How to prepare for and survive a curfew in a city?

Find out how to prepare for a curfew in the city. How do you prepare for isolation and what alternatives are there?

from Martin Gebhardt | Prepping | reading time 13 Min
Updated on 18 September 2023 7.278 views 93% found this guide helpful
How to prepare for and survive a curfew in a city?

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.


👉 The key facts from this guide

  • Prepare for a curfew by stocking up enough supplies of water, food, hygiene items and medical equipment.
  • Have cash and valuable materials ready, as digital payment options may not be available.
  • Provide entertainment to maintain mental health during the lockdown.
  • Understand the type of lockdown and the associated restrictions to know your options and limitations.
  • Be aware that a curfew can have both economic and psychological consequences.
  • If you are not prepared, try to use smaller stores and avoid the rush to larger stores.

If you don't live far away from civilization, you have probably been affected by one or more curfews in recent years.

Especially the coronavirus pandemic brought regular lockdowns with it, about which opinions may differ on their justification.

Nevertheless, recent years have shown that lockdowns are realistic and can even paralyze entire cities in the worst case. Depending on how strictly the government sets the rules of the curfew, the supply can also suffer enormously.

Regardless of the reason why a lockdown is imposed, restrictions of this kind can also harm you and your family if you are not prepared for them.

Sure, in most cases, the supply of citizens can be ensured - but exceptions prove the rule.

So that you are always prepared for all eventualities, this article offers you a valuable collection of knowledge.

The reason for the lockdown

Lockdown is not the same as lockdown, and curfews can vary greatly in their severity, usefulness and potential. Through the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, you will have had the most experience with curfews, but they have existed for much longer and are not only used to contain bacteria or viruses.

A curfew is the order that prevents people from being outside, for example after dark, which is usually imposed during war or in response to civil unrest.
A curfew is the order that prevents people from being outside, for example after dark, which is usually imposed during war or in response to civil unrest.

Curfews are usually announced locally or on a large scale by the government. The aim is to control the population before, during or after a specific incident that could mean a loss of control or damage to the existing system.

Local curfews are most common, which are announced, for example, due to accidents in chemical plants and nuclear power plants, or the outbreak of certain germs, bacteria or viruses. Whether the actual trigger here is of natural origin or possibly originated in the course of an attack plays a subordinate role at first.

Local disasters

Perhaps you have already experienced that a curfew was imposed when a fire was raging nearby, in which toxic substances were burned or the smoke pollution was particularly strong. However, these are only very short curfews that actually serve the current protection of the population.

This lockdown usually only affects the immediate vicinity of the disaster for the time being, until, for example, the fire, a blackout or a flood has been brought under control. Special preparation is not yet necessary here, but this is not the type of curfew that this article will focus on.

A blackout is a power failure that affects an entire city or region. The most common cause of power outages is extreme weather conditions such as storms, hurricanes and tornadoes. Power outages can also be caused by accidents in power plants or other problems with electrical transmission lines.
A blackout is a power failure that affects an entire city or region. The most common cause of power outages is extreme weather conditions such as storms, hurricanes and tornadoes. Power outages can also be caused by accidents in power plants or other problems with electrical transmission lines.

Epidemics and pandemics

Epidemics and pandemics have raged on Earth since the beginning of recorded history. A lockdown should ideally stop or at least slow down their spread. If contacts are restricted, the disease also spreads more slowly. The same applies, of course, to trade, because the raging plague can also be further spread by infected goods.

The rules will be much stricter and longer-term in this case, as they were during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Read also

11 things we can learn from the coronavirus pandemic - There is a curfew and contact ban during the coronavirus pandemic. But you can learn from this situation: 11 things I learned from the crisis.

Terrorism or Rampage

Lockdowns due to terrorist attacks or rampages are much less common in Germany, but by no means unthinkable. They are usually declared in a relatively wide radius around the attack or attack.

On the one hand, they serve to protect citizens, so that the number of victims can be enormously reduced under certain circumstances. On the other hand, it is easier for authorities to locate suspicious persons, such as a fleeing perpetrator or terrorist, if the streets are not too crowded.

Reprisals against the population

Unfortunately, there is another trigger for lockdowns that is mainly observed in dictatorships and autocracies. If such a government feels that it is losing control of its own population, the lockdown can be an effective means of restoring it.

In this way, gatherings, demonstrations, and coup attempts can be effectively prevented, at least temporarily.

What to expect during a lockdown?

Basically, you should always expect that public life during a lockdown can be almost completely shut down. It does not matter whether it is private or business matters. The restrictions can be enormous both in professional and private life.

The government will most likely expect you to stay at home and not leave your own four walls.

Exceptions to this are regular shopping, doctor visits, or other truly important activities.

