Martial law is the imposition of the highest-ranking military officer as the military governor or as the head of the government, thus removing all power from the previous executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. It is usually imposed temporarily when the government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively (e.g., maintain order and security, or provide essential services). Martial law can be used by governments to enforce their rule over the public. Such incidents may occur after a coup d’état (such as Thailand in 2006 and 2014); when threatened by popular protest (China, Tiananmen Square protests of 1989); to suppress political opposition (Poland in 1981); or to stabilize insurrections or perceived insurrections (Canada, The October Crisis of 1970). Martial law may be declared in cases of major natural disasters; however, most countries use a different legal construct, such as a state of emergency.
Martial law has also been imposed during conflicts, and in cases of occupations, where the absence of any other civil government provides for an unstable population. Examples of this form of military rule include post World War II reconstruction in Germany and Japan as well as the southern reconstruction following the U.S. Civil War.
Typically, the imposition of martial law accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, civil rights, habeas corpus, and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians. Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunal (court-martial).
Martial law is actually more likely to happen than most disasters. The reason is because it could be declared during any number of disastrous events: earthquakes, hurricanes, economic collapse, widespread terrorism, etc. So if you’re going to prepare for those things, you should definitely prepare for martial law as well.
Be prepared to hunker down and avoid public places because during martial law, there are likely to be riots and your rights as a citizen will be gone.
We live in uncertain times with constant threats knocking at our doors. One day, we might live under Martial law and although the use of Martial law should bring an end to the scenario that imposed it, most of the times it will lead to further violence and chaos. Many nations have a long history when it comes to Martial law and some fear it may soon be upon us. The current scenarios that foresee Martial law are all related to ISIS attacks. This is why you need to have a survival strategy for when Martial law hits.
What is martial law and when it is declared?
It is nothing more than the imposition of military rule and a takeover of the government over a specific region. Martial law is declared when there is an imminent threat to peace and order and it can be imposed in any of the following situations:
Uncontrollable riots and protests (Muslims protests in France are a good example, it’s just a matter of time until it happens in the United States)
Natural disasters that are too overwhelming for local authorities (Katrina is a good reminder of what nature can unleash)
State of war
Insurrection or rebellion
We value our liberty and freedom and we love our way of life. This is why for some of us being stripped of certain civil rights is unthinkable and we fear that giving absolute power to someone will lead to abuses against the general public. During Martial law everyone is expected to follow the rules, no question asked, it doesn’t matter if you think it’s right or wrong, you follow the orders. The military will not answer to people, they will be the law.
These are the rights that are suspended under martial law:
Right of Information
Right of Habeas Corpus
Right to privacy
Right to make choices
Freedom of Expression
If you are prepared and organized you should be able to survive martial law without much distress. In order to avoid putting your family at great risk and survive these tough times, you should do the following:
Most preppers are already set to outlast any scenario that cuts them off from all the common supply lines. This is why it will be easier for them to survive when the government takes full control of everything (foods and supplies). You shouldn’t wait on the rationing done by the military and you should have your own supplies. Your supplies should last you for at least 30 days, but any prepper knows that it is ideal to have supplies that last for 12 months. Your food and water supplies will become propriety of the government under martial law.
Having a method to generate electricity is also ideal as you will be able to use it for many tasks (from cooking to charging your devices – UV water filters, lanterns, etc.). Try to get your hands on some portable generators, that are easy to carry and that don’t make noise, as you don’t want to attract unwanted attention. Bartering is also a good way to get what you need, stockpile on items that will give you the upper hand and increase your chances of survival. Bartering will assure your survival under martial law.
Have a bug-out bag ready
In some cases you will see the signs that alert you of martial law being imminent. And in times like these you have to take a decision, you either stay in and hunker down or you leave and go for a safer area. Some know that staying in highly populated areas is certain death and have an escape route planned out. If leaving your home is not a choice for you and your family, bugging in will be your last resort. Your bug-out bag should contain the following:
Food and water for at least 72 hours
A first aid kit
Pieces of clothing for all types of weather
A sturdy pair of boots
Flashlight and batteries
Protection items: handgun, melee type weapons, stun-gun, etc.
