on your side for every interaction in which you avoid taking part. Every single time you leave the house, you increase your chances of an unpleasant encounter. Nothing will be accomplished by going out during a chaotic situation.

Try to stay under the radar.

Your best defense is avoiding the fight altogether. You want to stay under the radar and not draw attention to yourself.  The extent to which you strive to do this should be based on the severity of the unrest in your area. Some of the following recommendations are not necessary in an everyday grid-down scenario, but could save your life in a more extreme civil unrest scenario.

  • Keep all the doors and windows locked.  Secure sliding doors with a metal bar.  Consider installing decorative gridwork over a door with a large window so that it becomes difficult for someone to smash the glass and reach in to unlock the door.
  • Keep pets indoors. Sometimes criminals use an animal in distress to get a homeowner to open the door for them. Sometimes people are just mean and hurt animals for “fun”.  Either way, it’s safer for your furry friends to be inside with you.
  • Don’t answer the door.  Many home invasions start with an innocent-seeming knock at the door to gain access to your house.
  • Keep the family together.  It’s really best to hang out in one room. Make it a movie night, go into a darkened room at the back of the house, and stay together. This way, if someone does try to breach your door, you know where everyone is who is supposed to be there. As well, you don’t risk one of the kids unknowingly causing a vulnerability with a brightly lit room or an open window.
  • Remember, first responders may be tied up.  If the disorder is widespread, don’t depend on a call to 911 to save you. You must be prepared to save yourself.  Also keep in mind, as mentioned earlier in the article – the cops are not always your friends in these situations. This isn’t a denouncement of all police officers but a realistic assessment of a heightened state.

Be ready for the potential of fire.

Fires are very common during incidents of civil unrest. Generally, vehicles and commercial properties are where fires are set but in some incidents, homes have been burned too.

Fire is a cowardly attack that doesn’t require any interaction on the part of the arsonist. It flushes out the family inside, leaving you vulnerable to physical assaults.

Fires can easily spread from one building to the next, especially if firefighters can’t respond safely or can’t get their fire truck through the mob. Be on the watch for fires in your vicinity.

Fire can also be used as a weapon. Here’s an article about dealing with firebombs and Molotov cocktails should such an event arise.

Be prepared for defensive action.

If, despite your best efforts, your property draws the attention of people with ill intent, you must be ready to defend your family. Sometimes despite our best intentions, the fight comes to us.  (Have you seen the movie The Purge?)

Many preppers stockpile weapons and ammunition for just such an event.  Firearms are an equalizer. A small woman can defend herself from multiple large intruders with a firearm if she’s had some training and knows how to use it properly. But put a kitchen knife in her hand against those same intruders, and her odds decrease exponentially.

When the door of your home is breached, you can be pretty sure the people coming in are not there to make friendly conversation or borrow a cup of sugar.  Make a plan to greet them with a deterring amount of force.

  • Don’t rely on 911. If the disorder is widespread, don’t depend on a call to 911 to save you – you must be prepared to save yourself.  First responders may be tied up, and in some cases, the cops are not always your friends.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, some officers joined in the crime sprees, and others stomped all over the 2nd Amendment and confiscated people’s legal firearms at a time when they needed them the most.
  • Be armed and keep your firearm on your person.  When the door of your home is breached, you can be pretty sure the people coming in are not there to make friendly conversation over a nice cup of tea.  Make a plan to greet them with a deterring amount of force. Be sure to keep your firearm on your person during this type of situation, because there won’t be time to go get it from your gun safe. Don’t even go to the kitchen to get a snack without it. Home invasions go down in seconds, and you have to be constantly ready.
  • Know how to use your firearm. Whatever your choice of weapon, practice, practice, practice. A weapon you don’t know how to use is more dangerous than having no weapon at all. Here’s some advice from someone who knows a lot more about weapons than I do.
  • Make sure your children are familiar with the rules of gun safety. Of course, it should go without saying that you will have pre-emptively taught your children the rules of gun safety so that no horrifying accidents occur. In fact, it’s my fervent hope that any child old enough to do so has been taught to safely and effectively use a firearm themselves. Knowledge is safety.
  • Have a safe room established for children or other vulnerable family members. If the worst happens and your home is breached, you need to have a room into which family members can escape.  This room needs to have a heavy exterior door instead of a regular hollow core interior door. There should be communications devices in the room so that the person can call for help, as well as a reliable weapon to be used in the unlikely event that the safe room is breached. The family members should be instructed not to come out of that room FOR ANY REASON until you give them the all-clear or help has arrived. You can learn more about building a safe room HERE.  Focus the tips for creating a safe room in an apartment to put it together more quickly.

