A few weeks ago, I jumped on SurvivalBlog hoping to see discussions about the riots and good ideas being shared but I was very surprised with such a major disaster unfolding to see that there was barely a mention about the riots. (Sorry, I meant “mostly peaceful protests”!) But I was glad to see the discussion pick up a few days ago with the article titled: Is It Time to Worry? by Jim S. because I believe these riots and the groups behind them are the most “clear and present danger” that the citizens of America currently face. I believe that we preppers should be shifting our efforts in this direction. If you’re lucky enough to live on a 50-acre ranch in rural Idaho, then you may not be as concerned about a riot moving down your street, however the violent attempt to take away our freedom by these anarchists should be of serious concern to everyone. It just amazes me when I compare this “revolution” to the ones in other countries. Typically the people who are revolting because the government is not listening to the people and they want the right to vote, etc. Here we have a government elected by the people and instead of trying to persuade citizens to join their cause so they can win elections, these anarchists are trying to impose their will by force and intimidation. Basically, they are rioting to take away our right to vote because they believe they’re right and what the silent majority thinks doesn’t matter, end of discussion!
From my perspective, the major problem with these riots is that even though our police and military have the manpower and technology to quickly bring this to an end, many government leaders seem to be afraid to go against the rioters and they have hamstrung our fine police officers. The media is constantly censoring out all the stories and videos where violent rioters are beating people in the streets because it doesn’t fit the narrative that they’re trying to promote. People keep asking how the country has become so divided and I actually believe the agenda-driven media is one of the primary reasons. People on the right have been vilified by these media outlets and rightfully don’t trust them anymore. Meanwhile, the leftists are angry at conservatives because we don’t believe their “facts” anymore. This crisis of facts has made it impossible for the two sides to find any middle ground, but this is a discussion for another time.
If you haven’t seen these horrific beatings that I mentioned, for example: five guys with clubs circled around one guy in fetal position begging for mercy while they kick the #$% out of him, I encourage you to look them up online. Even though it will turn your stomach, we all need to see this, because it is worse than anything I’ve ever seen in America. You need to know how real this threat is in case it shows up at your doorstep, so you don’t make the mistake of walking outside thinking you’re going to have a “dialogue” with these ruthless criminals like many of the people in these videos did.
Some Key Considerations
I know preparing for riots is a massive subject, but in many ways, it is similar to other forms of prepping that are regularly discussed in detail in this blog. So I’m going to focus on things that perhaps you haven’t thought of. If one of these violent riots were to actually move down your street and you don’t have a chance to leave or if you choose to stay, here are some ideas that may be helpful.
- You want your house to blend into the background as much as possible. Examples: avoid giant picture windows that rioters can’t resist throwing a brick through, fancy cars parked in the driveway, political yard signs that will cause them to target you.
- Don’t give them free ammo! Many rioters are not carrying weapons with them, they’re picking up things as they go. Get rid of those river rocks in your flower bed that can be thrown through your windows! Same thing for yard statues, heavy flower pots, loose bricks, and anything that can be used as a projectile.
- Reinforce your doors, install heavy strike plates, use 3” hinge screws, and add extra deadbolts or other locking devices, especially low on the door frame to prevent kick-ins.
- Reinforce your windows, security film (this is a covering that holds the glass together in the event of breakage), there are also minimally invasive security screens that offer impressive protection from being struck with blunt objects, you could also add metal shutters for windows and doors that are particularly vulnerable.
- Fire is a huge concern with rioters, they love to do the most destruction for the least amount of effort: arson. If you’re able to prevent them from breaching your home, then their most likely action will be to throw burning objects through your windows or onto your roof. If you have window films in place, this should severely restrict their ability to penetrate them with burning objects. As I learned in SurvivalBlog years ago, a metal roof is the best option for fire resistance. But note there are classifications of fire resistance for shingles as well, so some will resist better than others. If the riot is moving your way, get your hose ready. I actually thought of the idea of throwing a soaker hose up on the roof to keep it wet. Also, have plenty of strategically placed fire extinguishers ready to go.
- Firearms: I know better than to start a debate with this audience about which firearms to use! I would just say I would have plenty of 30-round magazines and ammo on hand, and have a sling for your weapon because you may be holding it for a while. Also, have a sidearm holstered for backup.
- Shooting position: You need a protected position to fire your weapon from defensively, with a good vantage point. Another topic that’s been discussed at length on this page is how inadequate the walls of modern homes are for ballistic protection. The short term solution I came up with is to purchase and fill some sandbags and store them in the garage. I can move them into position when needed. These can have double use in case of flooding.
- You need to prepare yourself mentally for what action you’re going to take. It’s easy to joke with your prepper friends around the campfire that if there’s a group of domestic terrorists beating down your front door that you’re going to cut them down with your AR. And you may have to, but remember, even if the law is on your side, you will be castigated in the media, your picture be plastered all over CNN as a gun-toting racist, and you may have to go into hiding to avoid being attacked by these hate groups. Don’t think that the law will protect you right now. Now more than ever the decision to use lethal force should be made very soberly, and with understanding of the consequences that you will face even if you did everything by the book.
- Less than lethal force: I have mixed feelings about this, it could just inflame the passions of the rioters But I think it’s worth considering. I have seen a good review on SurvivalBlog in the past for some near military-grade smoke grenades that are available to the public, which might help disperse a crowd. I think the sound cannons available to law enforcement and military would be a fantastic way to drive a crowd back, but I could not find any versions available to the public. A couple cans of bear spray would also be a handy item to have at your disposal.
- Escape route: If you decide to defend your house, you need to have a way out if you get overrun and also a place that you can send vulnerable family members for safety before the shooting starts. For my situation, I have a shed along the wood line in the back yard that I think would work as long as you are not seen entering it. It’s not a good place to make a stand, but probably a good place to hide. I don’t think rioters would be too interested in stealing your mower, as I suspect most of them have never done any manual labor!
- Prepare your house for looting. This may sound like “planning to fail” but I tend to think of it more as an insurance policy. Think about the critical things you need to protect, weapons, documents, photos, money. Conceal your safes, and prepare fireproof storage for papers and photos. I recently bought a couple of large fire-rated file safes, and I hid them inside a box on a shelf where they will not attract attention. It should help you sleep better at night knowing that if things go wrong and your house does get looted that your most important possessions are hidden and protected.
- Fencing: I live in a community that does not permit fences in the front yard, so I have tried to create as much separation from the street as possible with trees and plantings such as thorny bushes and I’m also purchasing some large landscape rocks (make sure that they’re too heavy to be lifted by the rioters). I have no delusion that this will stop anyone, but it does conceal my house a little bit from the street and limit the number of points of entry onto my property. I also believe it’s a helpful mental barrier. I think that most of us can agree that rioters act with a mob mentality. This provides them with safety in numbers. If the mob is moving down the street, I believe many rioters would be hesitant to climb over some bushes out of view of the street where they are more isolated and less protected by the large group. If nothing else, it helps move the odds in your favor, where you can deal with a small number of people more effectively than a large group. This is even more true if they breach your fence and enter your backyard where they are really cut off from the mob.
I want to reiterate that this is not intended to be a comprehensive plan, I just wanted to share a few ideas that have crossed my mind. And specifically focus on the timeframe when the riot is moving down your street, not the aftermath. I encourage you to share your ideas in the comments or separate postings as well. I have learned a great deal from this site and if we all put our good ideas together we can greatly improve our chances.
Let’s hope that most of us have chosen our locations wisely so that our house will never be in the path of an angry mob, but it is prudent to make at least some minor preparations should we ever face the unexpected.