5 Places You Should Avoid During Martial Law

Plenty of preppers have a plan for seemingly all eventualities, including societal collapse and tyrannical government overreach, but I regularly see these plans fail to take into account the reality of the likely martial law scenario that will follow.

tank with soldiers on city street

Though it is true you can still get along with the business of survival more or less as you would if martial law were not in effect, I’m of the opinion that most preppers drastically underestimate the likely impact on their plans.

When martial law is instituted many of your rights will disappear in a puff of smoke. Uniformed military personnel will now be in charge of civilian governance and also policing the civilians they are supposedly governing.

You might be a major fan of our military when they are bombing the daylights out of the enemies of this nation, but you’re probably going to like them a lot less when they are asking you for your “papers” and pulling you and your family out of your vehicle to perform a thorough search for contraband.

As time goes on and interactions become more frequent as the situation becomes more stressful or more desperate the likelihood that you will be injured or arrested will only climb.

Putting up any sort of resistance is likely to be the most foolhardy option for avoiding these consequences, so what is a prepper to do?

Your best bet is simply avoiding dense concentrations of military personnel whatever the situation. In this article we will provide you with five locations you should steer clear of in case martial law is declared.

Will The Military Keep Me Safe?

This is a bitter pill to swallow for patriotic, traditional Americans who believe in the rule of law, admire and respect our military and generally have faith in our institutions.

While martial law does not necessarily mean that our military has been turned against us, or set loose on us, it does mean that they are taking over entirely roles that are typically handled by civilian appointees or elected officials, not troops.

You don’t have to be a history buff to know this usually ends poorly for the civilians now under the charge of said military forces.

You can expect to see martial law declared whenever something seriously bad or very widespread happens in this country.

It might be a humongous natural disaster. It could be an equally widespread, coordinated or particularly devious terrorist attack, or what might charitably be called a man-made disaster. Heck, it could even be military action against the continental United States by a foreign nation.

And you can take it to the bank that civil unrest, rioting or subversive activity that no longer serves the government narrative will, eventually, result in martial law when things start to go too off track for the politicians who fomented it in the first place.

So no matter how you want to try and square it what this means for you, me and everybody else in this nation is that a military officer will now be administratively in charge of the area placed under martial law.

He might have others working alongside him or he might not depending, but the men and women under his command will now be placed in charge of law enforcement duties in the same area.

Considering how task-oriented the military is we have to consider what this means overall when civilians are now part of the problem or potentially part of the problem.

Sure, they will say they are restoring order, keeping the peace or stopping terrorism but this is only the most tenuous of excuses to get people used to the idea that the military, our military, will be using force against citizens.

Whatever you think about them and whatever your hopes about them honoring their oaths, given enough time, enough interactions or a good enough excuse it is highly likely that you are going to get the business end one way or the other.

This could mean you are arrested and detained without trial or representation, it might mean you are beaten or it might mean you are shot and killed, or even blown up. “Them’s the brakes”, as they say.

Avoiding the Peril of Martial Law

As you have probably guessed by now the best way to avoid these interactions that lead to bad outcomes is not to have them in the first place. You can reduce the frequency of interactions with the military during the state of martial law in a few ways.

The first way is to not misbehave, but this may be more difficult than you think when “misbehavior” or “suspicious activity” is dictated by people far, far higher in the chain of command.

One way is the only hang around places where, frankly, enforcement of martial law is not taking that seriously; boondocks, remote postings of low importance, etc.

Another way is to only go to places where the military is either absent or has only token forces present. Fewer troops mean fewer people to interact with and that will only ever be good for you under the circumstances.

If we combine this advice we might succinctly say that there are certain places that we definitely want to avoid whenever martial law has been declared.

These are going to be places that are either diligently occupied and guarded because they are important to the government or the overall mission of the military, or places that can expect to see a significant quantity of troops on the ground at any given time.

Often both of these factors will exist coincidentally, with a large, focused and aggressively diligent contingent of troops protecting areas of particular importance.

There are a few areas that you can be reasonably certain will be enthusiastically locked down by the military if martial law is ever declared. You should scratch these places off of your potential list of locations to head toward unless you have a damn good reason. You can get details on these places below in the next section.

5 Places You Should Avoid During Martial Law

Centers of Political Power

Politicians are the root of nearly all evil in our modern world, and they are ultimately the ones who will instigate and facilitate the implementation of martial law.

Accordingly, they will do everything they can to make sure that their useless hides, their workplaces and all of their interests are buttoned down tight against any rowdy bands of citizens who might like a word with them over their decisions.

You likely don’t need me to tell you this, but if you are just trying to keep your head down and keep yourself and your family safe from being hassled (or worse) during a period of martial law you need to make it a point to avoid all capitals and other seats of political power.

This also includes cities near such places where politicians are likely to live or otherwise reside.

Make no mistake the men and women enforcing martial law as their duty will have had it made clear to them, in no uncertain terms, that any screw-ups, FUBAR’s or SNAFU incidents on their part will result in them wishing they had never been born. For that reason they will be extremely diligent in their duties, probably to a fault.

As a subcategory in this section you should also make it a point to learn where in your state or region exist places that could be considered political “fallback” points or shelters in case of trouble.

Locations and installations that are intended to ensure the continuity of government will probably be proactively locked down and guarded vigorously by the military in case martial law is ever declared. Avoid all of these places and save yourself some grief!

Hot Spots

Hot spots, or what you might call conflict areas, war zones and “active” AO’s are any place where there’s ongoing civilian strife in an area under the effect of martial law. Whoever is fighting and why is not likely to matter very much. It could be factionalized participants fighting among each other.

It could be one or more loosely organized collectives fighting against the military or the government that sent them. It could even be total chaos with a town or city descending into a “law of the jungle” type existence where no one can be trusted and nothing is safe.