Always have another plan.

Forget simply having a Plan B. If you find yourself in a chaotic situation, you must constantly think of the next plan. You must constantly think, “What will I do if …… happens?”

Even if your plan is to bug in, you must be ready to change that plan in the blink of an eye.

Plan an escape route.  If the odds are against you, if your house catches on fire, if thugs are kicking in your front door… devise a way to get your family to safety.  Your property is not worth your life. Be wise enough to accept that the situation has changed and move rapidly to the next plan.

We all want to think it could never happen to us.

There’s a normalcy bias among human beings that will make you cling to an incorrect notion for a long time. And one of the most prevalent is, “It could never happen here.”

This family in Ferguson never thought it could happen to them. But it did. And Ferguson is a town with a population of fewer than 25,000 people.

When we had the survival month challenge, not many people wanted to consider how extreme a long-term situation could get. Again, normalcy bias made them believe it couldn’t happen, and when the idea was pressed, it made them extremely uncomfortable. But extreme scenarios can happen anywhere. The idea that it can’t is the most dangerous misconception in survival. Be sure to check out Selco’s on-demand webinar about civil unrest and violence.

Will it happen today? Tomorrow? Next year? It’s impossible to put a date on it.

But the thing that is certain is that tempers have been rising since the last election and the vitriol has become so extreme and so normal that widespread unrest in America is no longer a matter of if, but when.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • Sobering.
    Does anyone know if there is a particular time of day/night things tend to quiet down, or start to ramp up for that matter? Thanks.

    • @Miss Kitty

      An afterthought to my previous reply….

      In Jun 2002 I posted to USENET the results of a study into how the 9/11 events affected the crime incident patterns of Tucson, AZ (over 2,000 miles distant from the scenes). Although the current context is about riots and civil disorder, some useful insights into criminal behavior during emergencies might be gleaned from Section “3. Conclusions.”

      The links are here (second one is the original text form):!original/misc.survivalism/Ak-MWIcszBw/p6tcnTI0OdMJ

      The biggest takeaway lesson is a strong validation of the need to prepare for at least the “72 hr window.”

      A second observation is that the nature of criminal activity may change substantially following a stimulus
      event, as Tucson’s experience demonstrated. For example, criminal activity involving theft and vandalism shifted from occupied structures to unoccupied structures and vehicles. (Too many armed people sitting at home, waiting for news, perhaps.) Robbery and highway robbery surged in the 72 hr window. Embezzlement soared. But note also that 9/11 was widely perceived to be an “external” stimulus.

      • El Que, thanks for sharing the study and pertinent observations. This excerpt from the study cited in your post is especially relevant:

        a. “Almost from the outset of the 11 Sep 2001 incidents, there was a
        widespread perception that these were acts of terrorism. Moreover,
        there was a presumption that the perpetrators were extranationals. The
        result was to galvanize public hostility toward a foreign enemy. The
        reaction could be entirely different if the public widely perceived that
        the events were due to a domestic enemy or a government conspiracy, or
        if different events had occurred – for example, an economic collapse, or
        the use of a WMD or chem-bio weapons.”

  • There have been instances of civil unrest here in the USA.
    The recent protests and demonstrations at the Trump rally in Minneapolis MN, turned violent.
    Mob mentality.
    Not in some far away 3rd world country, but here.
    In the USA.

    • JarHead, were you in Minneapolis?
      My friends who were outside the stadium the entire evening did NOT experience violence. There was no reporting of violence. Whatever you are speaking of must have been isolated and short lived.

