When a crowd takes on a collective consciousness and starts wreaking havoc and destroying property, this is what we call a riot. And it seems that the bigger the mob, the lower its IQ. A crowd of people may rightly start out peacefully protesting a legitimate issue, but once its numbers swell things tend take a bad turn. Cars get flipped over, businesses get looted, and fires burn in the streets. Riots are scary events to be sure, but they are also survivable events, assuming you make the right moves. Regardless of where the riot occurs or why the people are upset, there are a few tricks you can use to get out of harm’s way and ride out this storm of civil unrest.

Stay Informed
Information is your best line of defense when dealing with a surly crowd. You need to find out why the riot has happened, and stay informed of where the situation is occurring. Flipping on the television or your radio can provide you with some current local news, but that information can also be biased and outdated. The violence and size of a riot are sometimes downplayed by the authorities and the media in a logical effort to keep it from escalating with a fresh insurgence of rioters. For more info, you can also check various forms of social media. Twitter and the like can provide local intel, however anything posted to social media should be taken with a grain of salt. Whatever form of news you consume, use it to find out where the rioting is happening and why.

Fly Under The Radar
It’s always best to keep you distance from an unruly mob, but if you do get caught up in one, do your best to blend in. Whatever issue has upset the people, just go with it. Chant the slogans that they chant, and say the types of things that you are hearing said around you. Don’t stick up for the opposition unless you’re trying to get a beating. Tell them what they want to hear. If they have their faces covered, pull your undershirt up over your nose and blend in. But ditch the disguise as you reach the edge of the event, you don’t need peaceful folks or law enforcement personnel getting the wrong idea about you.

Get Out Of Dodge
If you find yourself in the middle of a riot, make your way to the edges where the press of people is thinner, then find a course that leads you away from the angry crowd. Just make sure that your route is passable. Also be very careful not to get pushed up against a wall or fence where you could be trapped or even crushed by the crowd. Find a safe and quiet spot to shelter outside the area of rioting, and wait for the hysteria to die down. While waiting, if disturbances get louder or closer—or you smell smoke—find a better place to hide.

Ever been in a full-scale riot? Tell us your story in the comments.