Maintaining Law and Order After a Catastrophe


( – Even in a world “without rule of law” (WROL), there are still going to be a need for rules and regulations — there just won’t be a third party to enforce them for you. Rules and laws are going to vary from community to community after a major disaster, depending on the moral fabric of those in charge. However, there will most likely be some common laws shared between communities.

Rules in a WROL World?

As weird as it may sound, yes there does need to be some rules in place, even after a world-changing catastrophe. People need to be held accountable for what they do.

History has proven that eventually, all societies collapse. When they do, there is chaos and people tend to revert back to their primal, animalistic selves. As time passes, the anarchy will die down and society will become more civil.

This is when survival groups and communities, in general, need to put rules and laws into place. People are going to want to feel “normal” again and a good way to do that is to create a new society. This will require laws, rules, and punishments for those that don’t follow them.

What Laws Should Be Used?

When coming up with laws in your survival community, you should include everyone in the process. Basic rules should be put into place in the beginning automatically, like stuff you would see in kindergarten (don’t steal, clean up after yourself, don’t hit people on the “playground”, etc.) Eventually, you’ll need to have laws to cover things like:

  • Murder
  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Sexual Misconduct

These are more serious crimes than not cleaning up after yourself. Each one needs to have its own punishment.

Your group can decide how severe each punishment should be. With situations like murder and sexual assault, the punishment will likely be more severe than for thievery for example. However, in a truly devastated world, stealing could be seen as a capital offense. Potential punishments could range from forced labor, reduced rations, exile from the community, or worse.

One thing to consider is that punishments from the “old world” are not likely to be feasible in a post-collapse world. You won’t exactly benefit from putting someone in “jail” when every person is responsible for keeping the community running. This would be an ill-advised use of resources. After all, you would have to provide your prisoners with food and water if you intended to let them join your society again, and who is willing to put in extra work to provide someone who broke your laws?

One important set of laws, or rules, you should consider is for the immigration of outsiders into your community. These would dictate who you allow in and why. After a world-altering event, people will likely be on the move — trying to flee from disaster zones, seeking essential supplies, or simply just leaving behind an old life in the hopes of a better one.

Having people randomly join your community, without a process to weed out potential raiders or criminal elements, could be disastrous. You need to learn about each person as they come, and potentially have them prove themselves.

Those in charge of security are likely going to be those in charge of law enforcement. That doesn’t mean they’re immune to punishment though. Having a chain of command can help with keeping these localized law enforcers accountable for their actions.

Medical personnel need a set of rules to follow as well. Resources will be very limited and what can’t be replaced should be used sparingly. This is especially important when dealing with triage situations where you have to make a decision between someone’s life and not burning through your stockpiles.

The Importance of Law

Any civil society depends on law and order. There have to be consequences for those that go against these rules. Yes, in this scenario the world is not as it once was, however, without some form of structure your community will be plagued with chaos.

What did you think of this article? Did you find it interesting? Reply to your email and share your thoughts, we would love to hear from you!

Copyright 2021,