Safe Shoppers | How To Avoid Holiday Violence on Black Friday

We’ve all heard reports of holiday violence breaking out during Black Friday sales across the country. Learn how to protect yourself in case of a riot breaking out!

Holiday Violence: Braving the Crowds on Black Friday

We’ve all seen how violent Black Friday can be. Every year, we hear reports of stampedes, injuries, arrests, and even shootings at Black Friday sales all over the country. You might not think so, but this is one event where you might end up putting your survival skills to use sooner than you think. Knowing the exact thing to do at the right time can increase your chance of survival when holiday violence erupts. If you’re one of the brave souls who choose to go out and brave the crowds, here are the things you need to ponder before hitting the malls on Black Friday.

 

Tips for Staying Safe on Black Friday

Tips for Staying Safe on Black Friday | Safe Shoppers | How to Avoid Holiday Violence on Black Friday
I will be watching the news safely at home come Black Friday, but should you decide to venture out into the fray, please consider these tips below when there’s holiday violence:

  • Always stay calm. Riots happen when emotions get so intense and explode into violence. You stand a much better chance of surviving a riot by staying calm and controlling your emotions. In these tough situations, the adrenaline rush and your intrinsic survival instinct will take over your body. Keep that in check so you can rationally think of a way out of the riot.
  • Stay away from confrontation. As much as possible, don’t look at someone dead straight in the eyes. When emotions are high, some people think that you’re picking a fight when you look at them. Instead, keep your head down and focus on looking for a safe passage or exit away from the riot. Do not involve yourself in the violence, even if you are struck or pushed, don’t stop and just stay mobile.
  • Just walk. It is always better to walk at a steady pace. Running can attract attention, which is certainly something you don’t want plenty of during a riot.
  • Don’t stop moving. If you stop, you run the risk of getting crushed by the sheer force of a mob of people moving in one direction.
  • Stay indoors. With riots usually happening in the streets, you will have a better chance of survival if you stay indoors until the situation dies down or when help comes.
  • Lock windows and doors. If you’ve found yourself a safe place to stay in, the next thing you should do is stay away from windows and doors. These things can be easily penetrated by bullets, stones, or any weapon that can use to break them down. If you have time, scout the building you’re in and look for other emergency exits.

 

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How to Stay Safe During a Riot 

1. Leave the car behind

While common sense will dictate that you need your car to drive away from a riot, that will not always be the case. If your vehicle does become a target, quickly and calmly leave it behind; your Toyota is not worth dying for.

On the other hand, if you think you can escape with your car, just honk your horn at people who are in the way. Drive at a moderate speed and make sure to never put someone else’s life in danger unless they are putting yours at high risk.

2. Stay on the sidelines and back away slowly

Stay on the sidelines and back away slowly | Safe Shoppers | How to Avoid Holiday Violence on Black Friday

During a riot, you have to stay away from the mob as much as possible. If you see them heading towards you, try to stay on the outskirts, but please do not stay in tunnels, high fences, or other bottlenecks areas you can be trapped in. On the other hand, if you’re already in the mob, try to get out of it quickly as staying in one lessens your chances of survival.

3. Be mindful of your steps

Riots are very intense and the actions of every single person will be unpredictable. There are those who are actively and violently participating in the chaos, while there are those, like you, who are trying to get away.

Always be mindful of your steps to avoid tripping and falling. If you do fall, roll up the body into a cocoon or ball-like position. Your utmost priority is to protect your head. This position will help you do that as well as protect other parts of the body. I’m not saying you won’t be hurt if people walk over you, but the damage will be reduced compared to when you’re just lying flat on the ground.

4. Beware of fast-moving crowds

Beware of fast-moving crowds | Safe Shoppers | How to Avoid Holiday Violence on Black Friday

Be alert and always be aware of your surroundings. Look out for a pack of crowds heading towards you. When you see one, get out of the away quickly! Think of them as a strong current or wave, if you get caught, it will be very hard to get out of it.

