How to Stay Alive During Martial Law

If there’s one thing that preppers dread above all else, it’s martial law.

The fear is born from the fact life can seem standard one minute and change drastically the next, as you cannot trust governments to maintain a democracy.

Social unrest in several parts of the world is becoming more frequent. Rioters are feeding off the protesters who want to make their community a better place. All these can lead to the declaration of martial law by governments without warning to the people.

Since this governance system can happen when we least expect it, it is better to put our interest first and plan ahead of time. Read on to find out what martial law is about, and stay alive while it persists.

What is Martial Law?

Martial law is a term we’ve all heard about at some point. If you’ve followed the governmental trends in Asia or some of the war-torn countries like Iraq, then you have a clue of what we are talking about.

Even the United States has imposed martial law during times of civil unrest throughout its history. At the state level, the last declaration was in 1963 by the Governor of Maryland, J. Millard Tawes, during the riots in Cambridge. So, what exactly is martial law?

Martial law is the direct imposition of military control over normal civil functions or civil law suspension by a government. It is usually in response to a temporary emergency where civil forces are overwhelmed or in occupied territory.

Governments use it to enforce their will on the people, like after the coup d’etat in Thailand in 2006 and 2014 and Egypt in 2013. They can also declare it after natural disasters, but countries prefer to change the term to a state of emergency.

How Do You Survive During Martial Law?

The 21st century has seen various changes and growth in the world. With technological advancements like artificial intelligence (AI) and online learning platforms like, it’s easy to think the world has gone beyond the era of martial law.

Thoughts like that are what will leave many unprepared when they wake up to find that life as they know it has changed. Please make no mistake, martial law is a terrifying situation, and to survive and make the most of it, you have to follow these instructions.

Stock Up on Food and Other Necessaries

Hoarding is nothing to be ashamed of, as it is key to saving your life and ensuring you live through the period of martial law. If you’ve ever seen an apocalyptic movie, then you know that there’s significant food scarcity during times like this.

Store shelves clear out within minutes during martial law, so you have to buy ahead of time. Go for canned products with an extended expiration date. If you need greens like veggies, buy from the farmer’s market, store them in your refrigerator, or better still, start a mini-garden.

Ensure you have food that can last at least up to a month, and if you have others with you, calculate each person’s portion and buy accordingly. You also need water, so keep as much as you can.

If the martial law started during summer and would last throughout the season, you must make water a priority. At least, keep one gallon per person to avoid dehydration. Keep your supplies in different locations in the house.

The military will conduct random house searches to fish out those with food. So, keep your supplies hidden, and use the bait method to satisfy them by leaving a few items in open areas.

Keep a Low Profile

You want to avoid two things during martial law, that is, being seen and heard. You don’t want the military to know you are there and become a target, so it’s better to stay out of their way.

Preppers are the most vulnerable during this time, with the suspension of fundamental human rights that would have protected them. These rights include:

  • Right to information
  • Right to privacy
  • Freedom of expression
  • Right of Habeas Corpus
  • Right to make choices

Avoid talking about your prepping or what you have or don’t. Don’t dress in military-colored or styled outfits to avoid confrontation. It is best to copy the ostrich and keep your head buried in the sand.

Listen More, and Talk Less

Before martial law, it is okay to air your views on world politics, gender equality, or websites to place sporting bets like csgo betting. However, once this system of governance begins, forget your opinions, and play the mute.

No matter your view on the current political climate, it is better not to share it with anyone, including your friends and family. Remember that freedom of expression no longer exists, so listen more and talk less.

It is excellent and safe if no one finds out you are a prepper. Martial law is not the time to admit this fact about yourself to anyone. Wait until things go back to normal, and the Rule of Law becomes operational again.

Stay Informed

Information is and will always be powerful no matter the era you are living in. Thus, it is vital to stay informed on the happenings around you and separate what’s accurate from fiction.

Keep in mind that the government controls the media during martial law, but you still have to listen. Doing the latter will help you know about the new rules, curfew times, and other relevant information to adjust your life and movement.

The rules will keep changing, and you have to adapt to the changes. Another thing you can do is tap into HAM radio frequencies to get information from those who are off the grid.

They will have the unofficial version of things, which is more likely the truth. Knowing both sides of the story will help you survive and prevent misinformation.

Trust No One, But Have a Team

In life, the people closest to you are bound to betray you for reasons best known to them, and the same is true during martial law. If you want to stay alive, don’t assume that because you played baseball together as kids, your neighbor or friend won’t sell you out.

With the depletion of food and resources, survival instincts kick in, and many will trade information with the military for a piece of bread. Others might try to become the law, thereby initiating the Without the Rule of Law (WROL) post-disaster protocol.

However, you can’t go through the entire martial law regime without having someone to watch your back. It would be best if you had a team of like-minded people, preferably fellow preppers who will look out for you.

To ensure your team members are loyal to your cause and will not turn you in for saying or doing something, or having a stockpile of food, test their loyalty. You can do this by giving them bits of false information to see what comes of it.

If the military shows up at your doorsteps to take you in, you’ll have your answer, and vice-versa. It might seem risky, but it’s a little price to pay to form trustworthy alliances. After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Avoid Getting Stuck in Camps

History shows us that those who end up in camps or mass shelters are the least likely to survive during martial law situations. Apart from the limited supplies these places have, several things can go wrong and quickly escalate.

Thus, it is best to avoid going to camps, especially if you have a family. The best place for you to stay is your house with the lights off, but if you can’t, make plans to switch locations at intervals.

Ensure you plan ahead of time, and move often so that you won’t alert suspicion to yourself or get caught. Figure out how long you can hide in a place and move before it becomes hostile.