  • Daisy,
    In my opinion this is one of the best articles that you’ve published in the many years that I’ve been reading and lurking on The Organic Prepper. I have twin daughters that attend a local State University, and this article has prompted me to have a conversation with them regarding escape routes, likely trajectories of rioting, and mob mentality actions. This University happens to be situated North of the city center, and should rioting occur it would likely take a North to South direction towards the city center. Explaining to them to exit from a North to East or West direction and loop around to go South to get home in the Safest manner. Most importantly to leave at or before any attempt to quell or control a protest may actually save their lives. As you stated in your timeline above, once the effort to stop the unrest ensues, the damage of personal property and looting become the next most likely occurrence, and if the efforts to suppress the gathering fail, the escalation towards violence raises exponentially.

    The military special ops teach the OODA Loop, (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. -Repeat) which I have taught my daughters along with situational awareness. I would also recommend a book titled “Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps Hunter Program can save your life.” by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley. This is the best illustration I know of how not to be there when the bad stuff goes down.

    Thank you again Daisy, you’re doing God’s work!

    • The OODA was created by John Boyd. His biography is here

      Boyd was a fighter pilot during the Korean War (1950-1953) and invented a new set of fighter tactics that are still used today.

      A genius and more than a little strange. There are several websites by some of this devoted students and how the OODA loop can be applied to business and other important areas.

      This book is definitely worth reading.

  • Don’t laugh,but from what I have seen during the L.A. riots,was that bookstores were mainly left untouched. Head for one if you can not immediately leave a riot area.

    • Three things you know the worthless elements of society will avoid at ALL costs…

      A job


      • Depends on who you class as worthless Charles.

        Some of the most worthless are executives, politicians and bankers. They use all three.

        A thief steals a few item a politicians and bankers steal from everyone every day through taxes, inflation, fiat currency,

        Police steal more from citizens using civil asset forfeiture than all other property crimes combined per year.

        You are looking in wrong places for the bad people

        • “You are looking in wrong places for the bad people”

          Sounds to me like you are intentionally NOT looking in “certain places” for bad people.

          It isn’t “executives, politicians and bankers” out there looting and burning our cities to the ground. They tend to be more subtle and nuanced…no doubt due to the education ,soap and jobs.

          • You think none of the three you list. How many politicians were arrested for the insurrection at the Capitol – hint, there were many. And depending on who you deem an executive or banker, also arrested at the insurrection at the Capitol. Perhaps you need OPSEC 101 again or perhaps remedial reading?
            Bradley Rukstales, the CEO of Cogensia, an Illinois-based data management company, was fired after he was arrested at the Capitol during the insurrection on Wednesday.

    • These stores, I surely will be looking out for any starting tomorrow. Thanks for a very valuable insights. Besides, I could read in them to wait out and the thick books could be used like a plate carrier if not a bricklike projectile. Just kidding eh..

  • After the Ferguson riots there were copy cats around the country. We knew of some people having demonstrations because of a local shooting. Going home one late Friday evening, we had to miss our regular turnoff because it was blocked off to limit demonstrators from entering the freeway area. We had to take the next exit to get home. It was late at night and they were still at it only five miles on a direct route from our home. Except for one incident of vandalism, it stayed peaceful. In any case it was sobering enough to make a better plan for ourselves.

  • “But the thing that is certain is that tempers have been rising since the last election and the vitriol has become so extreme and so normal that widespread unrest in America is no longer a matter of if, but when.”

    Amen to that.

    The “pre-game” show is winding down and the opening kickoff can’t be far behind. As an avid student of the 1st American Civil War, I can tell you that the ramp up to the battle of 1st Manassas was preceded by an exponential increase in the sort of chatter we see in society today.

    Although some unforeseen event might prove to be the flash point before the next election, we certainly don’t have longer than November 2020 to get ready for the worst.

    We’re over the falls in a barrel already. There’s no stopping what can’t be stopped. Who lives and who dies is now a matter of blind, dumb luck.

    “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco. This ain’t no foolin’ around!” -Talking Heads, Life during War

  • @Miss Kitty

    Unfortunately, too many possible factors can affect an incident to offer a meaningful short answer.

    To a great extent, it will depend on the Four T’s (Trends, Thresholds, Triggers and Targets), on the nature of the stimulus event (social, political, economic or some
    combination), on the risk factors (threats x vulnerabilities x consequences), as well as *heavily* on communications (as a “social enabler” for aggressors or a force multiplier for defenders), and whether the stimulus is perceived to be “internal” or “external.”

    (An “internal” threat to a group or to society tends to polarize or fission a status quo; an “external” threat tends to invite solidarity – not unlike how sparring spouses suddenly “unite” when law enforcement shows up.)

