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7 Tips For Surviving A Mob Of Looters



Feature | Police spraying protesters mob of looters | Tips For Surviving A Mob Of Looters

Learn to deal with a mob of looters and how to survive one because you never know when you'll be caught in one!

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How to Deal with a Mob of Looters

The Ferguson Riots and the Mob of Looters

The riots in Ferguson, MO may have died down for now, but they leave a lasting memory that serves to once again prove how fragile society is and how many problems can be caused by violent looters. All it takes is one police shooting, one jury verdict, and one natural disaster.

A town can melt down into utter chaos and look like a scene you’d expect to see in Iraq or Afghanistan. And remember, it doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S., every town is susceptible.

This is why you need to know how to survive. Especially when you're surviving social unrest and protestors begin lobbing Molotov cocktails left and right and looting run rampant.

The fact is, a mob of looters and violent protestors are so dangerous. They’re not a group of human beings who you can deal with rationally.

Clearly, if people were rational – use Ferguson, MO as an example – they would wait for the facts to come out before destroying buildings and robbing small business owners of their life’s work.

What Are Molotov Cocktails? These are improvised weapons or explosives made with a breakable glass bottle and filled with a flammable substance like alcohol, petrol, and gasoline. A wick is added which is also soaked in a flammable substance from which the improvised bomb can be ignited.

Lessons from Ferguson

Hopefully, you can agree that if Michael Brown had his hands up and was not a threat to the officer but was shot six times anyway, then that would be murder and the officer should go to jail.

On the other hand, if the officer’s account of the situation is true that Michael Brown was fighting with him and trying to take his gun, then the officer was correct in shooting Michael Brown and deadly force was justified.

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The facts will eventually come out but the damage is already there. Ferguson and many people were injured as a result.

The world can get more out of control with rioters and a mob of looters. Looting during natural disasters occurs and so does in manmade ones like the Ferguson incident.

So here’s what you need to do to keep yourself safe if you suddenly discover your town in a civil disturbance and has become the next Ferguson, MO:

1. Control Your Emotions

A man standing in front of fire | Tips For Surviving A Mob Of Looters

Unlike the mob of looters, you need to have self-discipline and be able to control your emotions in civil unrest. If you’re walking down the street and you see guys running out of Best Buy with TVs in their arms, just keep moving.

Don’t stop and lecture them or yell at them or try and stop them. Yes, looters are a bunch of lowlifes but now is not the time to give them a lesson on the Ten Commandments.

2. Blend in with the Mob of Looters and Rioters

If you have to make your way through town, you want to blend in with the protestors or looters. If they’re holding a sign that says, “Death to Police”, then you better start chanting that too or grab a sign of your own.

The worst thing you can do is to let them know you’re not on their side. This can easily make 100 angry protestors turn on you.

3. Do Not Go out at Night

I once heard a wise man say, “nothing good happens after midnight.” When it’s dark out, people tend to become more out of control.

They think they can get away with more violent behavior. Unless it’s an emergency, don't leave your home if your city is in the midst of chaos.

RELATED: What Is Urban Survival Syndrome?

4. Always Have Your Gear on You

Hidden gun with city scape | Tips For Surviving A Mob Of Looters

Since you never know when a city is going to erupt, you always need to have certain gear on you. For instance, I always carry concealed.

A few of the different guns you might find me carrying are a Ruger LCP, Glock 19, Smith & Wesson M&P, Sig P226 or Sig P250.

If I had to leave my house while looting was taking place I’d have a gun on my hips, such as the Glock 19. I'd have also a gun in my pocket, such as the Ruger LCP, and a gun on my ankle, such as the Glock 26.

Consider your federals laws on self-defense though, even from looters and invaders before you go shooting looters on sight even if they're on your property.

In addition to guns, I always have a knife on me usually, a Benchmade clipped to my pants pocket or a TOPS Knife clipped to my belt. I also carry a tactical pen on me at all times.

A tactical pen is one of my favorite weapons because I can bring it virtually anywhere. And since it’s a pen, it doesn’t draw much attention.

