Civil unrest can be one of the most frightening times for millions and, worryingly, many factors can cause unrest. It can be a simple power cut, community tension or even a State-wide crisis but no matter what triggers unrest, it can be truly dangerous for those caught in the midst. You don’t necessarily need to be directly involved with any violence to feel repercussions and it’s important to understand what steps you can take to protect your family and yourself.
Spotting the Signs of Unrest
Usually, you can spot when civil unrest or violence is about to rock your community. For example, if there has been a contentious issue in the news and it’s stirred up angry feelings in the local community, and there are protests planned, it may cause unrest. Also, if a neighboring town has been affected by riots or unrest recently, it may spread so it is best to be prepared. You have to remember, the slightest spark can set off unrest and even if its miles away, it can spread quickly.
Stocking Up On Supplies
Most homes have some sort of emergency stockpile for storms and other emergencies and you need to add to it. Supplies can run away fast and you need as much supplies as possible. If you don’t have any supplies at home then you must absolutely start stockpiling food, water and medicine immediately. Remember, unrest doesn’t stop just because you’ve run out of food, it continues until it runs its course and it could last weeks, possibly months. Of course, unrest won’t last twenty-four-seven but there will be few opened stores and few deliveries during these times so supplies will be limited.
Canned goods and preservatives are the very best items to stockpile because they are easy to pick up and last a very long time too. There are lots of items which last a considerable period of time, though; it’s wise to avoid fresh items as they don’t last more than a few days. Sometimes, frozen items aren’t good to choose either simply because during unrest, all electrical supplies may be switched off. You need to consider things such as crackers, jellies and snacks and of course, stock up on as much water as possible.
However, while you may want to gather up enough items to last any rioting, you need to be a little smart in your approach. Casually buy additional supplies, don’t be too obvious because it may cause others to panic buy and then there is another problem to deal with. So, just stock up on items you’ll need for the next 7 days. Shop in one store one day and the next, shop in another; and discount stores are good to pick up a few bargains.
Have a Plan to Get Home
When civil unrest breaks out, there will be chaos on the roads and on the streets and it can be dangerous. However, if you are away from your home and at work or out at the shops, you need to have a way to get back to the safety of your home. You must decide on the safest route home.
Planning a route home is crucial and it’s important for every member of the family to have their own separate safe route home, whether they are at the office, school, and the local shops or at the gym. Having several routes available to get home will offer your family the best possible chance to avoid trouble. If you don’t plan, you might end up being caught in the violence outside.
Leave The Car Behind When Violence Spills Out Into The Road.
You may have to ditch your car at the roadside during a riot. Now, as dangerous as it sounds, it might be necessary. For a start, roads can be blocked off by mobs of people looking to cause trouble; the police may stop vehicles through certain areas also preventing you getting through. Secondly, if there is a mob out there causing a road block and you try to get through, they may turn on you and lastly, you could hit someone. You don’t want to put your life at risk and you certainly don’t want to hit anyone with the car either; and as crazy as it sounds, ditching the car on a congested road may be the best way to save your life.
A lot of people say your best bet during a riot outside would be to wait it out in your car but don’t because you are put at serious risk. A mob can turn on you in an instant and even if they don’t appear to want to hurt you, things can change.
Seek Alternative Shelter
When the streets are just too dangerous to venture out in, and the roads are blocked off, you must locate a shelter in order to ride the troubles out. Your home is probably your first safety shelter but there may be times when you can’t go there and instead, you need to seek shelter with a friend or family member. If a riot occurs when you are at work, you could go to a colleagues home if it’s close by; however, community centers and even a local police station may offer you the best shelter. Police and emergency services can be the best places to head to when there is unrest, especially if you have small children with you.
However, note that some police stations may be in chaos too, but it still could be the safest option available should other shelters fail.
Keep a Low Profile
When you find yourself outside in the middle of a riot or a violent march, whatever you do, you must keep a low profile. You of course want to get to a safe place as quickly as possible but until you do, try to remain invisible. Crowded areas are bad because it means lots of people and any one of them can start a fight on you and then you have a whole mob to deal with. You do not want to become a target and you don’t want to be sucked into the violence either.
Make Your Home Safe and Remain There
Start by double locking all doors and windows to the property including the garage door and even the basement window. You should also board up the windows and any possible entry points; and you can barricade yourself inside the home to keep unwanted intruders out. This will be crucial to ensuring your safety and hopefully you can ride out the unrest in peace and in the safety of your home.
Don’t leave your home for any reason and don’t draw attention to the fact you are inside your home. By this, I mean, don’t advertise the fact you are barricaded inside on social media or play loud music because someone may try to get in. Listen closely to the radio to find out when calm has been restored and when it’s safe to leave once again.
Don’t Be a Hero
Civil unrest can be dangerous because protests and marches can turn into full-blown riots and everyone goes a little crazy. People who are everyday law-abiding citizens suddenly are drawn to a mob mentality and do things they would never normally do. It may be worth keeping to yourself and allowing the unrest to pass because it may be the only way to survive it without getting caught up in the mess left behind.