    In general, criminal activity tends to increase during the hours of darkness. Fri and Sat nights exhibit two to three times as much mischief as the other nights. Early
    Sun evening and some holidays can also see elevated mischief. Drug related activity in residential areas is strong from ~2200-0400. These markers are for Tucson,
    AZ. YMMV – location is everything.

  • It doesn’t have to civil unrest. In a heartbeat, those you are with could turn on you – a convenient scapegoat. Happened to me once. Thankfully the one sane, quick thinking person in the room got both of us out of safely out of there. So always be aware of your surroundings and keep your eyes and ears open. Never assume that a private get together is safe.

    • “Never assume that a private get together is safe.”

      LOL! You sure got that right! Never underestimate the ability to read a room. I once attended a collegiate kegger at a private residence (by invitation). Everything was going nicely until the host’s younger brother (a mental defective) had a few too many, ripped off his shirt and ran down the street yelling “White Power!” at the top of his lungs. I immediately told everyone within earshot that it was time to go and I got the hell out of Dodge pronto. I passed the patrol cars on the way out of the subdivision.

      It only took 5 minutes for TSHTF. Fortunately it only took me 5 seconds to realize I needed to be somewhere else!

      Chance favors the prepared mind.

      • A similar situation happened to a close family member. They were at a party, lots of heavy drinking, and two rival factions of leos started squabbling. Her and another woman’s dates got them out just before a real donnybrook broke out. They sat in a car across the street, listening to “Rhapsody In Blue” on the radio and watching the shadow play of the fight against the back-lit windows of the venue. Fists and chairs flying, it was quite a fight, and the girls’ dates were enjoying the show – they thought it was hysterical! They all left just before the locals cops showed up to break it up.

        This was many years ago, but it shows that situational awareness, and a knowledge of how things go south in a hurry, can keep you from getting involved in a bad situation. Learn to hone and trust your instincts.

        But perhaps sticking around to watch isn’t a great idea. 🙂

        • “But perhaps sticking around to watch isn’t a great idea.”

          Right you are. As tempting as the desire to avail one’s self of the free entertainment might be, it is paramount to remind yourself that when TSHTF it isn’t focused and directed like gun fire. It flies in every direction like an explosion. You want to focus on being outside the RADIUS of the fan’s reach.

          I’ve been caught inside the radius a couple of times by attempting to walk away nonchalantly when I should have been running like my hair was on fire! Fortunately I didn’t get anything on me that wouldn’t wash off, and I learned valuable lessons from the experiences.

          I can’t help but think that today’s youth would be well served by hearing these tales from our mis-spent youth. LOL!

  • Thank you so much for your article Daisy. It has been very enlightening.
    I actually live in Santiago, Chile, and although I’ve seen many riots since I got here, none can compare as what has happened since last week. You’re article is very welcome bc at these times. Thank you again.

    • Paolo, if you wanted to share a firsthand account, I would be very interested in posting it. If you are interested, our email address is daisyluther2 at gmail dot com.

      Please stay safe! You are all in our thoughts.

  • Outstanding article! Only missing point is a back up, or alternate communications network. FRS, GMRS, UHF, VHF, FM, CB, or HF. You, your family, your team, your neighborhood, your HOA. And don’t forget the solar panel rechargers. For internet, consider BGANS ( Consider settingnup your own wimax network.

  • A couple of thoughts here. First off as Old Remus say’s “Stay away from crowds” it limits your social life a bit but not as bad as finding yourself in the center of a riot. If your on the out skirts of a crowd you have an escape route or three.

    Second know the exits of every place you go, LOOK around for the actions and dress of the people around you. If you see politically charged clothing, signage or stupid slogans being shouted in a group with another group milling around them looking angry it’s time to evaluate how important that cup of Starbucks is right now.

    If you happen to be in a mass of people are moving in a direction don’t go against the flow as that may trigger an attack or simply trampled to death. Keep your group TOGETHER, hold hands. Move side-wise to the mob movement gently as to slip away. It’s worked for me several times. Arguing with a potential mob is worse than stupid.

