What Would a WROL World Look Like?

What are you prepping for? Is it a natural disaster like a wildfire, tornado or hurricane? Those are perfect examples of common events that occur every day. Nature has a way of dealing us unexpected circumstances from time to time and we, as humans try to roll with the situation as best we can. That is one of the benefits of prepping in that you are proactively planning for events, and the fallout of events now before you find yourself possibly affected by disaster. There are large and small examples of emergencies but prepping gives you a method of working through examples and making potentially lifesaving decisions all from the comfort of your computer or as in Sideliner’s case; the easy chair.

From a big-picture perspective we can look at regions where certain types of natural disasters are more common. If you live in areas where you have identified many potential risks as part of your prepping plan, some people advocate designing your own threat matrix. A threat matrix is really just a decision-making system where you assign a level of risk and probability to each disaster. This is supposed to help you decide which disaster is more likely or impactful to your life and thus should be worked on first. For example, California has routinely seen floods, earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires and you have to throw in the risk of blackouts, riots, nuclear fallout and most recently drought. You could line all of these threats up on a page, assign them a number and a risk and start making plans accordingly. Now that I think of it, why would anyone want to live in California anyway?

As a resident of California this might make sense because you have seen the first-hand effects of these disasters, but what if there was a different type of emergency that we haven’t really seen in this country before? What preparations would you make if you knew now that the FEMA tents weren’t going to be popping up, truckloads of relief supplies weren’t headed your way and that sooner or later scores of news media and Red Cross volunteers weren’t going to be descending on your town to document the devastation?

What would a WROL world look like?

WROL is a term that means Without Rule of Law. I don’t know who coined it first but it seems to accurately describe the worst type of scenario preppers imagine. A WROL world could spring up spontaneously or it could grow out of some relatively common natural disaster. To imagine a WROL world you would simply have to imagine no police, fire or ambulances coming to your aid. In a WROL world you would be on your own or left with your band of friends and neighbors to provide for yourself all of the services that are now gone.

We have seen brief glimpses of WROL already. What if it is not ever controlled?
We have seen brief glimpses of WROL already. What if it is not ever controlled?

If you look around you might have seen glimpses of a WROL world even if they are quickly controlled. Looting is an example of WROL behavior and so are riots. The two go hand in hand but the police rely on controlling the crowd to a large extent to keep these events from growing much larger than they are. If the police are not available or are overwhelmed, what happens then? When the rioters and looters don’t have any reason to stop the spread of rage and violence, what do they move on to next?

Imagine something as benign as the power grid failing for some arbitrary period. Let’s say a fluke takes out the power for the entire eastern seaboard for one month. This could be a terrorist caused outage, solar flare or some random chain of events that causes a domino effect of failures to equipment and systems. Imagine also that this happens in August and the east coast is also experiencing warmer than usual weather.

Without power, what could possibly happen in the US? Do you think riots would break out? Could you see looting of stores? Without power there would be no way to refrigerate food. You wouldn’t be able to pump gas, run credit card machines or ATM’s, air conditioners or ice makers. Cell towers would be ineffective. Would you be able to go to work? Not likely unless your job involved something manual that was completely not reliant on electricity or fuel. My job is 100% dependent on the internet and electricity. Public transportation would be down and even government services would be unable to help. So what would millions of hot, hungry and panicked people do?

What would you have to worry about in a WROL world?

Is this all a fairytale? Maybe. There are a lot of people who believe nothing bad like this will ever happen and that our way of life will keep on chugging along in more or less the same fashion it always has. I have said many times that I hope that is our shared reality, but I am planning for the chance that it doesn’t. My own threat matrix is my gut. You will find no shortage of people who say worrying about things like this is a waste of effort.

By very definition WROL means there is law and order so normalcy is pretty much out the window. With a failure like this there wouldn’t be enough police, National Guard or military combined to help everyone out. All of these soldiers, police and firemen would have their own families to watch over most likely and I could see many of them, if forced to choose between going to work stopping a riot or staying at home to defend their wife and kids would choose the latter. Again, there will be those who disagree and say that the professional soldier, police officer or fireman would never abandon their post and communities will rally together to take care of one another in times of crisis. Maybe when the crisis is over, but not while everyone is going through it.

In the Ferguson riots, two shops were ignored by the looters. Can you guess why?
In the Ferguson riots, two shops were ignored by the looters. Can you guess why?

What can you do now to prepare for WROL?

My WROL scenario above is relatively short-lived. There have certainly been natural disasters where the destruction caused power outages for a long time. In my example, presumably we would have half a country that could rally to help us but assume for a second help isn’t on the way. You are on your own for a month of potential lawlessness. Imagine a month of the Purge lived out in real life?

Limit your exposure

Who makes the best target? They guy right in front of you. If there is widespread violence being carried out in the name of rage or of need, stay far away from it. You don’t want to be anywhere near the chaos that is going on and it would be better to let it burn out as much as possible before it gets to you. In this case bugging out may be your best option so have a plan for that contingency in your back pocket. In my scenario you would have plenty of time to make that decision, but you should have prepping supplies together before the ability to acquire them has passed. This includes everything you need for food, water, shelter, security and hygiene for a minimum of 6 months. Start small if you have to.

