It doesn't take much for a situation to turn nasty. Recent events in Ferguson highlight how the rule of law can disappear in a matter of moments, and the mob mentality takes over bringing out the worst in our fellow humans. Many who joined the demonstration I believe did not intend it to escalate as it did, but once violence reigns supreme it's up to you to take steps to protect your family and your home from those who intend it harm. Most out rioting are either bored or frustrated with their lot in life, but it doesn't take an active imagination to realize the hooligan smashing out your cars headlights with a bat will probably turn the weapon on you if confronted. What then, can a survivalist do to ensure to keep these kind of animals out of their homes when the SHTF?
Get organized One of the biggest risks you face during a period of civil unrest is running out of supplies. Plan ahead and have at least a month's worth of food and water stored, because you'll be putting yourself in a massive amount of danger by ‘running to the store to grab a few things.’ Being organized means you've got everything you need, and it's just a matter of riding out the situation until things return to normal. In addition to basic supplies, one of the biggest threats to your home during a riot is fire, so ensure you've got fire extinguishers handy and know how to use them. Personally, I'd also have a couple of hidden supply caches on my property in case rioters were able to breach the defenses, and a plan to evacuate should the need arise. Above all, when a riot is breaking out, stay home and you'll avoid most of the danger that's out there.
Get secure Your best defenses need to be put in place months or even years before a riot breaks out. Now our team here at APE Survival is all for home-security but one thing you need to remember with rioters is their main targets are usually those who have more than they do, so the real trick is to improve your defenses while still blending into your neighborhood. Big fences, barred windows and CCTV cameras everywhere can make it look like you've got something to hide, but you can make non-obvious improvements like replacing all of your external doors with hardwood versions and installing heavy curtains that make it difficult to see inside. Install screw-in window locks and sensor-triggered lights, and I'd also recommend cutting plywood in advance to fit your windows that can be screwed into place. Should things get this bad you're probably going to have to evacuate, but the more difficult you make it for looters to gain entry to your home the higher chance they move on to an easier target.
Get ready Standing guard at the foot of your driveway with a shotgun is a great way to draw the wrong kind of attention, but this doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare. Bring your neighbors in on your plan to defend the neighborhood, the more people you have actively keeping the rioters away the better your chances of making it through unscathed. Bring your pets inside and have a safe room where any young children or vulnerable family members can ride out the situation, and make sure they've got a clear exit path should the rioters breach your home. Many survivalists recommend a room with no external entry points because it's more secure, but this can also trap your family inside. Instead, opt for a room that has a heavy external door which can be used to escape, like a back kitchen or the basement. Every member of your family who is capable of handling a weapon should be armed, and every external entry point to your home should be locked and barred. Set up defensive points in your home that allow you a clear shot at entry points like your front door, and stay silent unless your home is approached. Many of the rioters will be out just wanting to ‘break stuff’ and wait to see their intentions before you open fire. Often a warning shot is going to be enough to send them seeking an easier target. If they are determined to get in or cause serious harm to your family, be prepared for the likelihood you may need to use lethal force. If you've done something that has drawn the rioters attention you may not be able to rely on local law enforcement, which is why it's often better to stay quiet and out of sight during a riot. Sit tight and ride it out without drawing any undue attention to your family.
Getting out Depending on the scale of the crisis an evacuation may be necessary, and if so aim to leave right on dawn. This is typically one of the quietest periods of the day, and offers you the highest chances of getting out of town unscathed. Of course, you're going to have to decide for yourself on the timing, but having your bug-out-bags ready to go means you can be in the car and on the road in a matter of minutes, and gives you the highest chance of success. Just because a riot is breaking out doesn't mean you need to let the looters plunder your home, and your best bet at riding the crisis out unscathed is to get organized, secure your home, and ensure you're ready either to defend your property or evacuate at a moment's notice. When it all comes down to it, the safety of your family is the most precious commodity of all.