How to Prepare for Martial Law

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If you have the suspicion that martial law is imminent, you would be wise to take certain steps to prepare for it. Since martial law severely limits your civil liberties, there are a lot of things you probably won't be able to do once it comes into effect. This involves preparing both physically and mentally, and making sure your family has all the necessary items to survive during the crisis.

Assemble a survival kit well ahead of time. Although martial law often involves little more than a curfew, it is possible that certain items will be pulled off shelves or become severely limited. This includes food that is imported or transported from other areas, certain drugs and medications and even tools that may be considered dangerous, such as knives, shovels and sheers. Stocking up on these items may help you prepare for martial law.

Stockpile gas if you can. Whether you drive, have a secondary light source or simply want to be prepared, gas is usually rationed during martial law. Prepare by buying several containers as soon as you hear martial law is imminent.

Prepare an evacuation plan. This should include the best routes for escaping from your home in case of an attack, safe places to go to in your immediate area and another place within a 10-hour driving distance, preferably in a rural area. During martial law, you probably won't be allowed to drive at night, so anything that takes more than 8 or 10 hours of driving (depending on the season and how many hours of daylight you have) is out of the question. Rural areas tend to be safer than cities during times of extreme tension.

Think of martial law as any other emergency situation. As you prepare for it, make sure you get all your valuable documents in one place (preferably a safe fireproof box), along with maps and directions to your "safe" place.

Keep cash on hand. During martial law, you may be limited as to how much money you can take from your checking account or how many places you can use your credit card. If you have money in your checking account, prepare by taking a good amount out of the ATM and keeping it safe at home.


  • If you have older children, make sure you explain the situation to them so they can be prepared once martial law is declared. However, you want to break the news to them in a way that will be the least threatening and frightening.