When public order breaks down due to events like government collapse, EMP strikes, natural disasters, or rebellion, looting often happens. Looting can start right away or take some time to begin. In any case, looters take advantage of the situation to get what they want or need from others.

Looting can be for survival, but it’s often for personal or monetary gain. Here are some of the first things looters might take from your property.

Food and WaterWhat Looters Will Take First From Your Property

Food and water are essential for human survival. When supplies run low, even ordinary people may turn to looting to meet these basic needs. This type of looting is common during natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when grocery stores were emptied of food.

Non-perishable food, such as survival or military rations, will be most sought after. Canned food, water jugs, sports bars, and high-calorie foods will also be targeted.

Since food is essential, nearly every home has some. Looters won’t need signs to know you have food; they’ll assume it and come looking for it.

In case your food stockpile it compromised, you can learn here about the superweeds that saved large communities from starvation during the Great Depression. It could be a real lifesaver when there’s no other food around.

Survival Gear

In survival situations, looters will also look for gear made for tough conditions, like camping, fishing, hunting, and shelter-related items. High-end sleeping bags, tents, boots, knives, water purifiers, rain gear, camouflage clothing, multi-tools, and similar gear will be targeted.

These items are valuable, easy to carry, and can be traded or sold. Good survival equipment is usually lightweight, durable, compact, and has many features.

Unfortunately, these traits also make them attractive to looters who want the best items they can carry.

Firearms and AmmunitionWhat Looters Will Take First From Your Property

Looting, self-defense, and offensive actions are much easier with firearms. Looters who don’t have guns will look for them to make their actions easier.

When civil unrest turns violent, like the 1992 Los Angeles riots, gun stores will be targeted first, then homes.

Looters will also look for items related to weapons, such as scopes, holsters, body armor, and tactical gear.

Precious Metals and Jewelry

All metals have some value, but looters will first look for gold, silver, and platinum. These are often found in jewelry, which may also have diamonds or other gems.

Looters seek these for their value, which isn’t tied to paper money, making them valuable during high inflation or financial collapse.

Even in less extreme situations, precious metals and jewelry are easy to carry in small, valuable amounts and are easy to sell on the street.

Fuel and Energy SourcesWhat Looters Will Take First From Your Property

When the power grid fails, gas stations, homes, and vehicles will run out of energy. Looters will look for solar panels, propane tanks, batteries, camping stoves, gasoline, diesel, generators, power banks, and anything else they can use.

Looters might even take alternators from cars to make manual generators. They will quickly go after fossil fuels for vehicles and generators, the generators themselves, and batteries.

If you have solar panels, looters might squat on your property to use them over time.

When looters go after fuel and energy sources, having a reliable backup is crucial.

The Modular Backyard Power Plant is the perfect solution. It’s easy to build, scalable, and provides a dependable power supply for your home during blackouts.


Mobility is crucial during chaotic times, and looters will target any vehicle that enhances their ability to move quickly. They’ll seek trucks, cars, trailers, bikes, scooters, campers, and boats—all of which can be traded or sold for street value.

Looters may not intend to keep the vehicle long-term but will take it to travel farther, abandoning it when fuel runs out.

SUVs, trucks, and four-wheelers are particularly valuable for their versatility, especially off-road. In coastal regions, boats and other watercraft can be essential, especially when roads are limited.

Tools and HardwareWhat Looters Will Take First From Your Property

Tools, like precious metals and jewelry, are valuable and easily sold on the street, though they can be bulky to carry.

Besides their street worth, tools are essential for crafting what looters require. Power tools and hand tools are valuable to those with craftsmanship skills.

Certain tools, such as crowbars, hammers, and bolt cutters, make looting easier by helping breach doors and barriers.

Electronics and Communications Devices

While not useful in every situation, electronics are often targeted by looters for their value, and portability, and for improving their quality of life. Cell phones, radios, and satellite systems are taken for their communication potential.

Items like cell phones, tablets, TVs, gaming consoles, computers, and even washing machines are stolen either to be sold on the street or used personally at home.

Drones and GPS devices are immediately useful for looters in finding their next target and are likely to be taken.

Looting is common when social order breaks down, whether from a natural disaster, war, crime wave, or similar events. Knowing what looters are after is the first step in protecting yourself and your loved ones from having your supplies taken.

Anything portable, valuable, and immediately useful is at risk. Keeping these supplies hidden and secured behind locked doors helps avoid attracting looters.

What are some other items looters will target first? Let us know in the comments below!

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How To Make A Pressure Sensor Pad To Know When You Have An Intruder On Your Property

DIY Survival Jar

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