Stay in Shape, Learn New Skills, and Improve on Old Ones

This is a general prepper rule, and it is advantageous in adverse situations, not only during martial law. There are survival skills you must have to make it through any condition, and you must stay fit and healthy.

You need to ask yourself what happens if the martial law lasts longer than your supplies or if you get injured and can’t access healthcare. The simple answer is you need to know how to fend for yourself.

To this end, learn to fish, hunt, cook without modern amenities, and take first aid courses. Learn to make a tent and campfire if you find yourself living outdoors after bugging out and leaving the comfort of your home.

Surviving During Martial Law Depends on You

Your survival in life and during martial law depends on you and your level of preparedness. Following the instructions in this article and acting at the right time will keep you alive. So, follow it to the letter, and keep staying safe.

Written by

Karl Murphy is a professional journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. After obtaining his Master's degree, he's launched his career and over its course, Karl was contributing to the popular publications for men. He also develops his blog

Latest comments
  • Your article about martial law is very useful and very well written. By the way, all your articles are very good but the best thing of all is the survive during martial law.

  • I think everyone should know how easy it is to sprout mung beans! Sprout them and put on salads or cottage cheese or whatever you want. My hubby loves sprouted mung beans (which I only buy from USA origin) on black beans in the a.m. They taste kind of like green peas, and are extremely valuable food with lots of folate, like green leafy veggies are…so easy to do and ready in only 2-3 days, max. This is going to be one of my go-to folate foods during any crisis, where that kind of natural vitamin will be scarce (unless you eat a lot of dandelion greens, that is!)

    Best of luck,

    Joyce Stotts
    CNHP since 2006

  • Hello, Thank you such for information about how to stay alive during martial law. Well your content article was very unique and important for us

  • How can Martial Law be so serious when theres 5 million in the armed forces and a population of 320 million? Won’t they be spead kind of thin?

    • Not just the military. The civilian law enforcement agencies from your local cp to the FBI will be nationalized.. Thee first thing to go will be the guns. Case study : New Orleans during Katrina.

  • I don’t know how to hide my preps if they want them, there is no real place other than in my basement or closets or garage. They’ll find stuff under the bed, etc. My split level doesn’t have hidden walls, and to open up a wall and Sheetrock over food between the studs makes it tough to rotate the items in a realistic manner. I suppose I could put some under my clothes in my dresser, but,,,,,,,,,
    Not to even mention boxes of the little things the come flying out of the metal tubes with velocities at or above 800 or 1100 fps. A few hundred of these brass and copper or lead thingies can fit under my kitchen sink, or tucked into my sock drawer, but more than that and it starts to use cubic feet that gets tricky to conceal.
    I keep obtaining, training and reading, but if I am staying put it’s gonna be a challenge to try to keep whatever I have saved up to buy or build.

    And the comment about NewOrleans and Katrina by William Glass isn’t wasted on me, I’m old enough to have seen it as it was being televised and after.

  • During martial law, will be allowed to work at essential jobs? Jobs at grocery stores, pharmacies, like mail delivery, volunteer fire/rescue departments, etc? Will common necessities like gas for cars and heating, electricity, etc continue? Will us having solar power when there is none automatically label us as preppers? Baring severe weather and damage to cell towers, will we continue to have cell service?
    Thanks for the information! Need to pray it never becomes a reality.

  • There’s alot of undocumenteed guns out there. and we’re not even talking about the criminals. Personally, I just can’t see how they can keep an eye on everyone. Even if there were, lets say 20 million in the Martial Law. And no UN troops, any redblooded American would do them on sight. Thank you for answering my comment!

    • Business will still be open but there will be curfew.
      I can also imagine trouble areas being completely shut down to stop any protests or anything of the sort and collective punishment to prevent further public actions.

  • Also, there’s a HUGE difference between a city and the whole country.

  • that could be but are those that would turn you over for a dime or to make points with them are in chage

  • Remember military law (UCMJ) is based on Roman/Napoleonic law, you are guilty until you prove your innocence. That being said, you still have some protections. Make sure they read you your Article 31 statement.
    Someone in your group should have an up-to-date Manual for Courts Martial. There are many punitive articles which you can be charged with that a civilian court would not even entertain. The punishments are very harsh, even for misdemeanors.

  • I have some ideas for concealing supplies during Martial Law.
    If you’re handy, you can add false walls to the inside of closets or any partition walls. They can be hinged or fixed and cut out later.
    If you have new plug-in led lights in the ceilings, pull them out and place some can food up around the opening. Replace light.
    Remove a medicine cabinet to hide things behind it and put back in place with screws.
    Buy spring-loaded mirror clips that can be easily removed and hide things behind a mirror.
    You can add false ceilings to a closet, especially if they’re 9 or 10 feet. Add a hinge and clasp with a lock during framing and just cut out the drywall later.

    • There won’t be manpower for much searching and what there would be would be quick and not at all thorough.
      I would be more worried about looters breaking curfew.

  • If martial law arrives I won’t survive. I’m on oxygen 10 Liters 24/7 plus 9 prescriptions. I’ve made my peace and ask Jesus to be my savior. I’m more worried about my children and their families. We have 6 mos of food but without electricity I only have oxygen in tanks that would last 10-12 hrs.

    • Doug Brown, I have seen ads for an oxygen generator that takes it from the surrounding air. Portable and battery powered. If you can recharge the batteries it could be a major factor in extending your viability.
      The prescriptions can possibly be gradually increased in your stockpile, try renewing them a couple days in advance each time you get them.
      I have done this with inhalers and insulins,,,,,
      Just trying to help,,,,,,