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Crowds - How to stay safe in crowds - Crowd Events - Festivals - Demonstrations - Riots - Civil Unrest

...part of the extended info series on How to prepare your Personal Emergency Plan | this page is also accessed via bit.ly/CrowdPreparedness

Scenario: Crowd Events - Festivals - Demonstrations - Riots - Civil Unrest
How to stay safe in a Crowd


preparednessOriginally prepared for the London Olympics, the following guidance is applicable if you are entering crowded places, during crowd events, planned or unplanned, i.e. sporting events, festivals, during transport strikes or demonstrations, mass evacuations, terrorism incidents etc.


1. ASSESS and Plan Ahead of Crowded Situations

  • familiarize yourself with your wider surroundings of the event,  route, site set-up, range of exits, help & security points
  • know alternative routes on different modes of transport

2. PREPARE for Crowded Situations
  • plan for and agree on potential emergency scenarios should any of you get hurt or separated
  • prepare crucial minimal items / survival kit to carry directly on your person; i.e. pocket first aid inc burns, emergency foil blanket, light stick, indelible marker pen, tape (ie zinc oxide), para cord, water, printed maps etc
  • redundancy - resilience: bicycle helmets and other recreational gear can double as personal protection 

3. STAY SAFE in Crowds
  • calculate plenty of time, set out early, take it easy - have a great time!
  • take your crucial minimal items with you, carry a pocket survival kit on your person
  • be identifiable, especially children and the elderly; write phone numbers on inside of forearm (later remove with degreasing soap or simply let fade); have emergency contacts cards on person; carry photo of family members etc.
  • comply as instructed by public safety and health agencies and their reps
  • assist others if you can to help reduce potential congestion, disorder or panic but always consider your own safety - keep alert and focused, rest often, keep hydrated
  • save your phone battery life: text rather than call, turn screen brightness low, keep essential calls short but keep your family and friends updated. Let them know you are safe

4. RECOVER during crowded situations
  • take time out crowd events are exciting and can tax your personal stamina in many ways. It's easy to get carried away and lose track of your level of hydration and tiredness. Take time out to rest and recuperate before going on. 


thank you for sharing!


Source: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/04/30/article-2616734-1D78320E00000578-848_634x406.jpg

Source: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2012/8/12/1344793539552/Ugandas-marathon-runner-S-010.jpg


Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/berkshire/content/images/2009/08/12/reading_06_mainstage_crowd__470x300.jpg



A word on Crowded Situations and Panic

Crowds are special places. They are highly charged, emotionally intense and fully immersive environments. It is normal to feel both elated and apprehensive while in a crowd - often in quick succession which is one of the reasons why we both love and hate being in a crowd.

However, some crowd situations may trigger feelings that can quickly progress from mild apprehension to a full blown panic attack. Learn to monitor, recognize and honour your emotional state before any anxiety might turn into a full blown panic attack which may spread to those around you.

If you find yourself near panic try the following:

  •  get your breathing under control

Breathe deeply into your stomach; then breathe out slowly – make your out-breath longer than your in-breath. Repeat until you feel calm.

  • assess rationally + shift your focus

Remember and tell yourself that the symptoms you experience are caused by anxiety, it will pass and is not dangerous. This can help you feel calmer and less fearful. Shift your focus by looking at a small detail, i.e. a flower, a pebble or anything you find interesting or comforting. Really focus on the detail, the colour, the texture etc. and keep on breathing deeply and slowly. Slowly move into a more comfortable space where you can expand once more.

  • get help, find out more about panic attacks and how you can beat them


Select Resources:

NaCTSO on crowded places June2017 ; Mind.org; GOV.UK Protecting crowded places from terrorism;

Crowd Safety Management (ICCMSS; UKCMA;) ; free 63 page  PDF Managing Crowds Safely HSE; list of Stadium Disasters (Stadium Guide); 

Emotional Barometer source http://evolution-hypnotherapy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ID-10069226.jpg






Civil Unrest / Riots 

Similar principles as above hold for safety in crowds if you must venture into areas affected by civil unrest, riots or following terrorism incidents.
Safer is, of course, to avoid exposing yourself or becoming involved in the first place. To that effect consider waiting things out and shelter-in-place until the incident has passed.

Protest related deaths (Wiki); List of riots (Wikipedia) – most recent UK riots 2011 (Guardian; Mad Mobs & Englishmen?)
List of Terrorism incidents in the UK (Wikipedia)
2011 UK riots; source http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/8/10/1313007308662/london-riots-007.jpg  
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