Bulletproof-Home-8During Martial law you need to avoid areas that are exposed to social revolts and danger. You have to protect your house with an alarm system, keep it locked and secure your proprieties. Keeping a low profile by following the rules is also a good idea, but you have to think before you do it. If someone tells you to jump off a cliff, will you do it? Think before you act and decided on an individual case by case basis before rebelling against the rules. Make sure you respect the curfew, but if you don’t, make sure you have all the means to protect yourself and survive what will unfold.
Tune in and listen during martial law!
During martial law, the media will be controlled by the federal government and in order to obtain valuable information you need to stay tuned to official broadcasts. You will be up to date with the imposed rules and you will be able to plan your next move. The rules will keep changing and you need to be aware of them in order to survive. You will also need to tap into HAM radio to communicate with people that are off the grid, to get the “unofficial” information. It is better to know both sides of the story before you act, we are already enough bombarded with media propaganda, the last thing you need is to be misinformed during martial law. Information is key to survival when martial law is in effect and you need to know what happens around you.
Stay in shape, learn and improve your skills
This is a general rule for every prepper and it’s something that can prove useful in every crisis scenario, not only during martial law. Preparedness is nothing without knowledge and a good set of skills. You will run out of food and water, you will run out of guns and ammo, you will get hurt, then what? You need to know how to make or procure your own food, how to find and purify water, how to heal yourself and so on. These are the things that one should learn in advance and practice them with every occasion. Take some first aid courses, learn how to cook without modern means, how to hunt and fish, anything that you think, one day, may come in handy. Being able to survive on your own will also require a lot of effort, maybe you have to bug out and climbing is involved, or maybe you have to build a shelter or do home repairs, etc. All these activities will leave you weak and tired and you don’t need this during a crisis.
You should never be alone, you need friends
Desperate times will require teamwork and having an alliance can become crucial for surviving under martial law. You should build a support system with your friends and neighbors. You can help each other out and it will increase your chances of survival without getting into trouble. Before you build trustworthy relationships with your neighbors you should act carefully and be certain they share the same views as you do. You don’t need a “friend” that will report you for having a stockpile of food and guns, just to save his skin when martial law hits.
Keep your mouth shut during martial law
Don’t talk about your supplies, about how well prepared you are, as it can get you in a lot of trouble. Desperate times create desperate people, and these people will do anything to survive, including harming you and your loved ones to get their hands on your supplies. This is why you need to keep it all to yourself and talk about your prepping habits only with family and close friends. In times of martial law, you never know how everything will play out and you need to be selfish, selfish about sharing information and selfish about sharing supplies. You should share only with your family and close friends and that if you have enough supplies. It might sound harsh, but it will keep you alive.
Be calm and think before you act
In any type of crisis panicking will get you in trouble and you will make matters worse. The first thing you have to do in harsh times is to remain calm and carefully plan your next steps. It will make the difference between life and death and you should put your best effort to remain composed. Panicking people are seen as a threat, especially under martial law. Even the most prepared soldiers will choose to eliminate a threat rather than dealing with it and see how the situation develops. I can’t stress this enough, stay calm and think before you react. Rationality and being able to restrain your emotions will help you survive martial law.
Plan your storage for a home invasion
During martial law, hoarding food, guns and ammo is restricted and the military will implement house to house searches without warrant. They will put a considerable effort into locating your supplies and they will confiscate all you’ve got without thinking twice about it. This is why it’s important to plan your storage and keep your supplies in areas of the house where it will not be easily found. You don’t want to put all your efforts into preparing so that it can go to waste in the end. You can also use the bait method, which is having a small part of your supplies “hidden” without much effort. When they find your supplies put up an act and ask them to let you keep them, they won’t, but they will not put any more effort into looking for your other supplies if you are convincing enough.
Act when the time is right
In the event of martial law, when the situation is at its climax you might have to take a stand. It is your right to pick a side and no one can take it away from you. Before taking a chance and choosing a side you have to be sure it suits your personal beliefs and principals. Even more, taking a stand doesn’t mean you have to join the resistance and take it to the streets. There are always alternative ways of fighting for what you believe in, you just have to find a way to be safe and make yourself heard.