9 Ways To Survive If Martial Law Is Declared

In these uncertain times, when the world seems to go mad, you can’t help but wonder how long until we will experience a martial law scenario.

One day we might have to live under such a scenario since it seems there are many SHTF events that would impose it. The current pandemic is just an example, and personally, I believe we were lucky so far that things didn’t lead to further chaos and social upheaval.

The United States has a certain history when it comes to martial law, and like many other nations, it will do whatever is necessary to defend its integrity (and protect?) its citizens. I believe we should all have a survival strategy if martial law will be upon us in the near future.

What is martial law?

To put it simply, martial law is the imposition of military rule and the occupation of the government over a specific region. It is declared when an imminent threat disturbs peace and order. Martial law can be declared during a state of war when natural disasters are too much to handle for local authorities, when a coup is developing or even when uncontrollable riots and protests affect an entire region.

When martial law is declared, everyone is expected to follow the same rules, no questions asked!

It doesn’t matter if you think what’s happening is right or wrong, and you have to give up certain civil rights for the good of the nation/state.

What Survival Secret We Lost To History

There are certain rights that will be suspended if martial law hits, such as:

  • Right of Information
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Right to privacy
  • Right of Habeas Corpus
  • Right to make choices

Those that are prepared and organized should be able to survive such a scenario without having their lives turned upside down. However, even for them, there are certain things that become mandatory under martial law.

How to survive martial law:

Being self-reliant

As preppers, we are already prepared to outlast various scenarios that may cut us off from the major supply chains. For most of us, it will be rather easy to survive when the government takes full control of food and supplies and their distribution.

As an average Joe, you should avoid waiting for handouts during a disaster or hope that some military rations will find their ways towards you, and you must have your own supply of food and water. Your supplies should last for at least six months if you don’t want to stay in line for help. Also, all your supplies will become government property if you don’t stockpile smart (more on that in the next paragraphs).

Being self-reliant under martial law means that you must have a method of producing your own electricity, the means to prepare and cook food, ways to sterilize water, and everything else that will assure the same level of comfort you were used to before martial law was declared.

Be ready to bug out

In certain cases, when you see the first signs of an impending scenario when martial law is imminent, you might want to bug out to a safe location, if you have one. If you manage to do so before roadblocks and checkpoints are installed, you might be one of the lucky few. If you’re not so lucky, hunkering down may be the safest choice for you and your family. This will be the norm for most folks living in densely populated areas.

If you plan to bug out, you should have everything ready to make a successful trip. This means that your bug out bag should be properly packed and updated for the season. Also, your bug out vehicles should be in good shape to handle the road ahead and eventual obstacles. I won’t get into details about what to pack in your bug out bag or vehicles since these are distinctive cases from one person to another. What I will stress is the need to have everything updated and make sure they function properly.

Stay safe during martial law

We love our freedom and liberty, and certain folks will not bow down and take it easy when martial law is declared. For some, being stripped of certain civil rights is unthinkable and unacceptable. Most Americans fear that giving someone absolute power will lead to mistreatments against the general public.

That being said, the safest course of action would be to avoid areas that are exposed to social upheaval and other scenarios that may lead to dangerous escalations. You will first need to protect yourself and what’s yours before handling any other thing.  There are various ways to protect your home when civil unrest is developing, and you can find a lot of information on Survivopedia.

Keeping a low profile is also recommended before you will get involved in matters that may not be a priority for you and yours. You will have the time needed to plan and act following your own belief system if you stay out of sight. You have to think before you act and decide on an individual case if you follow the rules or rebel against them. Don’t go with the heard and follow the curfew under martial law. Make sure you have all the means to protect yourself and survive whatever scenario unfolds.

Get informed

When martial law is declared, the media and all the information channels will be controlled by the federal government. You might not get all the required information, and the truth may be filtered to avoid creating mass panic. While listening to official broadcasts will provide you with information and updates regarding the imposed rules, you might need to have a backup source of information.

A HAM radio is a great alternative, and the HAM radio community will take care of its own. They will provide all the “unofficial” information, and they will tell you things as they see them. It’s better to know both sides of a story before you decide if its ending is the proper one. We are bombarded by media propaganda on a daily basis, and the last thing you need is to have filtered information being delivered and remain misinformed during martial law. Information is key to your survival during an SHTF event, and you must always be aware of what happens around you.

Always be alert and improve your skills

This is a general rule for us preppers, and staying in shape, constantly learning, and improving our skills proves useful in any type of crisis scenario. Preparedness and our will to survive have to be backed up by proper knowledge and a good set of survival skills.