Since the shopping sector is likely to shift completely into the online area during a lockdown, this can lead to the closure of numerous stores. Only the essential stores for daily needs will still have the opportunity to sell their goods on site.

Enforcement of the lockdown

For you, this means that you have to adapt to the current situation and, above all, to the severity of the lockdown. The empty streets make it very easy for state forces, such as the police, to move around and get from A to B without complications. Therefore, caution is particularly necessary when the curfew is enforced particularly strictly.

Depending on the reason and severity of the lockdown, the consequences for non-compliance can be enormous. Search, arrest, or even shooting can be the means of choice in the worst case. Of course, it also depends on the type of current government.

Lockdowns may be characterized by civil unrest. They are often spontaneous and without clear goals. They are triggered by a wide range of political, economic, and social problems, including poverty, inequality, and oppression - or a lockdown.
Lockdowns may be characterized by civil unrest. They are often spontaneous and without clear goals. They are triggered by a wide range of political, economic, and social problems, including poverty, inequality, and oppression - or a lockdown.

The economic situation

However, it is clear that a lockdown, if it lasts for a short time, can cause massive damage to the economy of a location. The reason for this is quite simple: If no customers buy the goods offered, no profit will be made.

In the worst case, closures and mass layoffs follow, plunging thousands of people into unemployment.

You will see that the existence of numerous people is at stake, as bills are no longer paid and the former standard of living can no longer be maintained.

Over time, this will lead to dissatisfaction among the population and some will begin to rebel against the lockdown. Depending on how strictly the curfew is enforced, this can lead to conflicts of enormous proportions.

Psychological consequences of the lockdown

In addition to the strong economic consequences, a lockdown can of course also have drastic effects on the human psyche. Do you really think it will go well if a large number of people are locked up at home for a long period of time?

Basically, it is the length of the lockdown that is crucial.

A very short curfew may seem like a short-term annoyance to you, but it does not necessarily bother you because an end is in sight. However, if you are in a large-scale, long-term lockdown, the situation looks very different.

Over time, you can quickly feel locked up, isolated, and cut off from the outside world.

As you may know, humans are also social beings who need social contacts, more or less, to survive. But not only can the lockdown itself lead to extreme behavior, but also the period shortly before.

In some cases, the curfew is announced in advance so that citizens can prepare and adjust. However, the consequences of such an announcement are rarely pleasant. This was shown, among other things, during the corona pandemic in the shopping behavior of many affected people.

Within a very short time, the shops were emptied, as particularly important goods were sold out within moments. The behavior in supermarkets can only be described as reckless. However, not only the shopping behavior of people who have panicked poses a problem that primarily arises before a curfew.

Panic is never good. It usually makes everything worse. You should try to stay calm and collected, even if something goes wrong.
Panic is never good. It usually makes everything worse. You should try to stay calm and collected, even if something goes wrong.

The crime rate often increases rapidly before and during a curfew. Thefts, robberies, and burglaries accumulate. In some cases, some people do not know how else to help, or generally dark individuals take advantage of the situation for their purposes.

Criminal elements probably assume that the authorities are currently busy with bigger, more important things.

All factors combined over time increase citizens' anger towards the government and its measures, which only leads to an escalation of the entire situation and dangerously increases the likelihood of the last spark in the powder keg.

For this reason, a lockdown can only be maintained for a certain period of time without the risk of escalation.

How to prepare for a lockdown

Preparation is everything, especially during a lockdown.

If you are already prepared for what's to come, you minimize the problems you could encounter during it. As you could read in the previous sections, many disasters happen just before the actual curfew.

People rush to all supermarkets, clear all shelves and show no consideration for each other.

But if you already have everything you need during your time at home in stock beforehand, you don't have to expose yourself to this chaos anymore.

Empty shelves during the lockdown in 2021
Empty shelves during the lockdown in 2021

Ideally, you already follow the prepper lifestyle and are prepared for all eventualities anyway.

If not, it's not the end of the world, but it can make your situation much more difficult. Especially now, when you're reading these lines, you should take heart and browse a little around this blog.

Supplies that will help you survive a lockdown

First and foremost, you will now be equipped with basic knowledge about the essential supplies. In this list, you will find the things you should definitely have during a curfew.

Water

Why you should have water in your house is probably self-explanatory. Although it is unlikely that the water supply will run out during a lockdown, as the saying goes, better safe than sorry. Keep enough water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.

Assume that you need about 2.5 liters of water per day and person for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. Children need less. Use my water emergency calculator to quickly and easily see how much water you need.

You should always have some water in the house
You should always have some water in the house

Food

This point is also self-explanatory. However, during a lockdown, there is actually a chance that the food supply will become scarce. This is mainly true when all shelves are emptied due to panic buying. So make sure that there are always long-lasting foods in your home that you can fall back on in an emergency.

