Humans may be civilized. But in many ways, we’re still just pack animals. And there’s one thing pack animals do in a panic: stampede. Should you ever find yourself in a human stampede, you need to know how to get out of it unharmed.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. In times of panic, people rush. That can’t be helped. It even can happen in excitement, like with Black Friday sales and celebrity sightings. And oftentimes, people get hurt in that rush. There are stories of people even dying after being trampled. While you can’t expect to stop a stampede, there are things you can do to keep yourself safe while you navigate out of the rush.
Find an Exit
Stampedes happen more often in closed areas like buildings and alleyways. If you want to escape, you have to find a safe escape route. Look for doorways or paths along the sides of the “danger path.” This is easier if you practice making mental maps into a habit.
If you can manage higher ground, that’s even better. Large groups naturally resist inclines and rises in height.
Arms to Your Chest
Stampedes are crowded. So much so that you might actually find yourself without enough room to even raise your arms. This will leave you defenseless. As soon as you can, raise your arms into a defensive position against your chest. This will allow you to reach up and out if you have to. It also will allow you to push outward if you find yourself struggling to breathe.
Go With The Flow
If you try to move against the “current,” you’ll likely find yourself exhausted and even further from your goal. If you’re not careful, you might even get knocked over and stepped on. Instead, go with the flow and move sideways, much like in a real river current.
Stay Calm and Mature
As soon as you lose composure and lash out, you become another person in the stampede. Remain calm and don’t hurt anyone.
Follow this advice and you should manage through even the most unruly crowds.