Over the summer of 2016, certain websites forecasted a string of protests around the United States. As it turned out, these protests often lead to riots. In most cases, there is no warning for such events, but this time, we were paying attention to the news and knew where and when many of these protests would take place.
I was chatting with 3 of my friends, also Survival Moms, and we reviewed our situations. Not knowing if any of these protests would turn violent, we needed a guide for preparing for civil unrest. Each of us came up with a game plan.
One of us was going on a family road trip and would be making stops in three of the cities listed as protest sites. Another was home alone with her children with a husband away on a business trip, and I had a long-awaited date night scheduled that was an hour drive away from the children to a city not on the list. Texas Atlas & Gazettee... Best Price: $3.30 Buy New $24.95 (as of 06:30 UTC - Details)
Meanwhile, headlines from around the world reported civil wars, acts of terrorism, political coups, and hyperinflation. Thanks to this family survival manual, I know how to prepare for civil unrest as well as these other events. Here is a guide for how 3 different moms in 3 very different circumstances prepared for civil unrest. The best thing about this? We are now ready for other emergencies as well.
On a road trip — Anita
Our family was in the middle of a 4,000-mile road trip when the possibility of spreading civil unrest became a concern in the cities on our route. We had prepared for a number of common situations on our trip, such as vehicle breakdown with a family emergency kit like this one, but we hadn’t even thought that we might have to deal with protests or riots along the way. Yet, being prepared for a few other situations served us well when confronted with this additional possibility. For example, we had already been collecting highway maps at rest stations along our way, plus we had an outdated road atlas in the vehicle. A good road atlas is one of the best tools to have for planning alternate routes, even if GPS wasn’t available in remote areas. It would also come in handy if communications were interrupted.
Along with emergency supplies and maps, we also had extra food just in case we weren’t able to stop and eat at restaurants as planned, like if we got into a destination too late. Of course, that would also be helpful if we were stuck somewhere for longer periods than we expected, such as having to shelter in a hotel. In a time of civil unrest, hunkering down for the duration is often the best and safest choice. We had Mace Pepper Gun - Mat ... Buy New $32.00 (as of 08:00 UTC - Details) prepared some self-defense options, too, in the event of attempted mugging. While avoiding civil unrest is always better than fighting back, at least we weren’t completely defenceless if we did find ourselves in a scary mob situation. We also considered the possibility of unwittingly driving into a mob scene and how we might handle that situation.
We weren’t finished with our preparing for civil unrest There were a few more steps we decided to take:
- We found local news sites for each location and monitored local social media trends. We figured this would give us some advanced warning of anything unusual, although sometimes you may find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and will just have to deal with it on the spot.
- We agreed to keep the gas tank at least half full, even if that meant more stops. In the event that we had to leave a situation quickly, that would allow us to put more miles between us and any immediate danger before stopping. It would also help if we ran into unexpected obstructions and used more gas than anticipated.
- We re-evaluated our route and decided to stay at smaller towns in between large cities.
- We stopped at a Walmart on our way and bought a tarp and some bungee cords. Although the plan for our trip included hotel stays, we could make a roadside shelter if needed with those. We also grabbed extra water. Being able to put up an impromptu shelter might make the difference between roughing it for a night in a safe place and having to slog through a panicky crowd just to get to our hotel. S.O.L. Survive Outdoor... Buy New $8.37 (as of 02:50 UTC - Details)
- We snagged the extra toilet paper roll from our hotel room. Maybe we should have already had one in the car (we had baby wipes) but now we felt more prepared to camp wilderness style, if necessary. Emergency toilet supplies in the back of your vehicle is a must, especially if you have kids.
- And just in case we would need to shelter in place immediately when we got home, we caught up on laundry at the hotel. We also stopped and got a few household groceries, in addition to the snacks and food already in the car.
Some of the lessons I took away from this experience are if you’re prepared for one situation, even if you can’t think of every possibility, you are still better off than doing nothing. Flexibility is key. And really you can’t stay home for the rest of your life. Even as a survival mom you still need to plan vacations and times away from home and out of your comfort zone. Whatever happens, just deal with it when it does.