Other gear that I carry with me includes paracord, a lock pick set, bobby pins, a credit card folding knife, a hair barrette, a handcuff key, and $300 in cash with one $100 bill.

5. Watch the Flow of the Mob of Looters and Rioters

If you’re walking around in the streets and run into a mob of several hundred people, never try to walk through them and go against the flow of traffic. First, you’ll draw a lot of attention to yourself (remember, blend in) and second, you’ll likely get trampled.

Simply go with the flow of the mob and have patience. You might have to delay your plans to get to your destination. Though your life is far too valuable not to have patience and take your time.

6. Stay Away from the Leader

Every mob has a leader who others follow and you can find him usually at the front of the pack. This person is the most vocal and draws the most attention to himself.

If this leader starts fighting with police, others will follow… And if this leader starts hurling rocks, others will follow…

If this leader decides to smash a storefront window and start looting, others will follow, too. The area around this mob leader is very dangerous.

You don’t want yourself or your family anywhere around this person. Once you identify this leader keep your distance and stay near less violent and less volatile individuals.

7. Be Prepared to Ruthlessly Fight Back

By following the first six tips above, you’ll hopefully be able to keep yourself safe, and won’t ever have to defend yourself against a mob. However, because a mob of looters is such an unpredictable group, anything can happen at a moment’s notice.

If somehow the mob turns against you, prepare to strike back quickly and ruthlessly. If you hesitate at all it may cost you your life.

Personal Defense


A good book to read on this subject is Principles of Personal Defense by Colonel Jeff Cooper.

In addition to reading, you also need to train. You need to take a defensive pistol course and practice your draw so you can get your gun out lightning fast.

You also need to learn some hand to hand combat moves and some knife defense. This way you’re ready if you’re put to the ultimate test.


Check out this video by epicfailthis about a flash mob in Washington DC:

The bottom line is, I hope your city never turns into a Ferguson, MO where they throw the rule of law out the door and people are having a free for all. But, if it does, following the above tips for surviving a mob of looters will keep you and your family safer.

Think you can survive a mob of looters given the situation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Tips For Surviving A Mob Of Looters | https://survivallife.com/7-tips-for-surviving-a-mob-of-looters-2/

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 17, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Sheltie Sandra

    September 17, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    All these tips are wonderful – Any tips for a small business owner that may be caught in their shop when “stuff” happens?

    • Nick

      September 17, 2014 at 11:36 PM

      Grab your rifle, get behind cover, point the barrel toward the door, and wait. You’ll know what to do.

  2. Terence McLaughlin

    September 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Good stuff!

  3. Michael W. Perry

    September 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    No, don’t blend in with them in the sense of shouting “death to the police.” Janson Hanson may be confusing CIA spying with life on the street. All too many trainers who toot their background don’t seem to be able to escape it. He thinks like a spy. Those who served in Iraq talk about police using covering fire like a US city was a war zone. Covering fire is excessive stray fire that may kill a child.

    You don’t need to become a criminal in order to escape from a mob. Just stay on the periphery, don’t attract attention, and slip away as fast as you can. Act like the mob, and you may find the police legitimately treating you like part of the mob. If you go to jail, don’t expect sympathy.

    And we also need to be realistic. The vast majority of neighborhoods, communities and towns will never see rioting. Only certain areas in certain cities are dangerous. Avoid them like the plague and if driving accidentally takes you into such an area, lock your doors and don’t stop until you get away.

    I’d also suggest that, if you’re armed and trained, you make a distinction between lotting and violent attacks on innocent people. Don’t pull out that concealed weapon to stop a theft. That’s a police job. But do think seriously about using it to protect someone from being beaten. Again, don’t act like a CIA spy. Act like a man and not a mouse.

    –Michael W. Perry, co-author of Lily’s Ride: Rescuing her Father from the Ku Klux Klan (A novel about a teen girl who encounters a Klan mob of over 100 riders on a lonely road in 1870s NC.)

