A State Of Lawlessness
Although those of us living in the United States have felt ourselves to be in a safe and secure society, a glance at our history shows us that this is not always the case. America was born of violence, and like every other nation on earth, has had its share of civil disturbances and riots. Lawlessness occurs during times of uncertainty and fear. When social conventions begin to break down, due to desperation, lack of authority, or anger, riots and other disturbances can occur. Even if you and your family are not participating in these events on either side, you can easily be caught up in the maelstrom.
The Civil War Draft Riots
Although it is generally thought that most of the men in the northern states just could not wait to get into uniform and go fight the Confederacy, the opposite was the case. While there were some who were very eager to go fight to free the slaves, most men wanted to avoid the conflict. Evidently there were so many who refused to volunteer that a draft was instituted, leading to draft riots. The draft fell unfairly on the poorer economic groups since it was possible to buy your way out of the draft by paying $300, which is precisely what John D. Rockefeller did. The riots only stopped when troops were called in to quell the mayhem.
Los Angeles Riots Of 1992
These riots occurred as a result of the beating of Rodney King after a traffic violation. A high speed chase evidently caused tempers to flare, and the resulting beating, then acquittal of the police involved, sparked a riot. Over fifty people died during this riot and there was widespread looting, murder, and arson occurred as well. It was truly a state of dangerous lawlessness where avoidance was the only sensible measure.
If you live in the suburbs or country, a power outage will most likely just be an inconvenience. However, if you live in a city such as New York, a power outage is often the clarion call for looters and other lawless elements to make themselves known. The power outage of 1977 in New York resulted in widespread looting and vandalism. Sadly, many of the looters were employed and were merely taking advantage of the situation.
What You Can Do
One of the most important things when dealing with civil disturbances or riots is to avoid going out as much as possible. People, even those you are acquainted with, can act very atypically during a lawless period, and you should do your best to keep away from almost everyone. If you have provided for an emergency store of food in your home, you will be better able to keep away from potentially dangerous situations.
You should keep in mind, however, that your home may be the target for looters or burglars during this time, and you should already have done your utmost to make the your home secure with up to date locks on the doors and windows.