How to Escape from a Riot

Living in the big city, it is a good idea to think ahead and plan what you would do in the event of a riot.  You never hear about riots out in the wilderness or farming communities, since riots occur where crowds gather.

We were living in Los Angeles when the 1992 Rodney King riots erupted, resulting in six days of arson, looting, beatings and murder.  A couple of innocent drivers who were stopped at intersections were pulled from their trucks were severely assaulted.  The rioting did not end until the California National Guard and marines came in to stop the rioting.

Mr. Apt Prepper was driving through one of the intersections were widespread looting was occurring.  He witnessed multiple individuals breaking store windows, and running out with TVs, stereos and other electronics.  It was not being called a full riot yet, but at that point he immediately changed lanes and turned off the main intersection and took side streets home.  A route that would have normally taken 20 minutes, turned into an 1 1/2 hours as he kept avoiding main streets.

This experience has taught us that riots can break out anywhere, and anyone can find themselves in one.

The ideal course of action is to stay away from the area at all costs.  But it may be unavoidable, if it erupts on your way back from work, near your home or place of employment.  A few ideas to keep in mind, should you find yourself in the middle of a riot.

  • Stay calm.  Do anything you can not to panic, as this will cloud your judgement and hamper you from escaping.
  • Wherever you go, be aware of your surroundings and always identify the closest exits.
  • Listen to the news, look at social media to see if there are any indications where the  riot is going on.

If you are on foot:

  • If you are on foot, keep your head down, and look inconspicuously as possible.  Avoid eye contact and walk quickly away from the rioting.
  • Don’t run, as you may trip or be mistaken for a rioter.
  • Don’t stop as you may get trampled.
  • Have cash with you in case you have to ride the bus or catch a cab to get you out of the area.  Your “daily carry” items will come in handy
  • Don’t get distracted by what you may be witnessing-your main goal is to get out of there.
  • Even if you may be sympathetic to one side or the other, don’t take sides and find yourself involved in the riot.  There are other ways to show support.
  • Try to take shelter in a safe building away from the riot and looting – most riots happen out in the streets.

If you are in a car:

  • Lock all your windows and doors.
  • Leave sufficient space between your car and the one in front of you in case you need to change lanes quickly.
  • Learn all the routes out of the city.  Knowing the side streets back home helped Mr. Apt Prepper get out as quickly as possible.
  • Keep you gas tank at least half full (a good habit to have anyway) so you are never in a situation where you are desperate to stop for gas

If it is in your neighborhood

Just like preparing for any emergency, you need to have a minimum of a week’s worth of water and food.  Grocery stores and shops all remained closed for five or six days in the neighborhoods affected by the L.A. riots.  Many stores that got burned never reopened.

Just like natural disasters, riots are survivable.   But you must plan ahead, stay aware and stay calm.

For more preparedness tips, read my book:

Good ideas for building a food storage plan can be found here:

4 thoughts on “How to Escape from a Riot

  1. on surviving a riot, was thinking about this with the wife
    i have a feeling if Obuma does not get reelected this will be happing,
    my wife an my self are both taking Nov 7th off an will be locked down an locked an loaded, just in case an see what plays out

    • Hi Dave, Not a bad day to take the day off. Best way to stay safe is to avoid crowds. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Hi Dave,As a middle age black male.I believe if Mr. Rommey wins this election we as americans should respect the position that he holds in the greatest respect.I still can’t imagine why anyone would want to harm this man because he running for this office .He’s a human being first created by God and deserve respect and honor for the position he’s going for. I pray that people will by more rational when this election is over and show respect to whoever will be our next President. Thank you for your time and effort for this wonderful website. may God continue to bless you and all people of the world.

    • Hi Harry, I agree, hopefully people will be rational and use common sense. There is never a good reason to be violent. Thanks for the comment.

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