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10 Riot Survival Tips for Patriots



Anything can cause a riot… and everything has. Social tensions are at an all time high…

Race Riots, Black Lives Matter, ISIS, and Political Unrest… these are all catalysts that can, will, and have caused panic, looting, and riots.

The safest thing you can do is get yourself out of the way.

If you’re on the fringe when a riot strikes it should be simple enough…

But what do you do when the mob breaks out and you find yourself right smack in the middle of it all and a quick escape isn’t an option?

How do you get out alive?

When people find themselves crowded together in a tense situation, adrenaline flows heavy and your natural competitive drive kicks in. These two factors combine to create it is a recipe for violence and a deadly situation for innocent bystanders.

Hell, we’ve even seen riots break out at something as trivial as sporting events – from both the losing and winning sides.

These opportunists will jump at the first sign of chaos and use it to their advantage to loot and steal from private homes and businesses, causing incredible damage.

Whatever the cause of this riot… you have ONE goal…

Get yourself and your family to safety as fast as possible.

I’ve put together a short list that should help…


10 Tips To Survive A Riot:

1.     Stay calm and keep your emotions in check. Riots happen when intense emotions boil to the surface and explode into violence. You stand a much better chance of surviving a riot by keeping your own emotions in check. In the heat of the moment, your adrenaline and survival instincts will kick in, but try to think rationally and pursue safety in a methodical manner.

Do not fall victim to the mob mentality.  Below are a few tips that will help guide you safely out of a mob or riot situation.

2.     Avoid confrontation. Keep your head down, while at the same time looking for a safe exit. Do not involve yourself in the violence, even if you are struck or pushed, just keep moving.

3.     Walk. If you run or move erratically, you might attract unwanted attention.

4.     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

5.     Get inside and stay there. Typically riots happen in the streets. If you can get inside you are in a much better position to wait it out.

6.     Keep your doors and windows locked. Do not stand in front of the windows gawking. Move to interior rooms, this will reduce the danger of being hit by stones, bullets, or other items. Try to find at least two possible exits in case you need to evacuate the building in a hurry.

7.     If you’re caught up in a car, stay calm.  If your vehicle does become a target, quickly and calmly leave it behind.  Your Toyota is not worth dying for. If people block your escape route, honk your horn, and carefully drive through or around them at a moderate speed, and they should get out of the way. This is a last resort; never put someone else’s life in danger unless they are putting yours there first.

Driving towards police lines can be interpreted by the police as use of a deadly weapon and in the heat of the moment they may react with deadly force.

8.     Stay on the sidelines and back away slowly. If you’re caught up in a riot, don’t take sides. Be as inconspicuous as possible, and slowly and carefully move to the outside of the mob. Stay close to outskirts of the mob but try to avoid bottlenecks such as tunnels, pillars, high fences and long sections of walls.

The more time you spend in the middle of a riot, the greater your chance of being injured or killed. That said, in most circumstances it’s better to move out of a riot slowly. It can also be dangerous to move against a crowd, so go with the flow until you are able to escape into a doorway or up a side street or alley.

If you find yourself in the middle, you should not try to move in a different direction, but follow the flow and slowly make your way to the outside. This requires patience in order to work properly.

9.     Watch your footing. If you fall down, pull yourself up into a ball. Protect your face, ears and internal organs. In this position you are a smaller object that can be easily avoided. You will receive much less damage than if you were flat out on your back or stomach. If others trip on you they will help create a larger “pile” that other rioters will avoid.

Panicked crowds move fast and release an unbelievable amount of energy; once a crowd gets moving it is very hard to stop, and the flow of people could literally sweep you off your feet.

It is interesting to note that the force of only 6 to 7 average sized individuals pushing in the same direction can generate up to 1000 lbs. of force. This is more than enough to bend steel railings and topple brick walls.

During a stampede, people can even die while standing up, simply from the pressure applied to their bodies. This massive constricting pressure will cause them to black out and eventually suffocate.

When pressure is applied to your side, you may have a better chance at survival, just because your rib cage is protecting the brunt of the force, but you still have the ability to breathe.

