Stay safe in a crowd with these preventive measures and safety precautions so you can protect yourself before, during, and after a stampede or riot!
In this article:
- Research About the Venue of the Event
- Be Prepared
- Remain Calm
- Pay Attention to Your Intuition and Feelings
- Move On
- Avoid Confrontation
- Go with the Flow
- Stick to the Edge of the Crowd
- Always Carry Around a Small Amount of Cash
- Always Have Your Gear on You
- Prepare for an Attack
- Avoid Bottleneck Areas
- Avoid Law Enforcement
- Get Upwind or Escape to Higher Ground
- Watch Your Step
- Keep Your Loved Ones Close
- Arrange a Meeting Place
- Avoid Heavily Congested Areas
- Deterring Pickpockets
- Blend In
- Don’t Run from the Crowd
- Seek Shelter
Stay Safe: Know What to Do When a Riot Breaks Out
1. Research About the Venue of the Event
This may be the best preventive measure you can practice because awareness of your surroundings makes you alert. Memorize the entrance and exit points, emergency evacuation protocols, parking areas, and other facilities in reference to where you will be sitting.
2. Be Prepared
Why wait until you find yourself in an unlikely situation? It is best to be prepared at all times so if it does happen, you will know what to do. Always remember, prevention is better than cure.
3. Remain Calm
For sure, your adrenaline will fly right off the roof, but keeping your emotions in check, even if those around are frantic, should be your main priority. It will take tons of effort to remain composed and bring yourself to a safer place, but a steady nerve will keep you secure and safe.
4. Pay Attention to Your Intuition and Feelings
If you choose to be in such a crowd, you need to follow your intuition and feelings when it comes to the mood of the crowd. Staying safe is quite parallel to alertness, and you’ll definitely feel it when things start to go south.
5. Move On
As fast as you can, leave the area when protesters start to become unstable. So if there’s a need to sprint, do it by all means.
You don’t want to get caught up with a huge crowd running at the same time as you.
6. Avoid Confrontation
While looking for a safe exit, you should keep your head down. While you’re at it, chances are, you’ll get pushed or hit, but don’t retaliate and just keep on going.
7. Go with the Flow
The objective is to be able to get away from the crowd the fastest way with as little harm as possible. Even if it leads you the opposite way of where you intend to go, just go.
As soon as you’re out of harm’s way, then you can proceed to the next safety measure.
8. Stick to the Edge of the Crowd
It is much safer to stay in this part of the crowd and away from the leaders or agitators. This way, you’ll have walls to cling on and with a bit of luck, you may just come across an alley you can escape to.
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9. Always Carry Around a Small Amount of Cash
You’ll never know when you might need cash, so always have a few bucks with you to help you stay safe. Purchase a basic need for survival, arranging for quick transportation, and paying off looters are the basic examples of when cash might come in handy.
10. Always Have Your Gear on You
If you really need to leave your house, it’s better to leave packed with a gun, a knife, or a tactical pen. If you’re the type who can’t pull the trigger though, a pepper spray may be just for you.
11. Prepare for an Attack
Crowd behavior in a riot is extremely complex, but pulling out a gun or a knife should always be your last resort. You don’t want your weapon to be used against you, and it could easily be the case.
However, if it’s a matter of survival, it is vital that you use it to your advantage by creating space as a means to escape. If you fail to do so at exactly the right moment, the results could be fatal.
12. Avoid Bottleneck Areas
These areas where a lot of people will try to squeeze through a small opening. Once chaos strikes, it will be a death trap for those caught in it.
13. Avoid Law Enforcement
The common riot police do not know if you’re one of the violent ones nor do they care. The further you are from them, the better it is for you from taking the full impact of their response.
14. Get Upwind or Escape to Higher Ground
Worst case scenario, the riot police throws in tear gas. If this does happen, going uphill or a building rooftop is advised since tear gas stays low to the ground.
15. Watch Your Step
With the sea of people around you, it is easy to trip and fall, and you can be trampled amidst the chaos of a stampede or a riot. For that, you may suffer from fatal injuries and that is something you don’t want to happen.
16. Keep Your Loved Ones Close
When you’re with loved ones, their safety is first priority so stick together and lock elbows or grip your hands together while moving towards a safe location.
17. Arrange a Meeting Place
No matter how hard you try to hold on to each other in a heavy crowd, the chances of getting separated are high. That’s why you should agree on a meeting place beforehand.
18. Avoid Heavily Congested Areas
If you happen to break away from a crowd, chances are, you might come across other groups of rioters.
19. Deterring Pickpockets
Bring only what you need because you don’t want these unnecessary items in your way come riot or stampede. They can even cause you harm, too.
Women should have their purse run along the front of their bodies with one hand on it. Men also should have wallets or cell phones in their front pockets.
20. Blend In
Make sure you don’t stand out in the crowd. Otherwise, you might as well paint a bullseye sign on your back and one way to do that is to wear muted colors.
21. Don’t Run from the Crowd
Just act like them until you find an opportunity to slowly break away once you get to the outermost part of the mob.
22. Seek Shelter
Securing oneself in a self-contained building or one with a basement can be a good move to steer clear of the full force of a riot. Always remember that a crowd of protesters can kick off in a peaceful manner.
However, the longer it continues, it will definitely attract a variety of participants and as the numbers continue to rise, emotions will run high. Thus, the greater the chances of a full-scale riot.
Watch this video by DrBones NurseAmy to get more tips on how to stay safe during a protest or riot:
If you happen to be caught in the middle of civil unrest or a sea of people at an event, to be safe, make sure you apply these tips for staying safe in a crowd or riot.
Chances are, you and your loved ones may get out of it. Maybe not unscathed, but alive and breathing.
Have you been stuck in this predicament before? Share your experience in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 23, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.