It is of utmost importance to stay safe whenever you’re stuck in a huge crowd or if a riot breaks out. For instance, with the freedom of speech and expression constantly in effect, people can flood the streets anytime as a form of protest. In able to avoid injuries, here are a few tips on how to stay safe in a crowd or a riot.
22 Ways to Stay Safe in Case of Stampedes or Riot
1. Research About the Venue of the Event
This is the best preventive security measure that you should practice. 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 that 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 it will surely be worth it.
4. Pay Attention to Your Intuition and Feelings
You’ll definitely feel it when things are going to go south.
5. Move On
As fast as you can, leave the area when protesters start to become unstable. 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 with 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. 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.
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.
9. Always Carry Around a Small Amount of Cash
You’ll never know when you might need it.
Purchase a basic need for survival, arranging for a 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. Pulling out a gun or a knife should always be your last resort. 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 farther 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 could be easy to trip and fall. You could be trampled amidst the chaos of a stampede or a riot and suffer from fatal injuries. This is something that you would not want to happen.
16. Keep your Loved Ones Close
Your first priority is to stick together. 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. Detering Pickpockets
Bring only what you need. Women should have their purse run along the front of their bodies with one hand on it. Men should have wallets or cell phones in their front pockets.
20. Blend In
Make sure that you don’t stand out in the crowd. Otherwise, you might as well paint a bulls-eye sign on your back. 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 outer-most 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 kickoff in a peaceful manner. However, the longer it continues it will definitely attract a variety of participants. 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 protest or riot:
If you happen to be caught in the middle of a civil unrest or a sea of people in an event, make sure that 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 below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.