If you plan on being in a situation where a crowd will form, the most important thing you can do is to make yourself familiar with the surroundings and make mental notes of any possible alternate exits. No matter where you are, make sure you always know how to get out.

Make yourself aware of the ground you are standing on, and know that trying to navigate in a crowd of moving people when the ground is uneven or wet can be extremely hazardous, causing you to fall and quickly become trampled.

Make yourself completely aware of the general atmosphere of the event, as panic can often be anticipated. When in danger, those extra few seconds can make all the difference, giving you the possibility of taking advantage of your escape route. Always stay closer to the escape route.

Again; if you find yourself in the middle of a moving crowd do not fight against it, and do not stand still or sit down, because you could easily get crushed.

Instead, move in the same direction of the crowd, making sure to take advantage of any space that opens up between people to move perpendicular to the crowd where the flow is weaker.

10.     Keep your hands up by your chest, like a boxer – it gives you movement and acts as a buffer to protect your chest.

The worst scenario is to be pushed by the crowd against a fixed object. Do whatever you can to keep away from walls, fences or barricades, as the crowd pressure can build up rapidly and cause you to suffocate or worse.

The crowd will move much like a wave in that after you’re pushed forward, just like an ocean wave there will be a slight lull. In that lull is your chance to move. You need to take a diagonal path between pockets of people.

There will almost always be a space between people that you can slip into. This will take time as you may only be able to move a few steps after each surge but eventually you will make it to a safe zone outside of the crowd.

Learn these tips and remember them in case you are ever caught up in a mob. Remember that the most important thing is to keep a level head and think rationally about your escape path. This is the only strategy that will ensure that you get out alive and unharmed.

P.S. Riots, unrest and looting can break out at any given time at a moments notice… but one of the most unsettling (and one quickly on the rise) involves an active shooter.

Do you know what to do in the event of an active shooter?

Click here to discover the 3 keystones you must follow to survive any active shooter situation.

Want to know more? Check out these related articles:

In a Riot, You Don’t Have Time To Get All Choked Up!

10 Army Survival Tips to Use in the Zombie Apocalypse

SURVIVAL TIPS: 6 Things You’re Not Doing That Will Bite You In The Ass

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  1. Michael W. Perry

    August 28, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    I’d add more:

    1. In a confrontation, don’t try to get in close. Keep as many people between you and the point of conflict as possible. In bodies, there is safety, particularly if matters turn violent.

    2. If a mob or cops rush your way, often it’s better to move sideways than to try to outrun them.

    3. If tear gas is used, enter a building and move up to get above it.

    4. If you’re covering the event, have ways of intercepting the communications on both sides. For the police that means a scanner. Protestors often use handheld radios like FRS. Both should give you advanced warning. A receiver for local TV stations could also be helpful, since they may have a helicopter up. A smartphone might pick up the web news feed from a local TV station. There are also smartphone scanner apps that monitor local police and fire.

    5. Don’t depend on your cell phone working. Between the media, demonstrators and PR for the police, every cell channel may be taken. If you absolutely need to stay in touch, start you call in advance and hope you’re not dropped. In a pinch, use text messaging.

    6. There aren’t many left, but scout out phone booths. That’s also useful in major catastrophe since a phone booth gets priority over ordinary wired lines when a phone system overloads. That’s a holdover from when people used phone booths to report accidents and fires.

    7. Be able to change how your look. If the danger is from rioters, you probably want to look like one of them and definitely not like a cop. If the danger is from the police, do your best not to look like the rioters. If you can flip your identity, so much the better. Dress grubby but carry a dressy raincoat in a bag.

    8. Mimic the press. You might want to pick up a cheap 35 mm camera and case from a thrift store, so you can look like someone with the media. Pretend to take pictures. Be bold enough and you might even walk pass a police line without being arrested.