In my popular guide "Extremely durable survival foods (10+ years shelf life)" you will find all the information you need, and in the guide "Food storage calculator - calculate your food supply for a crisis" you can calculate your food portions.

Food supplies are an essential part of any emergency preparedness plan. The goal of a food supply is to provide enough food for at least three days. This is the time that first responders need to reach the area and restore order.
Food supplies are an essential part of any emergency preparedness plan. The goal of a food supply is to provide enough food for at least three days. This is the time that first responders need to reach the area and restore order.

You should also look into MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat). These convenient meals are freeze-dried, which means they have an incredible shelf life of up to 25 years without losing taste or nutrients.

If you are looking for a top-notch MRE manufacturer, you should definitely consider Tactical Foodpack. These people provide a wide variety of delicious flavors that are ready to eat and easy to transport.

Get 10% off all Tactical Foodpack products with my coupon code "SURVIVAL10".

tactical foodpack packungen empfehlen

Hygiene Items

If you remember the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, you will surely recall a hygiene item that was hardly available, right? That's right, we're talking about toilet paper. Although no one can really explain it, the rush for toilet paper was enormous and reached unimaginable proportions.

So make sure you are always prepared with all kinds of hygiene and household items that you might need. These include tissues and paper towels, toilet paper, sponges and cloths, wet wipes, and diapers (if necessary).

Medical Equipment

A functional first aid kit is a must, not only for every prepper, but in general. You should also keep pressure dressings, a tourniquet, and other emergency items readily available. Remember that a lockdown can quickly turn into an emergency situation where even medical care cannot be guaranteed.

I have created a comprehensive guide to help you put together the right medications. Read it here: Medications for Preppers - Your Home Pharmacy for a Crisis.

A person must be able to access medication in case of a crisis. You should also have medical equipment such as a first aid kit and other aids that may be needed in an emergency.
A person must be able to access medication in case of a crisis. You should also have medical equipment such as a first aid kit and other aids that may be needed in an emergency.

Weapons and Tools

As mentioned in other articles, fear and panic are not necessarily your best friends.

However, there is a likelihood of a break-in or attempted looting if supplies run low and tempers continue to rise. For this reason, you should always ensure the safety of your family and yourself.

If possible and allowed, you can use firearms as long as you are able to handle them properly and are trained in their use. A firearm in the hands of an absolute novice usually does more harm than good! So educate yourself on the topic and be aware of the enormous responsibility you hold in your hands!

For more information and a list with pictures, I have created this guide for you: Free Weapons: The Complete Guide to Legal Weapons for Self-Defense in Germany.

Legal weapons can be part of any prepper's arsenal.
Legal weapons can be part of any prepper's arsenal.

Cash and Valuable Materials

Here, too, one does not necessarily have to assume the absolute collapse of society, but reflecting on the old days when the exchange of goods was still the driving force of trade does not hurt. If there is no possibility of digital payment, EC and credit cards become worthless.

So always keep a certain amount of cash at home as well as goods that could be valuable to you or others.

Entertainment

An old friend of mine, himself a prepper, once said, "There's hardly anything worse than dying of boredom."

He was more than right, especially during a lockdown, it can quickly become very boring. So pick out a few things that you enjoy doing.

These can be your favorite books, board games, or the things you need for your favorite hobby. One of the main concerns is to maintain mental health during the lockdown in order to remain capable of action in the long run.

Read also

Prepper List: What You Need to Survive (+PDF) – The Prepper List: Secure your survival in an emergency. Be well prepared for disasters. Download our free PDF list.

What if you missed preparing?

Let's assume the worst-case scenario for you during a lockdown: The curfew is about to be announced soon and you have hardly any supplies, you are not living the prepping lifestyle and therefore are poorly prepared.

If things get worse for you, you don't even live close to a supermarket or other stores that can provide you with valuable goods.

Maybe you think you should rush out to get as many goods as possible. But instead of following the crowd, you should take different paths.

Instead of storming the big supermarkets like everyone else, stick to smaller stores that you are familiar with. Avoid the big crowds and wait until they are gone. Usually, all stores restock after the big rush, which you can benefit from.

So at the beginning, try to hit the stores or gas stations that are not directly besieged by the wild mob. Only later on, focus your attention on the big stores to get what has been left over or restocked.

Read also

Is It Too Late to Prepare for a Crisis? (5 warning signs to watch out for!) – I have put together the 5 most common warning signs that show when a crisis is on the way! Wouldn't it be better if you saw a crisis coming?

Analyze and understand the lockdown

You have already read in previous sections that there are different forms of lockdowns, whose restrictions and enforcement measures can vary greatly.