Use the buddy system

If you do have to travel or bug out, you don’t want to go it alone. Someone needs to be there to watch your six and potentially pull you out of trouble. In a without rule of law world, I foresee deadly force as being much more prevalent and warranted if your life is in danger. I am not saying to go out and shoot people walking down your street, but if they are threatening your life then you have a choice to make. It is better to consider this now as opposed to in the moment even though I realize and admit that thinking about killing someone is a lot different from actually pulling the trigger.

Keep an eye out

If there is a real threat of violence in your neighborhood, you won’t be able to simply lock the door and hope they will go away. If you haven’t already, post-event you should form up with your neighbors immediately to draw up plans for security and address any needs of anyone in your local group. Whatever you did or didn’t do before the event will need to go out the window if you want to survive. It takes more than one person to stand guard all night.

Arm yourself responsibly

And legally. I am a big advocate of responsible firearm ownership. This assumes you have the training and knowledge of how and when you should discharge that firearm in the course of defending your life. It has been said that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun and I believe that. Just make sure you are the good guy in this situation.

A WROL world is what I envision as a mixture of a war zone and a mad-max movie rolled all into your favorite disaster flick. Essentially, I never want to go through anything like this but if something this catastrophic comes your way, you better make sure you have a plan and you are ready to go.

  1. I can only “relate” to a WROL situation, based on my professional experience during the 1992 Rodney King Spring Festival. While RARE, in certain demographic areas OUTSIDE of the City of Los Angeles, the local thug population tried to whip their associates into a frenzy by beating their own tom-tom’s of war, and failed miserably.
    Inside L.A. city itself however, various thug self-identifiers were willing participants, in the looting, burning and other felonious activities. Even in the more extreme liberal areas of Los Angeles, the residents banded together and pooled their FEW firearms to protect their own neighborhoods. After the riot, they went back to demanding the disarmament of ALL members of society.
    Currently, we avoid “troubled” neighborhoods like the plague, and try to keep our situational awareness on HIGH all the time while traveling. If we don’t like the “look” of a certain area, we LEAVE it. Period. No sense in sticking around to see IF it IS as bad as it looks. I think that most of the time, if we are relying on the “media” whores to give us an accurate reporting of a WROL situation, we can kiss our own butts goodbye. Not only are they woefully inadequate at finding and reporting truth, or facts, they have an agenda that may or may not reflect our own personal standards and ethics and behavior.

  2. I think a lot of people are forgetting that in a WROL situation, looters and rioters are not going to get the special treatment that has been shown to them in some of the bigger cities. Accurate small arms fire will disperse a mob, who is bent on destroying a neighborhood. I don’t have any tear gas, but I do have a ton of 77 grain crowd control projectiles of the MK262 variety.
    Looters will also be shot on sight, so I would expect that phase to be short lived out here. An armed society is a polite society for a reason.

      1. Well if your going to live in those places you can either abide by the rules or not. I know if I was stuck in places like New York etc, I would just quietly break the law.

  3. Well said Pat…Avoid confrontation as best as possible. Stay away from the trouble and stay focused on protecting your loved ones and property. Understand the legal definition for the use of physical and deadly force respectively, as they are not the same. In most states, you have no duty to retreat in your own home, and, when in imminent danger of bodily harm or death to you or another in your presence by the aggressor, you may use whatever force is necessary, without prosecution. I won’t get into a long discussion on the many circumstances one may encounter in such an environment in which physical or deadly force may be required and justified, but all should understand the principal rules, as they apply. Keep up the good work!

  4. Without rule of law . . . . Well justice would be served much faster. Prisons would be empty. Common law would take hold. Looters would be minimal after a short while as they would be shot on sight. However there would be rape gangs and the like. Vigilante posse groups would form and be “for hire” open carry would be a requirement and quality whiskey would be a faint memory.

    1. I woundn’t agree that it would be a which and short lived loot-fest. There are multiple issues I see with the cities. The first is the combined issue of lack of community. One brave, armed man means squat against a roving pack of dogs. The second is the lack of an armed populace. People who might be willing to help each other and band together will generally be bringing a bad 5-iron or baseball bat to a gun fight. The third, and biggest issue is the rampant gang activity already in all major and minor cities across the land, I would expect to see their rolls swell with those willing to do what it takes to continue eating. You’d have gangs carving up sections of the cities, taking what they want, leaving some alone so long as regular tributes are conveyed. Those willing to defend theirs would be seriously outnumbered. Even if they could fight off a single attack, their ranks would be decimated, and their strategy for surviving the next attack would be to flee.

      Where it would fit more in line with your suggestion, Mike would be the small towns, burgs, and villages where all three are much smaller problems. Smaller towns generally are tighter communities (not always true), certainly better armed (per capita), and gang activity would be small, and much easier to deal with.