    7. Use anything you can think of to your advantage. I saw a movie about the fall of Berlin in WWII. Some Germans who were trying to escape found their way blocked by Russian soldiers. The guys in their party had no hope of escape, but one had the presence of mind to come up with a plan for the woman in their party. He had her pull off her hat, so her long hair showed she was a woman, and then he told her to march boldly past the Russian soldiers, not looking any of them in the eye. It worked. They weren’t expecting to see a woman in the middle of combat and did nothing.

    I did something similar at a public event last spring. A barrier and the hotel staff was forcing everyone to remain in a long line so jammed up leaving through the front entrance would take about 15 minutes. Meanwhile there was a wide-open side door just 50 feet away. I’ve worked inside security before, so I know the mindset. I waited until the staff was distracted, slipped past the barrier and walked out that side door, quickly and confidentially. They let me go. In a pinch and with a crowd to control, the police are likely to ignore one harmless-seeming person walking quickly and quietly away up a side street. that’s also one of those times you don’t want to be dressed like a rioter.

    Keep in mind that you face multiple risks. Not just a physical danger from the mob or the cops, but the possibility of getting swept up in a mass arrest. You’ll probably find it very hard to prove to some hyped-up cop that you weren’t among the looters. And yes, the lack of evidence will get you off in the end, but that’s likely to be after spending a night in jail and some legal hassle. Better to just melt away.

    Oh, one final suggestion. Boldness pays. I read a book about a West German teen during the Cold War who needed to go to a place in East Germany where, if he’d been caught, there’d be a two-year prison sentence. Alas, as he was leaving, he saw a East German police car that, within a matter of seconds, would notice his West German plates. Thinking quickly, he whipped his car to the side of the road, jumped out, waved them down and, sounding as desperate as possible, claimed to have gotten lost. They believe him.

    In a pinch, you might do something similar. Spot someone in charge with the cops, demonstrators or mob, boldly walk up to them and ask them either for protection or a way to leave quietly. That or just find someone who looks helpful. Even an angry mob may have someone who isn’t angry.

    –Michael W. Perry, co-author of Lily’s Ride: Rescuing her Father from the Ku Klux Klan

  2. Dr. Ed

    August 29, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    ALWAYS carry a small flashlight. People tend to panic in the dark, if you light the path ahead of you, the people ahead of you will follow it and then you can too….

  3. duggy dugg

    August 30, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    was in lower manhattan on my razor scooter when a mob started running my way .i ducked backward into the store in front of which i had just passed …whatever it was it was over in seconds but i was safe and i exited as soon as the crowd thinned ..

  4. Steve

    August 30, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    There’s been lots of talk about DHS, local police, etc gearing up for martial law. In your opinion, is it better to stay away from everything and “hide” in your house with six months of food, water, etc or to find some local group and organize to fight back against a “takeover” – i.e. When TSHTF. – What is the best strategy to do?
    “Fighting back” could be considered courage, patriotic, etc. “Hiding” could be consider cowardice.

  5. Deez

    August 30, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    I was a high school girl going with friends to the big city of Minneapolis, the summer of 1967. We were looking for a great weekend of fun. Had tickets to a couple of concerts etc. We were small town visiting the big city. I was a passenger, so how we rolled into the riot, I don’t know. I do know the training my WWII vet Dad had given me, paid off. He’d taught that when caught in a confusing situation, use a small, quiet, authoritarian voice and people will listen. Though we were a mixed group race/ethnicity wise, we were still in danger. So using my quiet steady voice, I told the driver to drive first down one street, then another any street that was away from the crowd. Anyone who heard about that riot knows how it got out of hand. We were very happy when we crossed a bridge and all was well. This was riot of race.
    Two years later, I was in a anti-war demonstration which got out of hand. This time it wasn’t people against people. This was cops against demonstrators. The previous experience helped me and others to once more get out of a dangerous situation.
    These are not just good tips. These are actions which need to be practiced so they are automatic if/when the time comes.
    Great article. 🙂

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  7. Brad

    September 3, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Great info hope to never have to use it.

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  9. Kimberly Claxton

    September 24, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Great article! Definitely some useful information. Would no have thought to do some of the things listed but they make perfect sense. This new information Makes me feel better about having to go school in a city with some not so intelligent people.

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