Unlike other major disasters, a civil war is unlikely to occur without any warning. There will be a build-up of tensions and hostilities long before bullets start flying.

If we pay attention to what is happening around us, there should be ample time to get our preps and plans in order.

However, even if we are well prepared and we have been paying attention to our surroundings, the actual shooting war may take us by surprise. Much like other disasters, there will be definite first steps that we need to take.

Although, when we are faced with a civil war, there is no one thing we should do first; instead, a few steps make up our immediate actions.

Secure Your Family

When the bullets start flying, the priority will be your security and safety; after that, you must ensure your family is safe and secure. We should all have a contingency plan in the event of any disaster that results in our family being separated without communication.

Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go. The critical aspect of this is that everyone adheres to the plan verbatim and doesn’t deviate from it unless absolutely necessary.

One crucial part of this is that we should always have a good idea of the whereabouts of each family member. For example, suppose we know where our spouse and children are at any given time. In that case, we can more easily estimate how long it will take them to get home based on the situation in our area.

Once your family is safe and secure, you can focus on securing other aspects of your situation, such as your supplies, comms plan, and bug-out plan.

Supply Security

Our food, water, and other supplies should already be secure, but you must ensure they are also well hidden during a civil war. One universal aspect of war is that armies march on their stomachs.

Therefore, all factions fighting against each other will need food, water, medical supplies, and ammo.

All of these items will be held by preppers and survivalists nationwide.

Therefore, it is a certainty that if you are discovered to be hoarding stockpiles of supplies, you will face armed groups who will want to liberate them for their cause.

There are numerous ways to hide your preps, from hidden rooms to buried caches; you’ll need to find a method that suits your space and your situation.

Why You Should Never Hide Your Stockpile In Your Basement

You might want to consider leaving some of your supplies out so that anyone who decides to liberate your stockpiles will have something to take without looking too deeply.

At the start of a civil war, many items will be restricted or banned by governments of factions that have gained control over your area. Some examples of these items are:

  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Tactical gear
  • Radios and other communications gear
  • Fuel
  • Items that are the ingredients for explosive or incendiary devices
  • Alcohol

These items must be concealed immediately upon realizing you are in a civil war. If you encounter soldiers going door to door, having these items in your possession could result in you being jailed, having all your possessions taken, or even executed on the spot. Therefore, it’s best to not put yourself in such a situation.

Comms Security

The First Thing You Need To Do During Civil WarOne of the first things that become illegal during a civil war or other armed conflict is radio communications, including amateur radio. Even possessing a shortwave receiver could be illegal. The unfortunate thing is that effective communication will be essential during a civil war, and preppers will need to be ready to use amateur radio covertly.

Related: 7 Prepping Items FEMA Will Confiscate When SHTF

Well before the start of a civil war, we should have some experience setting up and using covert antennas. We also need to have a plan for how we will communicate with family and other groups during the conflict.

One of the aspects we need to be prepared for is direction-finding and jamming equipment by either the government or other factions. It doesn’t take much for someone to triangulate your position and tell you they found you by sending artillery rounds your way.

Our comms plan aims to keep apprised of the changing situation as civil war intensifies and we face threats from multiple angles.

In addition, a good comms plan will allow us to maintain effective two-way communication with other preppers so that if the front lines of battle start moving too close, we can bug out long before the shooting war reaches us.

Even though listening to shortwave radio broadcasts, we can gain a good overall picture of where the fighting is, where safe zones are, and even get news from outside the country.

The first casualty of war is truth. By drawing in independent information from various sources and abroad, we can combat the disinformation we will likely be subjected to.

Bug Out Plan

The last thing any of us want to do is to be smack dab in the middle of an all-out shooting war. So it becomes imperative to bug out when the warring factions start closing in on each other with us in the middle.

Bugging out after a natural disaster is difficult enough, but in the fog and chaos of war, it will be far more complex. It’s not one bug-out plan we need; it is several unique and independent routes and methods to escape the conflict.

Our plan needs to consider that we will probably not be able to use the mode of transportation we would like. So have a plan to drive out of the danger zone but also to walk, especially to move out of the area tactically while being sought out by fighters on either side of the conflict.

Despite what many people like to claim, the possibility of a civil war is exceptionally low. Civil wars don’t happen suddenly, and there will be plenty of time to ramp up your preps and plans to get ready for finding yourself in the middle of one.

The actions I have listed above, I believe, should be taken immediately during the start of a civil war to increase our chances of surviving to see the end of the conflict.

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