      1. You do realize you described the mafia crime syndicate within big cities today as well as criminal government that already exists on a low profile. Seeing one “gang” replaced with another for a while would not be surprising and in the meanwhile the rampant murder will serve the criminal elite by removing surplus population. We will witness Billy bad ass thugs exterminate all who do not agree with him and he will be wasted by the next Billy bad ass thug.
        That will again be replaced with government based crime syndicates and it will be business as usual and once again the elite will be served with an easier to control population. Meanwhile the remaining sheeple will be glad to give up even more freedoms for perceived security.
        But how can anyone be “secure” from criminal government that serves a wealthy master?
        How does government instantly vilify hundreds of thousands of people overnight? They declare that these people in general are terrorists. As the DHS did in 2009 against all Veterans. Did anyone notice there was no public outrage over that?
        You do realize today those of us who post on these blogs are considered activists and therefore are also considered “paper terrorists”?
        The list goes on. High crimes like growing your own vegetables in a home garden is financial Terrorism. Saving legacy seeds is environmental terrorism. Owning a weapon can easily and over night turn 100,000,000 Americans into criminals when a criminal government outlaws weapons ownership.
        Sad thing is most people do not even pay attention let alone think of these things. Just thinking makes one a dissident.
        But you and most of the people who read and post here already know this.

  5. White racists forget that they are not the only people with guns. They believe their own lies too. The idiots here who make tongue in cheek references to “thugs” are ignorant cowards who are probably too fat to run half a block and certainly could not fight off a young Black man with a gun.

    1. So the “young Black man with a gun” in your description is only the attacker or looter? How less than Progressive of you. Why couldn’t the “young Black man with a gun” be the one defending his property? And is it beyond the realm of your understanding that the “young Black man” might be defending his life and property from all skin colors looking to take what isn’t theirs?

        1. Is there any specific “white racist” that you have in mind or are you just generalizing not too unlike overt racists do about masses of people they really don’t know?

    2. That is why I invest in 5.56!! Reach out and touch somebody! Although I do have an 870 for those up close and personal moments. Having a gun does not mean you will be effective with it….

        1. Very hard to do, esp if I have my alarm system with me. He is mini Aussie that keeps well informed when strangers are around.

        1. Just curious. Have you ever been shot with a 5.56 round? A lot of people say they are worthless, but I find it hard to argue with the fact that our military does use this round and has for almost 40 years. Many people have been killed by this round with “very little stopping power”.

          I won’t argue that there aren’t more powerful rounds and if I had a preference of what I would be using for certain situations, it might be a .308 but the 5.56 isn’t worthless.

          1. Our military uses the round because it’s really good at maiming a person, thus requiring someone to drag them off to the medic. Then, you’ve taken two people out of the fight.

            1. OK, doesn’t that also prove the point? You make it sound like anyone getting shot with 5.56 will just get irritated. If you are hurting so bad that someone has to drag you off the field to a medic, isn’t that a pretty effective round?

    3. Who ever said anything about race? I didn’t in this article and I don’t think I have anywhere else either come to think of it. A thug is a thug. You can be black, white, brown, yellow or covered in spots and still be a thug. I agree with Mr. Apple above in that black people might be defending their homes against white thugs. This is about good guys and bad guys (subjective in my opinion) not colors.

  6. In answer to your question “What are you prepping for?”: It won’t be for a riot in Baltimore, which (thank God) is more than 2500 miles from where I live. If I had to sum it up, I am prepping for a complete breakdown of society, where every major city becomes a Baltimore on steroids. It doesn’t matter what triggers the breakdown, whether it is a complete grid failure, revolution, or something no one has visualized. The consequences would generally be the same: No food on aisle 3, no gas at the pump and (sooner or later) no electricity. Add to that a collapse of local and state law enforcement and you have just created your WROL.

    My prepping assumes that evacuees/refugees, looters and armed gangs will spread from urban centers out toward rural communities over time. Those seeking to escape the chaos will come first, in a matter of hours or days. The looters and gangs will come later, after the booze, drugs and food run out.

  7. Damn shame that a topic with meaningful insights would be interpreted as having racial overtones. The word THUG is defined as a violent criminal…..there is no mention of race in the definition, and there is no mention of race in any of the discussions or the articulate article written by Pat.
    The generous dose of insults directed at everyone here, along with an offhanded and proud threat is TOTALLY unacceptable and without cause.

    1. Agreed Clarence, I’ve arrested hundreds of THUGS, with no remorse for referring to them as thugs. Their ethnic descriptors ran the entire color spectrum, I only cared that they were THUGS.
      It appears that there is a very small segment of the population that takes great delight in calling people out that “THEY” feel are racist, yet, they themselves sink to the hypocritical ooze of mediocrity and engage in name calling, use profanity, insinuation and innuendo all in an effort to try and show their own personal “enlightenment” over the poster. Such actions I’ve seen merely reflect the significant personal insecurity of the so-called “tolerant” bigoted name-callers. They cannot express any other thoughts other than name calling, profanity, use innuendo and insinuation all in their vain efforts to tear down people that they themselves are incapable of communicating with. This is part of the whole WROL Entitlement Brigades, and I agree with Karl Marx, they are indeed, “useful idiots”. He said it best, in their regard. Articulation is something these false intellectuals are incapable of.

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