During a disaster, police and military authorities are sometimes unable to prevent looting when they are overwhelmed by humanitarian or combat concerns, or cannot be summoned due to damaged communications infrastructure.
Especially during natural disasters, some people find themselves forced to take what is not theirs in order to survive.
How to respond to this is often a dilemma for the authorities.
In other cases, looting may be tolerated or even encouraged by authorities for political or other reasons.
Looting originally referred primarily to the plundering of villages and
cities not only by victorious troops during warfare, but also by
civilian members of the community.
It's this type of civilian plundering that will most likely become a problem for us today if faced with a societal collapse.