Thankfully I no longer live in Baltimore but I have many friends and family still there and Baltimore will always be my city. I have been watching the riots very closely, and helping to provide information to friends and family who are there. I put this thread in the preparedness sub-forum because I want to talk about the lessons I have learned to be prepared for something like this. In no real order I will post observations and I'd like others to do so also. Civil unrest is a popular scenario to prep for, since in any type of power grid failure or natural disaster, or basically any other situation, there will eventually be civil unrest. One important thing to note is that all of the stores like Walmart and Dicks have removed all ammunition and knives from the stores. They do not want looters to get them. Many small businesses are closed as well since the safety of the employees can not be ensured, so it is almost impossible to buy ammunition in the Baltimore metro area. On the firearms forum that I am a member of, there is a thread where people are posting stories of their anti-gun neighbors who are suddenly asking to borrow a firearm or want to buy one. They are horrified to learn that in Maryland they cannot be loaned a firearm and cannot go out and buy a handgun without first attending a training class, getting digital fingerprints and a background check, waiting for the license to buy a gun, and then waiting for the 7 day waiting period to receive a gun after buying it. If you have never owned a handgun in Maryland before, it is too late to buy one now to protect your family during these riots. With all the looting and violence and fires, most businesses are closed. People are home from work and stuck inside their houses. They can't simply run down the street for a few groceries. Locksmiths and alarm installers who are still open are booked solid. Many services like HVAC, plumbers, electricians, etc., aren't working because of the threat of thievery and violence. This means if you get a leaking pipe or have a furnace failure you better know how to fix it and have the parts on hand, or have a valid plan B for a work around. The rioters have been calling in false reports to the police. False looting reports, false hostage reports, false fire reports and shooting reports. These are tying up police and fire resources. Police cannot respond to calls alone and fire personnel cannot respond without police escort because the streets are lined with people throwing bricks and cinder blocks into the vehicles as they go down the street. They will call in several false reports in one area and then loot another area while the police are tied up investigating the bogus reports. In some cases people set fire to a building and then hid on the nearby rooftops and threw cinder blocks down on the firemen when they responded. I'm sure you've heard by now of the fire hose that was cut twice on live TV while firemen were inside a burning CVS. Last night during the peak of the rioting, the police were so overwhelmed they said they would no longer respond to calls that did not involve violent crimes. Some store owners called the police over 50 times when their stores were being looted and no police ever came. You cannot rely on the police to protect you. A popular target for looters has been pharmacies. They get narcotics from the pharmacy. They get pseudoephedrine to make meth with. Then everything else is looted from the shelves and finally the store is burned. There have already been stories of people who are having trouble finding medicines because all the drug stores are either closed and shuttered or looted and burned. The police have been on Facebook and firearm forums requesting blow out kits. Not official Baltimore City Police requests, but individual cops are literally begging people to donate trauma supplies. The police are seriously outnumbered and cannot evacuate their wounded easily. They are burning through medical supplies. Other than simply keeping supplies for your family, think about stocking extras so you can help emergency personnel or even neighbors. It's a strange situation where the police are requesting food and water and medical supplies from the citizens - you would expect it to be the other way around. As I come upon more lessons learned I'll post them on here. If anyone else, especially members who have been through this near Baltimore or Ferguson, have anything to add please be my guest. One request - keep it to talk about preparation. Do not turn this into political commentary or debate about the riots or the reasons for them. I'll lock the thread if it goes in that direction.