Studying preparedness/disaster scenarios has been a part of my life for the last 15 years, and I try to apply to my everyday living as much as possible. The more I study disaster scenarios, the more my dislike grows for large crowds. But every once in a while, I find myself in them and put my preparedness knowledge into overdrive.
Recently, I was given tickets to a sold out concert that my daughters wanted to go to, and as much as I don’t like crowds, I bit the bullet and decided to take them. In a 6 hour period, I applied the knowledge learned from my understanding of situational awareness, bugging out, and mob mentality.
- Prep ahead of time. The closer we got to the concert area, the more I began to see questionable persons wandering around. I made sure to be aware of my surroundings and what people were around. Further, before we parked the car, I made sure to fill my gas tank before it got dark and had flashlights in my purse in case the parking lot was dimly lit.
- Traffic – The traffic going to and from concerts is very reminiscent of bugging out of population dense areas. Everyone is driving towards one area and many drivers will be unwilling to let other drivers in. Therefore, be prepared going into this situation and have a well defined plan with maps and alternative routes in place. Also, as many who have bugged out the cities know, driving confidently is your best course of action.
- Teenagers = mob mentality. Teenagers are still children and do not understand the dangers they put themselves or others in. At this concert, there were small groups 5-10 teenage girls running at full speed through the concert halls trying to find their seats. They could care less about the other people in front of them. Further, there was a point when a large group of people ran in a direction to where the band was getting out and then large mobs of teens came running towards the area – it reminded me of the running of the bulls. It’s common sense to just stay clear of the area that is being rushed by hundreds of teens. Read more about how to avoid being in a mob situation.
- When in a packed crowd, the underlying thought is to push through it – no matter what. This need to push through is a natural reaction to feeling trapped and wanting to escape, after all, when there are hundreds of people shoulder to shoulder with you, your anxiety levels increase as a result. What makes this a dangerous situation is the more people push the more agitated and out of hand a crowd can get, thus increasing one’s chances of injury. The best thing to do is go to the restroom or find an area where the crowd is not gathering.
- Protect the weaker members. Creating a barricade so-to-speak around the weaker members of your group will help protect them from a rushing mob. In my case, I took lead and guided my younger daughters as a friend’s 12 year-old was in the back making sure the children were alright.
Large crowds of people amass at many different types of events: concerts, theaters, outdoor festivals/gatherings, rodeos, etc. I never imagined using my prepper knowledge at a rock concert, but it certainly came in handy. I believe that being prepared is more than storing beans, bullets and band-aids – it’s a way to prepare yourself for going into everyday situations; to think about the worst case scenarios and being ready for them. Because of my dislike for large crowds, I made sure to prepare for the unpredictability of them.
What ways have you used your prepper know-how in everyday life situations?