How to Survive When a Large Crowd Gets Out of Control

Summer brings plenty of festivals, fairs, concerts and other events across the country. Add in the fact that this is election season and many people will have a busy schedule. While these kinds of events can be enjoyable, there is also significant risk in an emergency. A dangerous incident can cause mass panic, disorientation and, in the worst cases, violence.

Being ready before you go out is the best way to make sure you not only have a good time, but also make it out safely if something goes wrong.

The first thing you should do is grab a map of wherever you’re going if one is available. That should provide you with a list of important points to memorize. Once you do so, follow these steps for your event plan.

Have a rendezvous point.
If you’re with a group, have a set place to meet in case you’re separated. You can also set a meeting point to return to if you plan to split up for a period of time. If there is an emergency, this will be the place you meet, do a head count and then leave the area.

Mark first aid and security points.
Knowing where first aid is can help reduce travel time if there’s a medical issue. Keeping a tab on where you can find security can help you in case something is lost, stolen or if you’re in some kind of trouble and need assistance.

Memorize entrances and exits.
Note which point is closest to your vehicle and know how to get there from where you are during your event. Have a backup, and memorize a simple way to get to each point for your egress.

Configure your loadout.
Pack items such as a phone, wallet, money and other daily essentials. See what is allowed inside the venue, as it could impact what kinds of defensive tools you can carry and what you’re allowed to carry things in.

Most sporting venues will not allow firearms or blades. You may be able to check a location’s policy on their website, or call ahead and inquire about what is and isn’t allowed at the event. Try to carry at least a flashlight that can double as a striker. This will give you a force multiplier and also a way to find your way through a dark building or to your car at night.

The weather will also play a factor in your preparation. If it’s an outdoor deal with a chance of rain, pack appropriate layers in a pack, unless the venue does not allow bags. This is often the case with political events.

Having your own first aid supplies on you is also a good idea. A medical kit will allow you to treat yourself and others without having to seek out help. This can be useful if there is a lot of commotion and medical staffers are assisting other patients.