    Grey Man NOW. It’s well past the time to wear your I don’t call 911 shirt or that MAGA hat. Your not going to give other folks that have your beliefs support, your just making yourselves AND your friends-Family the first Target of the violent. Ask yourself how important it is to have THAT Bumper Sticker on your vehicle. Now think of your vehicle surrounded by hostiles a TARGET because of those Bumper Stickers. Is it worth it?

    Yeah I have my 1st Amendment RIGHTS and I have the 2nd to keep it… Really? Does your family accept that they may be Mob roadkill over that bit of bumper sticker? We ARE AT WAR inside our country Today. Remember “loose lips sink ships?” AND recent court cases the lawyers USED the Bumper stickers as evidence of aggressive intent….

    Know your exits both in attitude changes of the people around you AND the area in general. How many ways do you know to get home from work, from shopping, from that Starbucks? Might be useful when trouble is clogging your normal routes. No matter how much longer the route NEVER go through a trouble area.

    If having a firearm gives you Dutch Courage then your better off with out it. With in 21 feet of suddenly hostiles even a trained police officer can be overrun and beaten to death before getting off an aimed shot. Also I Guarantee that the Liberal Press and the Mob Fearing Court System (see what’s happening to those police officers GUILTY before trial by Mob Judgement) WILL Make ANY armed self defense into a Kangaroo court that will place you and yours into poverty and jail time.

    Sad to say in the current Liberal controlled press the “I’d rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6” just means avoid the trouble in the FIRST PLACE as you WILL be Judged by Millions of Mob folks with the blessings of the Socialist-Democrats and THEN carried by 6 from prison.

    Armed resistance is beyond the subject of this article. I will not comment on an open forum on it as lawyers use social media just like this to “Prove” your intent to cause harm to those poor suffering people.

    A defensive move that seems reasonable to a jury is pepper spray and use of a fire extinguisher. I’ve had to use a vehicle 3 pound fire extinguisher on a hot head when they thought I was someone else in a similar vehicle. Put out his fire pretty fast and the police-EMS seemed to enjoy the clown effect on that angry youth.

    Or as Remus says “Avoid crowds”. Hard to get in a riot if there is no crowds….

    • Yup. I no longer have any bumper stickers on my car. Too dangerous. Never know when someone might take offense and smash up the car(or you).

  • Yup. I think “don’t be there” is the best advice. I looked at the map the NYT had on their website this morning, showing the locales of most of the demonstrations/riots and I reminded myself that I wouldn’t want to live in any of those places! Our country is going downhill fast.

  • The fact that for the past two nights these Communist troops have attempted to take The White House by storm tells me that our Cold Civil War just got HOT.

    In almost every country that the World Wide Communist movement rules with an iron fist it has been done trough REVOLUTION! Russia, China, Korea, Viet Nam, Cuba, and so on.

    These attacks are planned, some of people have been trained, some are not even from the Divided States.

    The goal is to split up the U.S. into smaller countries, then the Globalist’s/ Communists/Islamists, can run the whole show. May God help us!

  • Saint Paul police are reporting that they stopped vehicles without license plates that had arson and burglary kits in them.
    The occupants all ran away and scattered. A press photographer stopped to photo us last night with our guns and told us he had photo and video proof of what he said were “well organized cartels that moved with professional style formations and had kits for breaking into safes and setting fires after the robberies”.
    He stated they moved in the shadows around the main crowds and were not part of the main crowds. He claims that he saw things that stunned him and took his breath away at times. comments section

    reposting here as it is relevant, to indicate things are not what they seem to be on the surface.

    this event is being orchestrated at very high levels.

  • Charles it’s not the mob that’s the’s those that use it for thier benefit.

    Learn to play GO and put away the checkers.

    So let’s go to wh6 you think this is happening some random white cop kneels on black gus neck till.he dies and
    People riot?

    First of all.ever seen a real cop video what is first thing all.of them do ask people. To step back and stop filming, see that happen? Did they even ask?

    That jerk who was his friend with a smirk in his face say stop he can’t breathe… smirking all the while. .. would you let that happen to your friends?

    White guys paying protester to riot

    You think that is just random event right.

    The brachial nerve pressure point the using is taught and learned via training from israeli military police.

    If you would use your thinking meat and look beyond what and apply critical thinking you will see the illusion for what it is.

    Ask yourself who profits from this always follow the money.