To know what options are available to you and where your limits lie, you should find out why and with what rules the lockdown is being enforced.

The biggest difference is the set restrictions enforced by the respective government.

For example, during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, you will still be able to leave your own four walls to perform essential tasks.

In this case, surviving the curfew is usually more of a test of patience than a serious threat, especially if you are well prepared.

lernen aus der corona pandemie

However, if it is a very strict lockdown or curfew, you have to prepare for the possibility of not being able to leave your house for the designated period of time.

If you are not prepared for a strict curfew, it can be a challenge.

This is especially true if the government is not able to adequately supply the population.

Since lockdowns and situations can vary, there is no universal solution that applies everywhere and at all times.

The entire process depends on two things: the situation and your willingness to take risks.

During a total lockdown that doesn't even allow you to leave your home to carry out essential tasks, your supplies can run out faster than you think.

Then you have to decide what risks you are willing to take. If you leave your house despite the ban and search for supplies, do you risk arrest, fines, or even gunfire?

Try to put yourself in the appropriate situation as much as possible before a lockdown so that you are not caught off guard. Plan, analyze, and be clear about how far you are willing to go in such a scenario. Always be aware of your own situation, act wisely, and as long-term as possible.

Escaping to the woods during a curfew can also be an alternative
Escaping to the woods during a curfew can also be an alternative

Pre-emptive Escape

You may already know in advance that this lockdown will seriously harm you and your family. Or the restrictions are so strict that staying in place is unbearable.

The reasons why you want to make a run before the curfew can be diverse. If possible, avoid extremely charged crowds - it is extremely unsafe there.

First of all, only do this if there is no other way!

If you are well-stocked in your own four walls for a long time, it is usually most sensible to stay there until the situation has calmed down somewhat.

So, escape should only be an option if you see no other way.

If you do decide to leave, it shouldn't be done recklessly. Use your common sense and, if possible, plan your strategy long before the lockdown. Where do you want to go? What means of transportation and routes will you use? At what time of day do you want to travel, and how long do you want the stretches to be?

Read also

What is a Bug Out Bag - the most comprehensive German guide (+ PDF packing list) - Learn in the comprehensive guide what a Bug Out Bag is, how heavy and large it can be, and what equipment is essential for survival. With PDF checklist.

If a escape becomes necessary, it can be assumed that the enforcing government is not too thrilled about your plans and may try to thwart them. Therefore, specifically choose routes that are not too heavily traveled or populated.

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential aggressor to understand which sections of the route are most closely watched. This way, you can find out which areas to avoid and which to prefer. You should also always have alternative plans that you can implement if necessary.

Don't forget that your situation will always be changing. While this makes long-term planning more difficult, it is not impossible. Therefore, come up with an alternative for every eventuality that you can implement easily and quickly.

Tip: If you expect to flee, also take care of the right vehicle in advance and equip it. For example, a motorhome or a small bus is ideal for escaping a crisis situation.

The prepper is a person who plans, prepares and takes the necessary precautions to survive or thrive in an emergency. A motorhome with supplies such as food and water can be extremely useful.
The prepper is a person who plans, prepares and takes the necessary precautions to survive or thrive in an emergency. A motorhome with supplies such as food and water can be extremely useful.

Take advantage of technological progress

If you are bound to your own four walls, it can be extremely difficult for you to assess the situation outside, i.e., outside your sight and influence.

Here, a drone can work wonders.

drohne stadt

If you have a high-quality drone, you can rely on high-resolution images and an enormous range to get an idea of the situation outside your house.

But also keep in mind that your drone is not invisible and proceed with caution accordingly. Especially if it is a very strict lockdown, you do not want to attract unnecessary attention.

Also read

All under control: Considerations for preparing for a crisis with children – Whether it's natural disasters, illnesses or emergencies – there are many situations where it's important for families to be well prepared.

Conclusion: Better prepared early than too late!

The message I want to convey to you here is simple but clear. Nothing, absolutely nothing, replaces preparation like that which the prepper lifestyle provides you with.

Because, as tragic as this fact may be for you, it is crystal clear:

Without prepping, you will be just as vulnerable to lockdowns as everyone else.

Don't get me wrong, most lockdowns won't necessarily harm you or push you to your limits. They will probably annoy you, take away time with your friends, and mentally stress you over time if you face boredom and isolation. However, you probably won't suffer any serious harm.

But if you should ever fall victim to a highly restrictive lockdown, the prepping lifestyle can literally save your life.

Start your journey today and begin with the articles 13 things a new prepper should take care of or The first 13 things a new prepper should learn to be prepared for both lockdowns and other major catastrophes!

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide


Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

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