    • James Cooke

      September 17, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      Thank you, Mr. Perry! Yours is one of the best responses I have come across in prepper materials. So many other suggestions and plans and tactics are too well seasoned with macho mentality. Survival, urban or rural, is about keeping your eyes open and your mouth shut and then using the brains that God gave you so that you have a much better chance of seeing yet another sunrise.

    • Dan

      September 17, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      I do not think Hanson is saying you should throw Molotov Coctails through windows. But if I am on the street and a mob is passing by, I will be quickly judged as “for the cause or against the cause,” and I would prefer to chant whatever they are canting to be accepted into the mob. Then I will just be walking more slowly than the rest and once I find myself in the back I will slip away into the darkness.

    • The Liberal Prepper

      September 18, 2014 at 9:52 PM


    • Jim

      November 30, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      You can thank Obummer,Eric Holder,Rev.Sharpton,Nancy Nut job Pelosi, and others for all of this violence occuring.
      The time to prep is now. Thanks to this site for informative Information.

  4. Tom Westbrook

    September 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Thanks for the informative blogs. With the growing risk of random social upheavals we must make certain that we keep our wits and maintain good common sense. But common sense is what tells us that life as we have known and been blessed to enjoy in the past is rapidly changing. Morality, compassion, freedom (NOT to do as we please, but to do as we ought),and genuine concern for our fellow man has been replaced with lawlessness and immorality; the fruition is what we see in society now. Since Government is guilty of gross immorality, lawlessness, and self gratification, our society is following its lead. So, the reality is that we become mindless robots of this society, or, we keep our bearings and prepare ourselves and our families for what must inevitably follow. Thank you for the answers to some of the issues of preparing for what is coming. I take what I can use and dismiss what I don’t need. Continue the good fight! Joshua 24:15

  5. Ronald Howard

    September 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Interesting information and suggestions. I agree with some of Hanson’s suggestions in this case and some of Perry’s. Many of Hanson’s tips on spy tactics are very good.

  6. illender

    September 17, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    “and protestors begin lobbing Molotov cocktails left and right and looting runs rampant.”


  7. Happy

    September 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Good advice, the only thing a mob will respect is greater and indiscriminate force. I do not want to do violence to any one but I have come to the understanding I value my life and those I love over all others. If faced with mob violence and cannot retreat I will not beg, I will not try to reason. I will respond with Extreme force, no mercy, no prisoners, no medical attention for survivors. They care not for my safety ,and the courts provide them with a ” mob mentality ” defense for their actions.

  8. ricardo quintero

    September 17, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    man,you need to get out of your office.you spennt to much time like CIA person(fine hotels,expensive houses and good neighborhoods)go outside on a riot holding signs and you are buying your ticket to jail.remember that organizations like FBI, POLICE , DEA and CIA allways are looking for the easy way to resolve crimes and the first they grab is their ticket to stardom,to medals and a motive to make the news. WAKE UP.

  9. ArtinChicago

    September 17, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    If you are white; Cover your face and hands with chocolate frosting, look at the rioters around you and yell that you are an angry homosexual and that you will kick the _hit out of them and force them to lick you clean of the last guy that didn’t get out of your way. Don’t try this on the near north side of Chicago as it may make you new friends.

  10. Michael Rutherford

    September 17, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    I’m more concerned about how to protect my home during times of unrest rather than being in a mob, I doubt that I’ll be in that situation, although I suppose it could happen. My home is my castle, and I need to know how I can defend it “legally”. What can be done to protect it, what can’t. I understand that deadly force can be used if you feel life/family is in danger, but what can be done to deter anyone from entering or keep them from wanting to enter. I know that once a crowd of people are bent on getting in for whatever reason it’s gonna be hard to stop them without some serious persuasion. So, what would that be?

    • Carl Sayre

      September 18, 2014 at 4:21 AM

      Just like a fist fight when 3 or 4 are bullying you. Pick the one or two big mouths and those are the ones who get shot first. Mobs are cowards they need someone to bolster their courage. A shotgun is a lot more intimidating than any handgun ever, start with a shot gun but have at least 2 handguns nearby.

