If you live in a large city, the risk of a riot is always present. Riots can be triggered by many reasons, from rowdy festival goers, the aftermath of a big game, , dissatisfaction with a verdict or official actions, and many others. Even people who are lawfully congregating or holding a peaceful protest can unintentionally be swept up in a riot.
How do you prepare for a riot?
There is no telling when a riot can happen. Because of the unpredictability, it is not one of the risks that people really think about when preparing for a disaster. But there may be ways to avoid getting yourself or your family hurt if one erupts in your vicinity.
- Consider the possibility. Never think for a minute that this won’t happen to you. If you live in a city, it can happen.
- Stay calm. If you start seeing things escalate in a crowd, resist the urge to panic.
Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Don’t be one of those people who are tethered to their phone and never look up.
- Listen to the news and know what’s going on before you venture out.
- Scope things out, even when things look normal.
- Know all the exits wherever you are.
Avoid the area
- Don’t be a lookie-loo. A lot of people get curious about what’s going on, and instead of avoiding the area, they will be tempted to go check it out, drawing them closer to the line of fire.
- Resist the urge to take pictures.
- As soon as you become aware of something developing, start moving in a calm, orderly fashion. You would not want to stumble and get trampled
- Move in the same general direction of the flow of traffic, until you can veer off to a safer area. Moving against traffic will be much harder, attract attention, or make you a target.
Don’t attract attention
- Keep your head down
- Do not get involved. You may agree with one side or other, but if you are trying to keep yourself or your family safe, now is not the time to get caught up.
Stay close to your companions
- Kids can easily get separated from their parents in a riot. If you have kids with you, keep a tight grip on them. You may have to carry the smallest one. In shopping malls, have seen parents doing a fast walk with kids struggling to keep up behind them.
- If you are with others, try to stay close or within earshot of each other.
Items to have on hand
- Have cash and change at all times so you can arrange for transportation if you can’t drive or get to your car.
- Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your car or in your office.
- Many stores shut down if they are in the middle of an afflicted area. Have a week to two weeks worth of food and water in your home, same as preparing for any disaster.
If you are driving
- Know alternate routes home – it would best to avoid main roads and instead take side streets.
- Lock your windows and doors.
- Watch out for pedestrians – there may be a lot of people milling around or trying to stop traffic.
- Always keeps your gas tank at least half full – you don’t want to have to stop for gas at the worst possible moment.
- Have extra food and water in the car, along with a survival kit.
- Leave as soon as you can or you may get caught in a traffic nightmare.
Sometimes, trouble can erupt around you. The key to staying safe is being mentally prepared, and knowing what to do.