If you run out of food and water, or if you run out of guns and ammo, what will you do then? What happens if you get hurt by accident, or otherwise?

You need to be able to handle the above scenarios, and these are not things you can learn on the spot. One needs to prepare in advance and challenge his or her skills with every occasion or opportunity provided.

Take a first aid course, learn to cook without your stove, try to fish or hunt and practice any skill that you may think, one day, will come in handy. You will have to survive on your own during martial law, and the skills you have will make your life much easier. Also, consider that all the activities you do will leave you weak and tired if you’re not in good shape. You don’t need to become a couch potato when dealing with martial law, and you need to be ready for anything.

When you are tired and stressed, your judgment will get clouded, and you may end up making mistakes that will leave you injured or worse. You must avoid this at all costs!

Don’t be a lone wolf

Some desperate times require friends and teamwork to push through. Having an alliance may end up being crucial to your survival during martial law. I know a lot of people that have built a support system composed of friends and neighbors. Imagine if the current pandemic will prolong, and truckers fail to deliver their goods, do you think people will wait patiently, or will they do everything in their power to survive?

We’ve seen it before how desperate times create desperate people, and the same people that fought over some toilet paper will do anything to survive another day, including harming you and your loved ones. That’s why having a trustworthy network of people that share the same vision as you become mandatory.  A survival group can keep the neighborhood safe and still standing if they trust each other and if they share the same goal.

Don’t share more than you have to

I don’t like to brag about my preparedness plans, and I don’t show off my stuff on the internet. I can’t comprehend the need some people have to brag about their prepping plans and show off all their supplies. Why would you make yourself a target and why become a “beacon of hope” when desperate people are roaming around. You can’t possibly hold off all the people, and you are putting yourself in danger for no reason.

Be smart and keep it all to yourself and talk about your prepping plans with your friends and family. Only with those people that you know for a fact they won’t report you to the authorities for hoarding tons of supplies. In a time of martial law, you can’t assume how things will play out, and oftentimes you have to be selfish if you want to survive. Be selfish about sharing information and supplies and keep only those that you trust close by.

Prepare your supplies for a home invasion

We’ve seen how a lot of people bought vast quantities of face masks, hand sanitizers, and other products that were in short supplies (and still are) when the COVID-19 hit the US. While these people were trying to get rich and profit from the distress of others, one thing should have been a wakeup call for many.

The fact that the government sized all their supplies should have made you think about what will happen when the situation becomes even more desperate than it currently is. When martial law is declared, hoarding food, guns, and ammo is restricted. It’s almost certain that the military will implement house to house searches without a warrant if things get grim.

They will locate and confiscate supplies, no questions asked, and they won’t think twice, no matter how much you beg them not to take them. As said earlier, you need to plan your storage properly, and it’s important to keep a lot of your stuff out of sight and store it out of reach or hide it on your property.

I’ve often discussed the “bait pantry” or “pantry decoy” method during various occasions, during seminars, on forums, and whenever I had the chance to do so. To explain it briefly, this method requires you to hide a small part of your supplies without much effort. Somewhere that is not obvious, and it requires some kind of effort to be discovered. 

When someone discovers those “hidden” supplies, you will need to put out a show and act like your life depends on those supplies. Beg them to let you keep those supplies, cry and be as convincing as possible. This will make them believe that what they’ve got their hands on is your main stash, and they won’t bother into looking for your other supplies.

Act if you feel that’s the right thing to do

Under martial law, when the situation is escalating, and it may reach is peak point, some will have to take a stand. It is your God-given right to pick a side, and no one can take this away from you. However, before doing so, make sure you act calm and rationally upon it and, most importantly, that the action you’re about to make suits your personal beliefs and moral principles.

Remain calm and plan your next steps carefully. It may be difficult to do so, but acting on an impulse may not end well. Panicking and irrational people are seen as a threat in general. During martial law, even the most prepared soldiers will choose to eliminate a threat rather than risking to deal with it and establish if force is justifiable or not. Restrain your emotion since this will make the difference between life and death.

Even more, taking a stand doesn’t necessarily mean you have to join “the resistance” or take your fight to the streets. There are various ways to fight for what you believe in without putting yourself in danger. You first have to figure out ways to make yourself heard without looking like a threat. Also, keep in mind that not everyone will find the courage to act when martial law is declared, and you may end up with no support when things get rough.

A last word

If you keep all the above in mind and act upon when martial law is declared, it will help you survive when the military takes over. Even more, plan things properly and consider the last advice when thinking about taking a stand. It will put things in perspective, and you will figure out your chances of making it out alive.