Whatever it is and whatever the reasons the military is going to want to lock that activity down, pronto. The only way the military gets anything done is through the application of force so you can expect “peacekeeping” efforts to be intense and ongoing.

Use of less-lethal and lethal force will be likely and more or less constant as the situation intensifies, and troops are going to be a bit more gung-ho about dealing with people who have threatened them, hurt them or their comrades, or even killed some of them.

For you and me this means it is going to be far easier and far more likely that we will be injured, detained or killed outright.

But why would this happen if we didn’t do anything wrong? That’s tough, because all the government knows is force and the application thereof if it wants to get things done.

You might be hoovered up as part of a mass arrest, shot because your description is similar enough to that of a suspected perpetrator that the young, nervous private or lance corporal on duty is taking no chances or even preselected for detainment due to your dodgy social media history full of spicy reactionary memes.

I don’t care who you are and what you are about: if you want to avoid an unhappy fate you need to avoid these hot spots when martial law is declared, and if your area starts to brew up get out!

Logistical Hubs

Some facilities and installations are important no matter what is going on and what we are facing as a country, or rather, what kind of problem the government is facing since they are the ones who start them all.

Think of places that are massively important when it comes to manufacturing, refining or storage of raw materials, distribution, power generation and transportation. All these seemingly innocuous places that fade into the background during normal life but make “normal life” entirely possible.

Rest assured the government knows how important all of these places are if they want to actually have something to rule over that is not just a pile of rubble populated by pre-industrial age warring tribes.

So no matter where the obvious and loud problem is you should count on them sending the military to secure these places right out of the starting gate.

For any industrial or commercial site, or any place responsible for the creation or distribution of electricity, if you don’t work in one of these places or are responsible for guarding it you had better not come anywhere close to it if you don’t want to be shaken down within an inch of your life or even arrested out of hand as a terrorist infiltrator.

Transportation hubs like airports, docks, train stations and so on are a little bit different as you may or may not be able to access them abusing as a civilian depending on the current travel restrictions, curfews and the like.

Even if you are allowed to use them you can count on thorough, detailed inspections that mandate the showing of papers and the rigorous inspection of all of your luggage or other cargo. Once again, if you are a person of interest or associate with a person of interest this is a great way to get caught in the net.

Choke Points and Natural Boundaries

Choke points and natural boundaries are places that the majority of people will have to use if they want to move in or out of an area, or places that mark a sort of transition point where one region, district or place begins to change or merge with another.

These are always great locations to setup checkpoints, barricades and inspection stations, and for controlling who gets to come and go as well as identifying and tracking who is coming or going.

Consider that the military will have a vested interest in collecting as much data as possible and nabbing as many targets of opportunity as they can once troublemakers have been identified.

This has long been standard procedure in our low-intensity conflicts abroad, and you have my guarantee that they are by now very, very good at it.

If your survival plan should take you in or through any one of these areas you might be best advised to detour if at all possible.

Take the greatest possible care before committing to the use of any bridge, solitary road or highway, or other such feature or place in your travels as it is entirely likely you’ll be stopped, questioned and have all of your possessions rifled before you are allowed to move on, assuming you are.

Military Installations

When the balloon goes up and the military is deployed with martial law and the dispensation thereof as the mission their overall readiness and defensive posture is going to change in a significant way.

Military bases, depots, training grounds and installations of all types are going to increase their state of readiness even if they are far, far away from the area currently under martial law.

Though civilians won’t necessarily be the enemy they sure as hell won’t be trusted, and they definitely won’t be trusted to do anything even remotely suspicious near an area of military importance.

To say that the military will be observing any potential interlopers or troublemakers with intention is an understatement. Even traveling near such an installation could be enough to get you picked out for inspection, interrogation or detention.

Keep in mind that you won’t necessarily be able to just stick a pin in the map wherever there is a large military base to populate your no-go list.

Military camps, staging areas and other places both temporary and semi-permanent will be springing up as a result of the martial law declaration and even if you accidentally blunder into or near one of these places you will not be shown any mercy or leeway under the circumstances.

This is one time where it will pay to listen to scuttlebutt and rumors about where the military is going and what they are doing for the duration so you can be sure to head in the opposite direction.


Things will already be pretty grim if martial law is declared at all in this country and the declaration of such will do nothing to help you survive and live your life.

Placing the military in charge of civilian affairs, particularly law enforcement, is a ticking time bomb towards abuse, and even with the most benevolent troops in place this will do nothing but increase the chances that you will have a bad interaction eventually, either through accident or through shifting political priorities.

Assuming you don’t have a hill you want to die on your best bet for evading trouble is simply to avoid places where the military will aggressively pursue their objectives or are found in great numbers.

You can get off to a good start by marking all of the places listed above off of your list of potential destinations, and count on these other places instead that may be safer.

martial law places to avoid pin image

20 survival items ebook cover
Like what you read?

Then you're gonna love my free PDF, 20 common survival items, 20 uncommon survival uses for each. That's 400 total uses for these dirt-cheap little items!

We will not spam you.

2 thoughts on “5 Places You Should Avoid During Martial Law”

  1. Can’t think of any one of these that isn’t common sense.
    Stay off major highways and roads.
    Stay away from cities and large towns.

  2. I differ on one point to avoid, that being military installations. If you’re NOT involved in frowned upon activities, and you’re to all appearances performing “normal daily occupation”, close proximity to a military installation is one of the absolute safest places to be. You’ll rarely see others nearby (excepting the military who doesn’t want the hassle of having to deal with you) and those you do see will be extremely well-behaved. Make sure your paper-work is in order and greet all military as old friends or with admiration for protectors, and they’ll remember you and even bail you out in a jam. Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in the back seat go a LONG way (use real butter).


Leave a Comment