As all hell breaks loose across the United States of America (and we haven’t even gotten to the election yet), a resistance movement to the status quo seems to be increasingly violent, taking over a Minneapolis police precinct and an area in downtown Seattle. Protests continue to be peaceful in some areas but show little signs of letting up.
A lot of folks are pretty sure that a revolution is coming – and many people say it’s already here.
I got a great question in a group that I moderate: how do you prepare for a revolution?
As preppers, this is always our go-to response to trouble. We want to know what we can do, specifically, to meet the crisis head-on and keep our families safe.
How do you prepare for a revolution?
In this article, I want to speak specifically about the practical steps you need to take to be prepared for a revolution if things should come to that point across the country. This article is not about philosophy or right vs. wrong. It’s not about fighting for your “side” whatever side that might be. It’s about surviving. There are lots of links because I’m not reinventing the entire wheel here – that would be a book on its own. This is merely a guideline so you know where to focus your time, money, and attention.
I pondered the question for quite a while before answering because it isn’t really a situation I had given a lot of thought to before.
The answer is really not anything earth-shattering. In fact, many will probably find it underwhelming.
You prepare for a revolution by simply continuing to prep. Specifically, consider prepping for the following:
- Supply chain disruption and shortages of food
- Supply chain disruption and shortages of material goods
- Civil unrest
- Disruption of utilities
- Disruption of services
So for the most part, this is general prepping. The event causing all the disruptions may be different but the end result is the same. Let’s talk about each of these things.
Supply chain disruption and shortages of food
We’re already beginning to see disruptions of the food supply due to the COVID pandemic. Imports have been interrupted and distribution processes have utterly failed. As I wrote before, farmers are being forced to cull livestock and plow under produce because they have no way to get it to consumers.
In an uncertain future, these difficulties could continue or even become worse through strategic blockades.
Here are some things you can do:
- Now is the time to make sure you’re stocked up. This book can help.
- Localize your supply chain. Look for local farmers and purchase food in bulk.
- Learn how to preserve food. Here are guides for canning foods and dehydrating foods to make them shelf-stable.
- Learn how to acquire food with hunting, snaring, fishing, and foraging.
Become responsible for your own food supply. Stores may not be reliable sources.
Supply chain disruption and shortages of material goods
A shocking amount of our general supplies are imported. Here’s a list of things that come from China alone. Not only are imports disrupted but so is distribution in general. You may have noticed if you’ve been in any stores since things reopened that there are a lot of bare spots on the shelves and that you don’t have the same amount of choices as you did before the outbreak.
Things like bedding, clothing, footwear, tools, dishes, and hardware are sparse in many parts of the country. Here are a few steps you can take.
- Focus on repairing instead of replacing.
- If you do have to discard something, strip it of its useful parts. Sort out screws, fasteners, buttons, laces, etc., and store them for the time you need them.
- Buy sturdy clothing now: pick up winter jackets, shoes, jeans, and practical clothes. For children, you may want to purchase things a size or two up from what they’re currently wearing.
- Every time you go to the store, grab basic items like toilet paper, aluminum foil, ziplock bags, or other things you normally use.
- Look for reusable options for things you’d normally throw out after one use.
- Stock up on the tools you might need to repair, make, or mend things in the future.
- If there are things you’ve been planning to replace or update, do it now if it’s an essential item. You might not be able to do so later.
Take time now to get ready for a world that could be poorly stocked.
We’ve published a lot of articles recently about surviving civil unrest, with the number one phrase you’ll read being “don’t be there.” In essence, a revolution is civil unrest with heavier firepower. You’ll still be avoiding angry crowds, hardening your home, and keeping your family together, just on an even more life-threatening scale. You’ll definitely want to check out this on-demand webinar where Selco discusses his experiences and gives advice about surviving riots and unrest.
That being said, much of the same advice applies. Here are resources that may help you get prepared for this.
- SELCO: Mob Mentality and the TRUTH About Protests
- Take this on-demand webinar with Selco
- RIOTS Are Coming to a City Near You: What You Need to Do RIGHT NOW
- How to Survive Riots and Civil Unrest
- Check out my book, Be Ready for Anything.
- SELCO: I’ve Seen Where This Leads. It Will Only Take ONE SPARK to Lead to Devastating Chaos
- 3 Reasons Why Prepared People Need Guns
We’re in relatively uncharted territory right now. It’s important to make your plans well before things erupt. Don’t be so tied to a place or a pile of things to the point that you’re willing to risk your life (or the lives of your families) to face a horde against whom you have no chance of survival. Be willing to be adaptable and resilient – your life could depend on it.
