Martial law is the official suspension of the constitution. It is the transfer of power from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government to the jackbooted boys of the U.S. Military. Martial law is imposed in times where civil unrest, natural disasters, or war has reached a boiling point that local law enforcement officials can’t or refuse to deal with. Having a martial law survival kit is essential for keeping you and your family safe.
This guy gives a good generalized intro to what can be expected:
The Martial Law Survival Kit Checklist
Ideally you will avoid or bug out of any location where martial law is the new order. Civil unrest can threaten your life and liberty as easily as the presence of a military force with zero interest in your basic rights. You will see humans acting like animals. You will see the transformation of man to beast as local populations panic and scurry for resources. Violence will surround you at every turn. Here are a few items that will help you prepare to get out of dodge.
Backpack – You will need a bag to store all of your supplies. Duffle bugs should be avoided because you want to stay as mobile as possible. Your backpack should not draw attention to you. In martial law scenario you don’t want to look like a renegade by running around with a military style backpack. See my post on using civilian packs vs military packs. I personally use the 5.11 rush pack.
Food and water – Pack at least 72 hours worth of food and water. This will give you a 3 day window to secure other resources or get to a safe location where these resources are readily available. Pack high calorie foods like nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Think hiking trail mix. You don’t want to bring food that requires you to stop and cook. In a scenario like martial law you won’t have the luxury of fine dining.
Methods of purifying water – It’s a good idea to pack a means of purifying water. What if you must bug out to the wilderness? What if your only water source is the local pond, lake or river? These sources of water must be purified before drinking. For a cheap compact solution there is the Sawyer water filter or the easy to use Lifestraw. I have written extensively on both why you need to purify water and the many water purification methods you have at your disposal.
First aid kit – A solid first aid kit will assist you in treating many injuries you might suffer during martial law: scrapes, bruises, sprains and lacerations can easily be treated with a first aid kit. You might have what you need around the house but if you don’t there are ready made options available to you. You should also include any medication you take inside your first aid kit.
Tactical Flashlight – A tactical flashlight presents numerous advantages over the standard flashlight. They are light, extremely durable and they double as a self defense weapon. The brightness of the light will easily blind an assailant long enough to make a clean getaway and the serrated edge is something you don’t want to be on the business end of. The Fenix PD35 is the standard for tactical flashlights and one I always keep on me.
Knife – The knife will be an invaluable piece of gear in your martial law survival kit. Self defense will be a priority of increased magnitude. The knife will also serve you as a versatile companion around the camp. If I had to choose one knife to take out into the thick of martial law it would have to be the Cold Steel SRK.
Cash – Short of a complete system meltdown cash will still be an effective and sought after resource. You can use the cash to barter or use it at stores, motels etc once you get to a stable location.
Poncho – Do you remember the last time you were soaking wet and cold? It’s an absolutely miserable experience and not only will it sap your will and motivation but you run a severe risk of hypothermia. A simple poncho will keep you high and dry while you make it to safety.
A means to make fire – Speaking of the cold and miserable you will want to include at least two methods of making fire. A BIC lighter and a ferrocerium rod is a good combination. The BIC lighter will make your life easy in dry weather and the rod will ensure you can still get a fire going in wet conditions if you can’t use the BIC.
Portable Radio – A radio will prove to be a crucial item in your kit. Tuning into emergency radio broadcast frequencies will alert you to changing circumstances – good or bad. If you know how to operate a HAM radio you can receive broadcasts and also transmit to your friends and family. Portable hand cranked radios are available. More robust radios will take time to learn how to operate but will pay off in a big way.
Boots – There’s a good chance you will be walking a lot. A good pair of boots will keep your feet dry and protect you from any debris you will be tromping over.
Trash bags – Keep a few of those black industrial sized trash bags in your martial law survival kit. These bags are versatile and can be used to collect rain water, provide a dry ground cover or used as make shift shelter.
Tarp – A good survival kit will always include items that are multi-purpose. The tarp is one such piece of gear. With a good tarp you can rig up a shelter and collect rain water if you need to.
Paracord – Some might say cordage is the most important piece of gear in your survival kit. Use cordage to rig up a tarp for shelter, lash wood together, string up large game for cleaning, bear-bagging food, making fishing line, rigging traps, making bow-drills, extra boot laces etc. This stuff is light and cheap.
Guns and ammo – I have saved this one for last due to the controversial nature of guns. Guns will immediately draw attention to yourself and in the hands of the unskilled could prove to be a truly unwieldy and dangerous addition the your survival kit. That isn’t to say having a gun is invaluable. A gun is obviously the most effective choice for self defense and hunting. Remember – during martial law guns will surely be outlawed so decide for yourself if bringing a gun is worth it given your skill with the firearm and its probable application.
There are many items you could pack into your martial law survival kit. Remember though – you want to keep your pack light. Packing heavier convenience items might sound like a good idea but will become cumbersome down the road. Packing light and using basic survival knowledge will ensure your ultimate survival.