Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Do you have a plan if riots erupt?

International financier and politically progressive philanthropist George Soros tells Newsweek he sees class war and riots coming to America, perhaps as early as this year. In these times of high unemployment and a rotten economy, Soros isn't the first to voice this kind of warning. He's just among the latest. 

If Soros is right, it's past time to start making individual preps to weather a coming storm.

Some thoughts to consider:

If you live in an area that may be prone to unrest, how will you deal with trouble at your door step? Urban dwellers may want to consider someplace they could evacuate to if things get rough. A relative or friend's  house in the suburbs or in the country might be an option. Talk it over with them. Consider having a bag packed and ready to go. Just in case.

If supply lines are disrupted by spats of unrest, do you have what you need to carry on unhindered? Unrest may not strike your suburban supermarket, but panic triggered by unrest elsewhere could just as easily cause people to clear the shelves. The last thing you want to be doing if panic hits is to be at the supermarket fighting  over the last loaf of bread or gallon of milk. Plan ahead. Get in the habit of keeping a week or two supply of your usual groceries on hand. If trouble comes, you're set to sit tight and ride things out for a spell. 

Consider self defense options. Especially if you live in an area that's already prone to crime. If you feel comfortable with having a firearm, you may consider buying one if you haven't already. But don't just buy a gun. Learn to use it. It takes time to acquire proficiency. It's more than just point and shoot. You want to reach a point in your handling where loading, aiming and shooting come with a natural flow. With proper instruction, you'll also develop instinctive safe handling techniques along the way. 

If firearms are part of your self-security plan, acquire ammunition for 'em. In times of unrest, ammo flies off store shelves faster than beer, bread and milk. And there are fewer local outlets for ammo than there are for groceries.

While things are still normal, scout around for alternative routes to school or work. Know your options should unrest or riots jeopardize your normal commuting route. Also consider designating an alternative gathering place for your family should access to your home become impractical.  

Travel with cash. In the digital age, unrest in the streets may be accompanied by hackers and cyber attacks. Could you buy a tank of gas if ATM or credit card networks went down? You probably could with cash in your pocket.

In the past, riots were usually associated with urban centers. I consider the assumption to be obsolete. Social media and personal data devices could be used by instigators as a means of command and control. It happened last year with riots in England. With greater command and control, troublemakers can direct their reach to wider geographical areas. Even places you now consider safe might be within reach.

To many, the steps I've outlined here will seem overly simple. Some may call them incomplete and insufficient. But for others, this kind of thought process and talk of preparation may be completely new.

Do we know for sure unrest or riots are coming? No. But there's enough buzz out there to at least take notice. Waiting to "prepare on warning" leaves too much to chance. 

A good goal is to begin building habits that will pay dividends if things go bad. Just thinking through various scenarios now will put you a step ahead if trouble comes.

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