9 tips to stay safe in crowds
Recently our world has been inundated with some scary stories of attacks during mass gatherings. Keep going back a few years and you’ll remember the Aurora movie theater shooting on July 20, 2012. The Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013. The Mother’s Day parade shooting in New Orleans on May 12, 2013. Many are getting wary of gathering in crowds, but with some proper preparation, you can enjoy a day at the festival.
Stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Mobs are able to overtake an area in mere seconds. If you get the even the slightest premonition that something may be wrong you need to listen to your instincts- they are never wrong.
Keep an eye on the crowd. If you notice an abnormal increase in the number of people in your area, this could be the first sign that something isn’t right. Immediately scan the area and try to get a feel for the types of people who are walking around. By in large, most of Flash Mob style crimes are conducted by teenagers. If you’re in a store that seems to all of a sudden fill up with teenagers, it’s probably a good time to leave your purchases and make your exit. A peaceful protest can explode into ugliness just as fast. If there is a lot of tension in the air due to something newsworthy, such as the shooting in St. Louis, take heed and get out of the area.
Beat them at their own game. Use the same technology that they use to your advantage. Although Flash Mobs can often seem to spring up out of nowhere, they are often heavily promoted or talked about on sites like Twitter and Facebook. As will the indications that a riot will spring. If you plan on going somewhere that may be targeted by these groups, jump on Twitter and type in the name of your destination/city. It only takes a couple of seconds of your time, but those couple of seconds can warn you to any impending dangers.
1. Know several ways out. Whether you are at the ballpark or Warped tour, locate at least two exits in close proximity to your location, and be aware of them at all times.
2. Keep informed. In an emergency, cell phone communication may be compromised. Determine a meeting place in case you and your party or family get separated. It should be nearby the venue, but far enough away to allow for emergency personnel or falling debris. Find an easily recognized landmark and be sure everyone is clear.
3. Against the wall. In the rare case of a stampede indoors, more sideways carefully to a wall, then back up to it. Move along it until after the crowd has dissipated. Although it does not happen often, people have been trampled to death by being caught up in the midst of the crowd.
4. Keep your cool. Resist the urge to panic. Panic is the number one killer. Assess the situation and determine the best course of action with a cool head.
5. Be aware. Keep your eyes up off the phone, and scan environment every so often. This can be a bit challenging in light of large volumes of bodies, but try to actively scan the crowd. Look for abnormal behavior such as people moving erratically or against the crowd, or even people moving faster or slower. Or people whose actions and gestures do not seem to match the festivities and energy of the event.
6. Trust your instincts. I can never stress this enough- your gut won’t lie to you. If it seems out of sorts or “wrong” report it or get the hell out of the area and report it as soon as you see someone official.
7. Carry essentials. Water bottle, small first aid kit with a tourniquet, knife or multi tool if allowed. A flashlight is important if you will be indoors- a cell phone light will not penetrate smoke or haze.
8. Identify cover from gunfire. Just in case.
9. Do not live in fear. Things are safer than they appear.
And even safer if you are prepared.
Recommended reading : Self defense with a pen
and Hands only CPR