Preparing For Civil Unrest
Riots can erupt for many reasons: political, economic, social, racial or religious conflicts. While it’s hard to predict when you might find yourself caught in the middle of civil unrest, there are usually indicators and warnings that demonstrations or riots are about to happen. If you are able to identify early warning indicators, such as a large gathering of unruly people or police lines being established, get out of the area immediately. Large unruly disturbances can be just as dangerous as natural disasters. Oftentimes, rioting leads to looting, vandalism, and destruction. Just as you take precautions and prepare for natural disasters, you can be prepared to safely get out of civil disasters. View our Civil Unrest Checklist.
In Your House
If you are unable to evacuate the area and are trapped inside your home during an undesirable situation, ensure you have a family emergency kit, family communication plan, an evacuation plan, and a means to provide security for you and your family. Lock your doors and windows, and move to a safe area of your house. This area should be away from windows and provide protection from rioters.
If you find yourself outside and caught in the mob, stay calm and hide in the open by becoming the “grey man.” You don’t want to bring any unwanted attention to yourself. Remove and conceal any easy-to-see valuables such as flashy jewelry and watches. Do not try to walk in the opposite direction of the crowd. You may get blocked or knocked down and possibly injured. It is safer to walk with the group and peel off into a side street, alleyway, doorway, or building at the first opportunity.
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