 

5. Remain diligent during a stampede

A stampede is a very dangerous situation and there are many people who have died because of this. First things first, avoid them at all cost. The force generated by a massive group of people running towards the same direction can’t be underestimated.

It is said that 6 to 7 average-sized individuals can already produce 1000 lbs. of force, which is just enough force to break down a brick wall. Just imagine how much force 100 people can create. One can actually die just by standing up due to the sheer pressure applied from all the rapid and aggressive movement. Moreover, this massive constricting pressure will cause them to black out and eventually suffocate.

6. Always have an exit strategy

Always have an exit strategy | Safe Shoppers | How to Avoid Holiday Violence on Black Friday

The only way to get out of impending doom is to actually be smart about it. If you see a big crowd headed your way at high speed, start looking at your surroundings and locate alternative exits. Take mental notes of buildings and establishments you can hide in, just make sure you always have a way to get out of trouble.

7. Do not fight a large crowd

Fighting a large crowd will be a futile effort. If you can’t get out of the crowd’s direction, move in the same direction with them and don’t fight them. This will help you observe spaces in between the people and take advantage of that.

Never stand still or just sit down. As I’ve mentioned earlier, big crowds are like big waves, they’ll sweep you off your feet in a very aggressive way. Additionally, you may want to position your hands on your chest for protection.

 

Looking for more safety tips? This video from Inside Edition will give you an insight on how to stay safe while shopping this holiday season!

If you choose to stay in and avoid the hassle of Black Friday, I send a holiday toast your way. And for my fellow survivalists who choose to head out for that cheap 60″ television: my thoughts are with you. I hope you can take these tips with you, so you can stay safe when holiday violence breaks out. Happy hunting and I wish you a safe return!

Safe Shoppers | How To Avoid Holiday Violence on Black Friday

Do you know other tips to avoid holiday violence? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

UP NEXT: Traveling for the Holidays? Make Sure You’re Prepared

Safe Shoppers | How To Avoid Holiday Violence on Black Friday

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7 Responses to :
Safe Shoppers | How To Avoid Holiday Violence on Black Friday

  1. Jean says:

    A few words of suggestion for any people who are temporary workers at a retail store for the holiday from a 7 year veteran of Black Friday crowds at a mega-mart. Once you get through the door (the most dangerous part of the journey as people will attempt to sneak in behind you or push past to get in if your store isn’t a 24/7 store) take a quick walk around as the entire layout of the aisles will have ‘changed overnight’ if you left before setup the night before. The back hallways and warehouses are useful for more than just storing extra product. Use them as much as possible during Black Friday. If you have a few minutes before or after work tomorrow give yourself a refresher walk-through of the back and update your memory of where the entrances onto the sales floor are. That area you thought was blocked off during your orientation might have just been stacked with special sales freight and isn’t blocked now, giving you a clear shot to the place you wish to come out at, and the reverse is also true, the clear path to that same area last week is now stuffed with carts of extra TV’s. When you are opening a stand-alone display, start at one side and move calmly around the display, as this forces the people to follow you to get the item. The last side can usually be pulled off as you step back, making sure no one has slipped around behind you to reach past your body for the item. I discovered the cardboard shipping box I was pulling off made a great body shield, people with sense were moving out of my way as the box was taking up most of the aisle. Don’t take this for granted, I still got knocked off balance a couple of times by people too stubborn to see they wouldn’t clear the box. Moving with the tidal flow is like swimming in a rip current, moving at an angle will usually get you out. For those stuck with monitoring a queue line, a firm, yet polite tone will allow you to control most of the crowd. There’s always the couple of people who think they have more rights than the rest. I have only had one fistfight over a Furby and that was when they first came out. We handed out tickets, you had to collect the persons ticket before they got their critter. Of course, someone got the one another person wanted, pow, out the area to another register. Keep your wits and watch yourself.

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