      • SmokeHillFarm

        September 19, 2014 at 10:31 PM

        In this case the shotgun is definitely the tool of choice, partly because of its great intimidation value, partly because it spreads the pain of a single shot to several mob guys (possibly), and partly because shotguns leave no ballistic evidence. CSI might be able to match your firing pin marks to a spent shell — but not likely to the buckshot you leave in the crowd, or the game loads you have blasted in their faces.

        In all likelihood, considering the general upheaval and cops spread thin everywhere, your yard isn’t likely to get immediately taped off with six CSI guys collecting evidence — but still, leave as little evidence as possible.

        I have some shotgun rounds that I have saved primarily for “crowd control” during the Zombie Apocalypse, in case a large crowd of looters comes down my driveway looking for food, weapons or whatever. They’re called Flamethrower rounds and supposedly send out a “300-foot tongue of flame.” Not sure if it’s white phosphorus or something else, but it would certainly get a crowd’s attention. With a 90-foot driveway, I figured that the best plan was to hit two or three “leaders” with buckshot, or rifle fire, and then immediately light ’em up with a flamethrower round.

        The secondary advantage — cooking the dog food, which is how I plan to get rid of dead looters. I’ve got a few months of dog food stashed for my dogs, but this would certainly stretch their menu a bit.

  11. android

    September 17, 2014 at 2:26 PM


  12. Doc Art

    September 17, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Thanks…. excellent info. Appreciate you !!

  13. Charles

    September 17, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    What ccw holster do you use for your G19?

  14. dee

    September 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    This may be a good account of how to handle yourself in a riot, but you went beyond the mark, center in it around Ferguson. As a person of color, I am insulted by this post. Now tell us how we should behave when an angry white mob lynched blacks in the south. How the protestors at Kent State, were supposed to react to national guardsmen shooting into a crowd, or police spraying mace in your face a couple of years ago in California, on another university campus, at a peaceful sit-in. Then you bring in the politics of the officer and Michael Brown, whose gunning down has been verified by numerous accounts, but those from people of color are discounted. Last week two white construction workers, corroborated earlier accounts. I believe in being prepared, and have done so for over thirty years. I have a business in an urban setting, and the majority of it’s residents are law-abiding, posts like this do nothing, but add to the animosity between people.

    • The Liberal Prepper

      September 18, 2014 at 9:51 PM

      Dee is right; there was no reason to focus on Ferguson or politicize this topic.

    • Chris

      October 14, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      I think it is completely relevant, it continues while I post this. Trying to over run the St. Charles Casino. They must really be looking to get shot when they crossed that bridge. The reason it is relevant is because these morons are not protesting, they are stealing, looting, damaging property and targeting white people. I am totally against our country becoming a police state and despise these cops with the god-syndrome. But if these “protesters” come onto my property I will have to spend some ammo. While smiling.

      By the way,what are the bobby pins and hair barrets for?

  15. Jim Childers

    September 17, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Take out their leader. Mangalores won’t fight without their leader.

  16. James Stewart

    September 17, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Thanks for the warning! Being an avoidant sort, it almost makes me chuckle, but I get what you are saying 100%. We live on a really nice block or so it appears, but not just a few blocks away in this older part of town is the “crime zone”. Stuff happens over there, all the time.

    If it starts coming over here, I want to be mentally, physically ready to at least make them think about it, before they bust out all the picture windows and flood on in. Good zombie popping while it lasts.

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  18. The Liberal Prepper

    September 18, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    First of all, there is a difference between protesters and looters, and there is NO REASON to group them together.

    The first thing you should do if you see looting or violence or sense any kind of agitation in a crowd is GET AWAY FROM THE AREA. Leave.

  19. Aunt Jane

    September 19, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Agree with the main points but blend in, not participate! Work your way to the outside of the group and disappear ASAP!!! “Turn you ankle and have to sit down on the curb or whatever! Hide if necessary! If you have a “carry” make it very concealed! The last thing you need is to have someone challenge you, take it from you, have to use it or get the attention of the police! And remember that there are probably “plain clothes” mixed in! Just blend in and get the H*** out of there ASAP!
    Just my opinion!

