We live in times now where social tensions are at an all time high. Riots are kicking off over anything and everything and it only seems to be getting worse. Riots are not just simply people expressing their opinion against something, they are not peaceful protests, they are dangerous and people can and have been killed and very seriously injured during these riots.
First and foremost the safest thing you can do is steer well clear from the get-go. This advice is great but the truth is, it’s not always possible and it’s not always that easy.
What do you do when the riot kicks off and you are caught right in the middle?
What if there is no quick escape?
It doesn’t matter what the reason of the riot is, you should always just have one goal on your mind. To get yourself and your family out of there and to safety as quickly as possible.
1. Stay Calm
We usually use this as rule number one for most things as that’s because it is the key to getting yourself out of a dangerous situation safely. While everybody around you is getting angry and losing their minds, you need to remain calm and level-headed. This will allow you to think rationally and pursue safety in a methodical manner.
2. Avoid Confrontation
Keep your head down, while at the same time looking for a safe exit. Do not allow yourself to become involved in the violence, even if you are struck or pushed, just keep moving. People will try to anger you and cause trouble but just keep focused and get out of there.
3. Walk, not Run
When trying to work your way to the edge of the crowds, always walk. Not only will running attract unwanted attention but if you fall you have a much greater chance of being seriously injured. These people involved do not care about if you get hurt, that just seems to fuel them on even more.
4. Don’t Stop
Again, like we just mentioned you have a much greater chance of being trampled and seriously injured if you choose to stop. The sheer force of large crowds all moving in the same direction is huge.
5. Get Inside
Riots will usually take place in the streets. For this reason you need to focus on trying to get indoors and off the streets.
6. Keep all Doors and Windows Locked
Whatever you do, don’t stand at your windows or door watching what is happening or you are inviting trouble. 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 in a Vehicle
If you are caught up in the riots while you are in your vehicle, you need to forget about your car and get out and get to safety. Your life is worth much more than your car and it is certainly 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
Never, ever choose a side during a riot. 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. Go in the same direction as the crowd until you are able to escape into a doorway or up a side street or alley.
9. Watch Your Step
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.
Always be aware of the type of ground that you are walking on and whether there are any hazards that may cause you to fall.
10. Keep Your Hands Up
Just like a boxer you need to keep your hands up which will act 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.
Remember, rule number one must be followed at all times no matter what is happening around you. Remain calm!
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