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What is martial law? Basically, martial law is when the military takes over governmental functions with an aim at restoring stability and tranquility. It replaces the civilian government with military rule. It is the military commanders who have unlimited authority to make and enforce their laws -not the elected officials or the local police.

Martial Law can be invoked at the Federal and State level during war, labor disputes, man-made and natural disasters, and civil unrest. It is one of the situations preppers fear the most.

military presence during martial law
Photo by Konrad Ciężki on

Common Restrictions During Martial Law

  • Curfew: Pretty much one of the first things that will be put in place. Revolts, rebellions and criminals love to operate at night. People will not be allowed to leave their homes for any reason during the curfew.
  • Travel Restrictions: Typically, travel restrictions are enacted to keep people out of a certain area. It may be done for people’s safety or to protect an area. We may not really know.
  • Public Gatherings: Government officials often see gatherings as potential for trouble. People may gather to complain or to plan to do something about the situation. However, if people cannot gather in public, they usually find a way to meet in secret.
  • Media Control: Controlling the media means controlling what is being allowed to say. This can be done by restricting information, censoring reports, or even shutting it down to prevent sensitive information from getting into enemy hands.
  • Personal Communications: To block personal communications would require shutting down both landlines, cellular phones, as well as the internet. This would be very difficult and may be highly unlikely.
  • Restrictions on Business: Obviously, restrictions on business hours due to the curfew. There may also be restrictions on what they can sell.
  • Freedom Of Speech: One can always have their say. However, one must also count the cost of their actions. Restrictions may come with a price.
  • Firearms: The government may be concern about the population rising up in rebellion. They will likely try to take away the population’s firearms.
  • Relocation: If relocation is necessary, the government will decide who, why, where and when.
reporter and camera man during an interview. the news may be restricted.
Photo by Redrecords ©️ on

How To Survive Martial Law

Like in any disaster scenario, it is best to prepare ahead of time and stock up on basic ahead of time. During martial law, store shelves will empty.

Always keep a low profile and trust no one. You don’t want to become a target. Don’t talk to others about your prepping and don’t dress military style and risk confrontation. Check out my post, The Gray Man Theory – An Acquired Skill – the art of blending in.

Know the rules and understand the rules can change.

Pretend you have nothing. If you have enough food and water, people will notice you never go out for supplies and may question you. Play the part along with everyone else.

You may need to keep some of your emergency supplies in a hidden location. During martial law, if they have the authority to confiscate your guns, take away means of communication, they may also take away supplies they deem necessary including your food.

Who Could Be A Target?

Be aware you may already be at high risk or being a target or of special interest.

  • Reporters and commentators who speak out again liberal policies
  • Bloggers and Youtubers who speak out again the current administration
  • Those with a concealed carry license
  • Known preppers
  • Christians, especially those who are vocal about their faith

Bug In Or But Out?

Typically, the best place to be is in your home and without your lights on. But if you need to relocate to a less populated area, you will need to leave in a moments notice. The military is trained to move faster than you. So have your preps in order before an emergency.

In Conclusion

Have your preps and emergency supplies in order, some hidden. Pretend you have nothing, Trust no one and don’t let others know you are a prepper. If martial law is declared, know the rules, stay low key and stay out of trouble.

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About Post Author


During the day, Ms. Williams is a compliance officer for a major insurance agency in Florida. In her free time she enjoys the great outdoors and share her passion for the adventures life has to offer. She now shares her passion for Emergency Preparedness, making it simple for everyone to start.
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