  20. Thom

    September 19, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    If you have to go out and you know that there are rioters in the area, carry a Zippo lighter and a bottle of lighter fluid. If you find yourself surrounded by restless natives, squirt lighter fluid on said natives and audibly flick the Zippo open and light it with the other hand. Natives soaked in lighter fluid with a lighter around tend to become more docile.

  21. SmokeHillFarm

    September 19, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Good points, but the likelihood of me blending into a mob of Blacks is ….well, it ain’t likely at all. In cases like this — and I suspect that mostly we’ll have a pretty good idea of the racial makeup of the mob — if it’s still absolutely necessary to be out, one should do it as late as possible, and at least try to blur one’s appearance to the extent possible, when necessary. For me, if I thought it was likely to get mixed up with a Black crowd, I’d wear a pair of dark gloves, the biggest set of sunglasses I could find, and a hoodie — the bigger and floppier the better.

    From across the street, especially if the shadows were cooperative, one might get by unnoticed. Even closer, one might get by with a floppy hoodie, considering that a lot of people are going to be distracted, maybe a bit drunk or stoned, and too wound up in what they’re doing to really look close at that guy across the street.

    Surely not a bulletproof plan, but better than just going out with no “camouflage,” hoping that no one will notice your white face & hands.

    In any possible confrontation with crowds, though, it would be prudent to carry as many extra clips of ammo as you own. If a mob heads for you, the only chance you have is firepower — hoping that dropping a dozen of them out front will cause the rest to think long & hard before following their example.

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  23. Thori

    September 20, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    What about if I’m in a wheelchair?

  24. Nemecleese

    September 21, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Well first I like the tips verry good advice. However I have a major problems with the preface for a couple reasons #1 being that you are pandering to the mainstream media yes there has been violence but it was instigated by militant cops trying to crush the will of people exercising their constitutional rights you can only push so much before people push back. Second the who is right…there is freaking video that shows he had his hands up,the claims that the cop was injured is a bald face lie. The facts are already out there please stop pandering to the cops

    • Chris

      November 16, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Wake up! The man was a thug and there will be less crime on the streets due to this unfortunate solution. A lot of people need to let go of that “poor me” mentality.

  25. Great Grey

    September 26, 2014 at 3:52 AM

    Who you describe as the leader maybe more of an enforcer and person who urged him to make trouble is the true leader, and is often to outside or in the back and maybe the one you also need to avoid or deal with.

  26. Unclezip

    September 28, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    1: avoid crowds, and any population centers.

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  32. Ordinary Joe

    May 2, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    Ok, it seems there is no defense if a victim shoots during a mob attack. Whoever is shot will claim they were just an observer, seeing what was going on. Every shot has to accounted for. Problem is, you could have 15 contact weapons coming at you.

    Position is 9/10th of the battle. Mob in action of getting position on you, beginning to close off routes of escape, you could be as good as dead if this happens, yet not one will say there were raising a hand to you, were unarmed. Do what?

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  41. Demetra

    September 3, 2018 at 12:29 AM

    People going to the cubicle are provided a flipbook.

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  45. paul young

    March 1, 2021 at 4:39 AM

    I don’t know much about tips, however, points are much more my speed, i.e. hollow variety

  46. paul young

    March 1, 2021 at 4:41 AM

    7 out of a 1911 lol

  47. Elbert Jones

    June 19, 2021 at 8:36 PM

    Did any of you notice how many NONWHITE PEOPLE were involved in the Jan.6 hostilities?
    Many of them believed that trump would lead them into the building. Why DIDN’T HE DO IT?

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    August 2, 2023 at 3:00 PM

    If you’re caught packing a pistol and a knife by the police during a riot; you’re going to be ARRESTED. You’ll be charged with a FIRST DEGREE FELONY.

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