Know where you’re going to go if you have to bug out and how you’ll get there. (Here’s a PDF guide for bug-out plans.) And for goodness sake, stop thinking it’s shameful to bug out and don’t listen to anyone who tells you that it is. Your goal here is survival, not posthumous glory.
Disruption of services
Even with the current level of unrest and the recent pandemic, some areas have experienced the disruption of services we take for granted. Calling 911 in the event of an emergency and having someone show up, going to the emergency room and receiving prompt care, being able to have medical treatments that aren’t non-emergency but are still important, being able to call the fire department and have them come save your home – in the United States all of these things have been in question in at least some areas this year.
If civil unrest continues to grow at its current rate, you can expect these problems to worsen and widen to areas previously unaffected. Right now, there is more than one police precinct in the US that has been overrun by protesters. Fire trucks haven’t been able to get past mobs to deal with buildings that are aflame. People waited so long for urgent medical treatments that they died as hospitals were closed due to COVID.
What can we learn from this? We could find ourselves completely on our own and we should proceed as though we will be.
We need to be prepared to be our own first responders with regard to emergency medical care, low-level fires, and home security. I’m not saying you need to be ready to fight a five-alarm fire with a garden hose but at the very least, learn about the different types of fires, have fire extinguishers, and keep your fire-fighting equipment maintained in good working order. Know how to stop bleeding and perform CPR.
Disruption of utilities
Another possibility is the disruption of utilities like power, water, internet, and communications. This could occur organically as the side effect of a natural event like a storm or if it was caused by humans, due to government interference or guerilla sabotage.
Taking out the power is not an unusual action for governments to take when they’re trying to regain control of an area. It happened in Venezuela, although the government there blamed the United States and has been threatened in California as a move against businesses that didn’t follow the rules of the COVID shutdown.
In Egypt, during the Arab Spring riots, the government there took control of the internet, and just recently there was an alleged communication blackout in Washington, DC which turned out to be misinformation. The power grid was deliberately sabotaged in California at least once and the threat of sabotage against public water supplies is of constant concern to providers.
The question isn’t really “can it happen?” or “will it happen?” – it’s more a matter of when.
It’s pretty likely if things became incredibly heated that it would. Taking away these vital services and limiting the ability to communicate are both standard tactics. Think about hostage situations – negotiators often turn off the AC on a sweltering day and jam phone service.
To prepare for this kind of thing, you need, again, to go back to the basics you’re already putting in place.
- Learn how to handle a blackout here.
- Learn how to handle a water emergency here.
- Learn more about emergency communications here.
Obviously, you’ll also want to have ways to keep folks entertained and at least moderately content if the internet and power are down.
Another thing to consider in times of revolution and widespread tensions is OPSEC. Not so much the kind where you’re being very careful that nobody knows you’re a prepper (although that is always important) but more the kind where nobody really knows what your thoughts are on volatile matters.
Survivalist author Selco Begovic explains this further.
If we are talking about a “revolution” event, there is a saying about it that “what was down goes up” (and vice versa), and in addition to that things might get pretty radical. In essence, that means that you should pay extra attention to OPSEC.
It is always important of course, but in times like this, even when they are temporary, it is very easy to get labeled as an “enemy”, and to be an enemy in this violent and very emotional times is dangerous, simply because things might happen in a way without too much logic and very fast.
In the time it takes to prove yourself that you do not have anything to do with some event, or that you are not an enemy or threat it already can be too late.
Always have in mind that when times get turbulent and violent, some of your indiscretions or breaches of OPSEC before the event can simply label you as an enemy. And there may not be time for law and logic in those times.
Always be aware of what kind of information you are giving up about yourself with how you look, act, and what you say. Do not be paranoid but use common sense. Be careful, and follow OPSEC practice as much as you can.
So, now isn’t the time for your political bumper stickers and t-shirts. It’s not the time to publicly announce your support of causes that could one day make you “the enemy.” You may want to tone down your rhetoric on social media because the internet is forever and this stuff can come back and bite you in the rear end.
We’ve all heard about the so-called “cancel culture” in which a person can lose his or her livelihood for having an unpopular opinion. It’s pretty extreme now – it can affect your whole life. Imagine how incredibly dangerous it would be in a world ripped asunder by a violent revolution.
You’re really just going back to basics.
Remember when the pandemic was beginning and people were frantically asking what to do? In his usual succinct way, Selco said “get ahold of yourself and go back to basics.”
This is true of just about any situation you’ll ever find yourself in. Of course, there are a few factors that are unique to any scenario, but going back to basics is always your best option. Break down the different facets of the emergency and you’ll nearly always realize that preparations you’ve already made for other purposes will apply.
What with the election coming up, we could be in for an extremely bumpy year. As the saying goes, let’s hope for the best and prepare for the worst.