How to Survive Post Election Riots
Fingers crossed, regardless of who prevails, people will keep their cool.
However, 2020 being what it is, today we have our doubts about how the people will react. If you live in an area that has experienced civil unrest in the past, or if you live in an urban area, or would just like to make sure you have some knowledge about how to deal, let’s have a look at some things we can learn about being amongst civil unrest.
Stay at home people. Although a simple suggestion, if your main priority is to keep your family safe, then it makes sense to prepare NOT to hit the streets after the election results.
Make sure your home is stocked with the obvious preps: food, water, sanitation, first aid, prescription medicines. At a minimum, you want at least 2 weeks supply but ideally, if possible, have 3 months supply in your home.
Check on your home security – doors, windows secure as possible. Perhaps look at installing a security camera or extra lighting around your home.
Consider items for self defence. Whether you have a firearm or not, it’s sensible to think about how you might defend yourself and place it at an appropriate place in the house.
Have cash at home.
Dealing with Civil Unrest
If for whetever reason you find yourself in the thick of it, here’s some good advice to help keep you safe.
Regardless of whether you decide to take part in a protest or are a simple bystander, it’s super important you keep an eye on your surroundings. Crowds can build quickly and although the people in front of you are perfectly peaceful, a large crowd can hide pockets of violence.
Know the crowd – notice where various sections of people are in the crowd and the potential danger spots:
- People vs Police
- People close to barricade
- People vs buildings
- Opposing people vs people
Try to move to the perimeter of a crowd and even better if there is elevated ground – head towards that. Being able to see what’s going on is a huge advantage.
If you do get caught up in a large crowd, try to blend in, look for groups of women and peaceful protestors and stay near them.
Don’t fight the crowd if you are swept up in it. Just try and never end up in the middle. That’s often where violent outbursts can happen.
If you do have attention from the police and end up arrested follow these basics:
- DO NOT resist.
- Follow instructions politely and quickly.
- You can choose not to consent to search but Police may pat you down if they suspect you are carrying a weapon. However, if you have nothing to hide, it might be easier to get it over with.
- You may ask to call your lawyer.
- You should not lie or give false documents.
- You do not have to talk – you have the right to silence.
- Ask if you can please leave. If told yes, make sure you leave.
In Case of a Stampede
Ok let’s go to one of the worst-case scenarios – a panicked/ angry crowd gets out of control and people start to charge and you’re stuck in a tightly packed crowd.
- Try not to panic. You will think clearer if you can keep your head.
- Immediately take a ready stance with your arms up (a bit like a boxer but your arms are there for protection and keeping your breathing space.
- Keep your centre of gravity lower than usual in a well-balanced position and shuffle your feet when moving into another position – your main aim is not to fall over and so try and keep both feet in contact with the ground.
- Do not fight against the flow and definitely don’t stop moving, but look for open pockets and move into them.
- Try to steer well clear of barricades and walls as you don’t want to get pinned.
- If you do get knocked over, try and immediately get up but if not assume a curled up position on the ground with your hands clasped around your head. You are less easy to trample and will keep your breathing space protected.
- When you’ve cleared the crowd, disperse immediately and get to safety.
Return home as soon as possible and communicate with family and friends of the danger.
Stay at home and stay informed of what’s going on in your local area. Think of some ways you can be better connected with your neighbourhood online.
We hope desperately that there are no riots and civil unrest after the election this year, but if there is hopefully you are a bit better prepared to deal with it.
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