    Yes it’s poorer people rioting but why…it’s never as simple as its shown on television.

    This is a taste of what’s to come food riots have not even started yet

  • Pray for my little town in FL. They plan riots here tonight starting at 1:00am. Our Sheriff has put the fear of God into them letting them know that if they try to bust into our homes, he WANTS us to shoot them, but I’m nervous. It’s just me and my sister in a condo and we sit right off the road. I’ll kill anyone who tries to enter my home, but it should have never come to this. I think they’re just trying to challenge the sheriff because he’s a good one and has the back of his citizens. This is no longer about George Floyd. It’s an organized criminal uprising.

  • I’m in St. Paul, MN, and have had protesters within blocks of my home over the weekend. There are some really good tips here I hadn’t considered…the strategy of parking your car with the gas tank blocked is a great idea. We were able to get one of our vehicles in our garage but not both. Parking the other car in front of our garage door probably gives the garage extra security too.

    Other thoughts…close your window treatments and avoid being a looky-loo. It’s hard, but your window treatments will offer some protection should glass shatter and keep you from being a visible target from the outside but keep at least some lights on so people know you are home.

    Move things like lawn furniture out of view. Anything lose is fair game for being thrown or otherwise used by rioters.

    Lastly, one of my neighbors set up a stand with several very bright lights that is used to illuminate construction sites at night. He pointed it down both sides of our street and it lit up two blocks very well and deterred many of the strange vehicles driving around from entering our street. Obviously not something everyone has available but if you can do something similar it was very effective.

  • In the present evolving environment as the new crop of tyrants assume control of our entire government I am more concerned about the intimidation and police state tactics that they are some fond of victimizing anyone who does not agree with their communist ideology. This is a long-term, and maybe lasting, assault on everything we once believed about America. Riots, OTOH, come and go, and only in specific places.

  • I thought it was a well done article, except for the “Always have another plan.” section.
    you were on the right track, but i think you did not explain it well.

    First off: Always have a Plan B and a Plan C. (never truly discard them).
    But always be in the moment, not lost in what might be or get to far ahead of yourself.

    So the “You must constantly think, “What will I do if …… happens?””, must remain in the moment.
    Which might be closer to ” what will I do in the next step of my plan”
    This plan should have been walked through and thought out, trying to consider all the possible variables.

    Under stress, you do not think clearly, so train and train some more.
    Instinct and trained reaction will take over in a tense situation. You will be thankful for having done it.
    You will not cover all possibilities or variants, but it will build a foundation. Most of those situations should be a branch from something you practiced for, so adapting to it will not be that hard.

    Most people don’t realize how fast things occur, you really won’t have time to stop and think about what you should do next, only to react.
    People say “well the Police should have done this or that and they would have not had to shoot that person”. But when you are there in the moment, you don’t have time to consider options, you will only have time to react, either with your training or out of Fear. The latter one will most likely lead you into making very bad decisions. (This is why poorly trained Police are the biggest problem, rather than bad individual police officers, though some of them exist also). The same applies to Firemen, Soldiers, etc.

  • Unfortunately I’ve definitely seen this happen as you laid out here in St. Paul, MN. My home is within a couple of miles of all the coverage you’ve seen on the national news and there was major destruction less than a mile from my home last summer. I’ve been on edge this week with the Chauvin trial wrapping up and breathed a cautious sigh of relief last night when the verdict was read but (being the good prepper I am) I see this is only one of many decisions that can send us right back to the civil unrest of 2020. The trials of all the other officers, the funeral of the most recent victim, the trial that will result and the probable appeals of Chauvin. Not to mention the fact that the incidents that spur the protestor response come out of nowhere and can happen ANY TIME. I saw my neighbors hopping on bikes yesterday to join the celebrations around the city. I believe justice was served yesterday (from what I’ve seen) but I am not going anywhere near those big crowds, even if they are celebrating. This past week, I made sure I had the creature comforts to just hang tight at home if events spiraled and luckily that’s been avoided (this time). The biggest challenge in my mind is identifying that balance between being a presence at your home so that it isn’t an easy target and determining when it isn’t safe to do that. I don’t have a good answer for it yet.

  • And just remember, Caucasians are far more of a threat than non-Caucasians be they immigrants (legal or otherwise) or citizens.

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