How to Survive Martial Law

how to survive martial law


11 million people died during the Holocaust.  The reason that such a wicked movement was able to destroy so many people is because they were able to defeat and control people by fear.  The Nazis controlled almost every aspect of life for not only foreign lands conquered but also on their own country.  Unfortunately the victims did not know how to survive martial law.

Back in this time people may not have been familiar with the term “martial law.”  Martial law is essentially the imposition of the highest ranking military officer as the governor or head of the government.  This imposition removes power from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.  It is an extremely authoritarian government.

For the most part martial law is an illegal form of government in many countries like the United States of America.  Although martial law is not explicitly stated in the constitution its actions are forbidden.  In 1878 the Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids military involvement in the domestic law enforcement without congressional approval.

However, tyrants and wicked dictators do not obey laws and constitutions.  As in the case of Hitler in Nazi Germany.  Hitler threw out the German constitution when coming to power.  So although there may be extreme circumstances that would call for martial law tyrants will always abuse their power.

Martial law is typically imposed during times of civilian uprising, violent protests, rioting.  It is also used to suppress political opposition, stabilize insurrections and other threats.  There have also been times where martial law was opposed after a natural disaster like in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (although this was illegally imposed).  To know how to survive martial law you need to understand what it entails.

Martial law will include:

  • Curfews
  • Suspension of civil law (right to a speedy trial by a jury of your peers)
  • Suspension of civil right freedoms including:
    • Protection from discrimination
    • Freedom of religion
    • Privacy
    • Thought, conscience, expression and speech
    • Assembly and movement
    • Press

Martial law in its truest form is illegal in many countries including America.  The only time the constitution allows for military to be involved is to help executive laws not to take away civil rights.

There have only been a few times that martial law has been imposed.  However that doesn’t mean that it won’t ever happen again.  So it is best to know how to survive martial law.


How to Survive Martial Law

When martial law is imposed you will essentially have three options:

  1. Deal with it
  2. Flee
  3. Fight

So when you ask how to survive martial law you will need to consider which option to choose.  From there you will be able to formulate an appropriate plan.


  1. Deal with it

If you think this imposition of martial law is going to be temporary then you might want to consider dealing with it.  There may be a few instances that I mentioned above that would potentially warrant martial law by a government including natural disasters or violent protesting, etc.

These situations may only be temporary.  So there really wouldn’t be any reason to flee or fight.  The only exception to fleeing would be if you planned to return after the storm.

During martial law hoarding food, guns and ammo will be restricted.  You will have the military going house to house inspecting trying to find the hoard of supplies.  As a prepper, not having a supply is not an option.

So you will probably want to set up a decoy supply cache.  This will trick others to believe that is all of your stockpile and will simply move on to the next house.  Have your preps and prepper gear placed in a hard to find area.  You can build secret storage areas in your walls or furniture.

Find a means of communication that is an alternative to the mainstream media.  Having a HAM radio will benefit you greatly.  However, there will be a lot of disinformation that you will have to break through.

If martial law is imposed due to a natural disaster you probably won’t have as much as compared to being invaded by another country and they impose martial law.  Hitler employed propaganda during the Holocaust.

Encrypt your online communications.  If the internet is still working during this time of martial law you will need to be careful what you are communicating.  This is especially true if this happening during an invasion or rebellion.

We live in an age where we are tracked everywhere we go.  From the websites that we visit on the internet to what we share on a Facebook post it is all recorded and shared with companies and governments.  Therefore, if you have spoken an opposing view of the political power or dictator they could decide to imprison you for those statements.

If you feel like martial law may be imposed in your area then you may want to consider deleting your profiles and destroying your hard drive.  That way any what you have on your computer cannot be further held against you.  If you don’t want to go that far then you should look into encrypting your online communications.

You should also consider building a prepper group to prepare for martial law.  This would be ideal if you know of other preppers that plan to rough it out during this time.  First you will need to know the type of people that you will need in your prepper group.  Then you should formulate a plan on how to survive martial law along with other potential threats.

Having a surveillance system setup will be helpful to have.  This will give you an advantage to know if the occupying forces are coming close to your location.  This will give you time to hide any of your preps and prepper gear.  This is of course all predicated on the hope that you will have electricity during this time which may not happen because it will be regulated.

You should also begin prepping financially for martial law to be imposed.  Times of unrest will always send inflation soaring.  The value of fiat currency will decrease rapidly.  This will essentially cause or be the result of an economic collapse.

So you will need to have something that will retain its value such as precious metals.  During financial crisis the price of precious metals sky rocket along with inflation.  Another thing that you can do is stockpile bartering items that may see an increase in price during martial law including coffee, ammunition, medical supplies, toilet paper, water filters, batteries, etc.

Health supplies are also another important item to stockpile with your preps.  Water and power will be highly regulated during martial law.  As a consequence personal hygiene and people’s health will suffer.  Therefore you will not only need personal hygiene items but you will also want to have first aid kits and antibiotics.

  1. Flee

Another possible option you have on how to survive martial law is to flee before or during the scenario.  This could be good for a few reasons such as:

  • Have previously professed opposing views about the rising dictator or occupying force
  • Don’t see martial law as being temporary
  • You know that it is safer somewhere else than at your current location (nearby areas may not be under martial law)

If you plan to flee at the signs of martial law being imposed then you will need to learn some escape and evasion tactics.  Black Scout Survival has some really good information on this subject.  I would highly recommend checking out his website.

This should go without saying for a prepper but you should have a bug out plan.  That plan should include multiple possible bug out locations.  Prepare to dress as the grey man so that you don’t give away what your intentions are.  You will also need to have a meetup point with your family and/or survival group.

Being in shape is a must.  Yes, I know that round is a shape too but you need to be physically fit.  There is no way you are going to make a 20 to 30 mile trip fast enough if you are weighing 400 pounds.  It’s not going to happen.  Therefore you need to be in shape now instead thinking that you are going to wait until things get worse.

Most importantly you will need to learn how to use a gun.  There may be a situation where other people are trying to attack you to steal your preps or even just to prevent you from escaping.  You have the right to protect yourself regardless what a government or a piece of paper says.

You need to know how to use that gun during a stressful situation such as this.  Just practicing at a target range is not going to help.  Look into attending some tactical training classes such as Tactical Response.  They have multiple locations throughout the United States.  If not them please find some place to get some tactical training.

  1. Fight

Fighting is the most risky option of all three options on how to survive martial law.  This option would be ideal for patriots or nationalists who will stand and fight for their country.  This may not be ideal for those that have a family to look over and protect.

If you plan to fight during the imposition of martial law then you should be a part of some patriotic prepper group or militia.  However, joining a militia as a prepper can bring some concerns.  One concern would be about OPSEC.  Not all militia members are preppers.  So if they learn that you have a stockpile of prepper gear and supplies they are most likely going to take advantage of you.

If you plan to fight you will not only need to have tactical training but you will need to stockpile ammunition and weapons.  Now during martial law these will probably be taken from you.  Therefore you should consider having a buried cache.

Ultimately, if you feel like the place where you live has the potential of coming under martial law then you should simply just move.  This would be the absolute best option.  When martial law happens it is always in cities.  You will never hear of martial law being implemented in a small country town with a population of a few hundred people.

So moving or “strategically relocating” would be the best way how to survive martial law.  I recommend that you read Strategic Relocation by Joel Skousen.  This expert prepper has some really great insights of every state in America and could provide you helpful information to use for your plan.


Photography by Remo Cassella