In any dangerous situation, the last thing you want to do is stand out from the crowd. Attackers, thieves, and other people who would do you harm need little reason to target a person, and often the only reason behind who they target is that the person stood out to them. Instead of being the person who draws the attention of people like this, you’ll want to be the one who blends in and survives.
Listed below are a few of the top ways to do just that.
1. Don’t Wear Your Wealth
The last thing on earth you want to do in a disaster scenario is to broadcast your wealth. Once a mob mentality kicks in, otherwise law-abiding people begin to see disaster situations as an excuse for robbing and looting. Don’t give them any reason to think they’d have a lot to gain by holding you up.
At the first sign of trouble, you’ll want to ditch the Rolex and designer clothes and don something a little more ordinary.
2. Don’t Wear Bright Colors
Even if you are wearing cheap, unremarkable clothing that says nothing about how well-off you are, you will still want to avoid wearing bright colors for the simple fact that bright colors draw attention, and drawing attention in a disaster situation isn’t a good thing.
3. Hide Your Supplies
If you’re fortunate enough to have a stockpile of supplies, make sure you keep them well-hidden. Don’t talk about them, and definitely don’t store them in a place where they can be seen. If you do, you’re inviting robbery. Here are some places you can hide your food, and here’s where to hide your valuables.
4. Be Careful What You Put in Your Garbage
Lots of people may think to hide their supplies, but many of those same people overlook what they put in their garbage, which is a dead giveaway to would-be thieves about what you own. When discarding the packaging of your food and other supplies, be sure to do so in a way that either destroys it, hides it, or leaves no evidence of who it belongs to.
5. Avoid Responding with Violence
Violence incites more violence, and it should always be a last resort. Sometimes, you may be left with no other option but to defend yourself. If possible, though, you should always try and deescalate the situation. Not only is de-escalation usually safer, it also helps you keep a low profile.
6. Cut Back on Personal Hygiene
It may not be comfortable, but it’s a good idea to avoid washing your hair and face in a disaster situation. Most people aren’t going to be clean and well-groomed in situations such as these, and those that are will stand out.
7. Try and Lose Weight
In tougher times, body fat is a sign that you are well-off. If you’re a naturally slim person, blending in will be a little easier, but if you’re not, you may want to consider trying to shed a few pounds.
8. Act Like You’re Supposed to be There
In a disaster situation, your demeanor is key to blending in. While you will want to be casing your environment and taking stock of your surroundings, doing so should never make you look shifty or on edge.
Instead, act like you’re supposed to be there, like the situation is just like any other ordinary, dull situation. Acting in any other way not only draws attention, it may lead some people to think you are a threat.
9. Be Quiet
Being quiet is simple and obviously necessary in dangerous situations, yet so often people do the exact opposite. They’re wired up and emotional, and this causes them to be vocal, which makes them stand out.
In a disaster situation, you’ll want to be as quiet as possible, avoiding conversation if you can and definitely avoiding attention-getting behaviors such as yelling or crying.
10. Stick to Crowds
To avoid standing out from the crowd, figuratively speaking, don’t stand out from the crowd, literally speaking. Predator instinct is to pick off the stragglers, and standing off on your own away from the crowd is a sure-fire way to make yourself a target.
Note that this only applies when you are already in crowds of people such as waiting in line for food and water. If you can get somewhere away from the crowds you should, but when you are forced to interact with large groups of people, take up location in the midst of them rather than outside the group.
11. Move at an Average, Normal Pace
In a disaster situation, your adrenaline will be running high, and you may be tempted to move at a rapid pace. Don’t. Moving at a rapid pace will only draw the attention of everyone around you. It may cause you to be seen as a threat, or it may cause people to think that you’ve got somewhere better to be than where you currently are—in which case they’ll follow you.
Instead, move at a normal, unremarkable pace everywhere you go. Here’s what to do if you’re caught in a riot.
12. Hide Your Lights
In a disaster situation where the electricity is out, lights coming from the windows in your home not only make you stand out, it also shows that you have some kind of alternate power source that many people may want to steal. Especially at night, you’ll want to hide the lights in your home either by blacking out your windows or hanging up a blanket.
Just be sure to take the blanket down when the sun rises, or else people will notice it, and, once again, you’ll stand out.
13. Keep Your Tactical Gear in Storage (For Now)
If you’re like most preppers, chances are you have enough tactical gear and military surplus to outfit a small army. Yet the last thing you want to do in the initial stages of a disaster scenario is strap on bulletproof vests, kneepads, and bandoliers.
These kind of things are valuable, but they should be kept hidden until the situation escalates to where blending in is no longer an option.
If a fight comes, be prepared, but don’t dress like you are looking for one. Try to be a “gray man.” If you’re interested in learning more about this concept, check out this video.