A crowd crush or human stampede can happen wherever crowds congregate. The crowd size can be large or small from huge sporting events, concerts, or riots, or smaller venues like nightclubs, churches, subways or worse—an escalator.
A variety of factors can trigger a human stampede or crush. Something as innocent as a Black Friday sale has led to crowd crushes in places as simple as a department store. Riot police firing water cannons or tear gas can cause a crowd to suddenly converge to a compressed point resulting in a human stampede.
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Panic is the primary problem, and many situations can panic a crowd: A fire, an active shooter, flooding, or any other event perceived as a threat. History records thousands of tragedies where people have suffocated, trampled or buried under bodies as a relentless flow of people move together with no escape.
In the following video, Sensible Prepper explains how to survive a human stampede. There are 7 tips:
1. Know Your Exits
Look around you and understand your exit points. They are usually clearly marked. Most people try to exit from where they entered. Look for alternatives and understand your options.
In some instances, a venue is a temporary structure for a sporting event or concert. At those times exits won’t always have clear markings or identification. Take the time to consider your options for an exit.
2. Keep Your Arms Up
The best defensive position is with your arms up and folded across your chest. This will give you the opportunity to push out slightly so you can breathe and to give you a way to wedge yourself through the crowd. If your arms are hanging down at your side you may never be able to get them up.
3. Keep Moving
Go with the flow. Trying to go against the crush could cause you to fall. As you continue to advance with the direction of the crowd, begin to work at an angle towards an exit point you’ve identified.
The best time to make this diagonal move is based on crowd theory. Studies have shown that a crowd typically pushes and pulls and those lulls in the crush can allow you to make diagonal progress.
4. Avoid Choke Points
Chokepoints are locations where a wide area narrows down to a doorway, hallway or other narrow passage. Avoid them and look for a hidden exit around a corner or through a hidden door. If you must, break a window.
5. Remain Calm
Panic is contagious. Ask people to please move back or backup. Yelling only spreads the panic.
6. Higher Ground
One of the greatest dangers is falling to the ground. When someone falls it creates a vacuum that is soon filled. Look for anything that can get you up and away from the crowd. If you drop your wallet or purse, leave it. If you do fall, assume a fetal position on your side and protect your head with your arms. Don’t lie on your back or stomach.
7. Don’t Lose Your Humanity
If someone falls, try to help them up. Remember, woman and children first. The more people help each other, the more others will get the idea and help to resolve the problem rather than make it worse. If you apply these principles and remain calm you will most likely survive a crowd crush or human stampede.
Watch the video below for more information.