5 Safety Tips for If You're Caught in a Panicked Crowd

By Allie Caton on May 29, 2017

No one wakes up and expects to be part of a life or death situation — and this is probably a good thing. Living life constantly expecting a tragedy to occur at any moment can keep you from taking risks and participating in life-enriching experiences. That being said, it is vital to understand what to do if you do get caught in a threatening situation such as a panicked crowd.

In the wake of the recent Manchester tragedy, it’s more important than ever to keep yourself informed on what to do in a high-risk situation. Unfortunately, college campuses are prone to stampede situations with crowded sports games, on-campus protests, and large events held in arenas. Here are five tips for if you’re caught in a stampede situation such as the one that occurred at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.


Stay on your feet

This is the most self-explanatory tip. If you are able to stay on your feet, you greatly reduce the risk of being trampled or creating a disruption in the flow of the crowd. If you do find yourself on the ground, first try to stand up. If you are unable to stand, keep your body in fetal position on your side to protect your lungs. Similarly, protect your lungs when you are standing as well by keeping your arms up in front of your chest.

Locate the venue exits upon entry

When you first get to a venue, take a few seconds to scope out the exits you see around you. The main entrance is not always the best exit! While it might be the largest exit, it will undoubtedly be the most crowded and may not be the closest or most accessible to you.

Stay away from walls

If you can, try and stay away from the edge of the crowd as to avoid getting caught between the crowd and the wall. Being against the wall puts you at a higher risk for injury and makes it harder to get to an exit. Try and stay in the middle of the crowd and away from any immovable objects like columns, fences, or walls.

Move diagonally

The best way to move forward is to move sideways or diagonally in the same forward direction that the crowd is moving. If you are being pushed from behind, there will eventually be a lull in the pressure. Use this brief lull to quickly move diagonally through the crowd as it is easier than trying to move straight forward. Stay vigilant in noticing these lulls as they are the best time to make progress towards an exit.

By Allie Caton

Uloop Writer
Allie is a creative at heart. She loves to draw and fawns over comic book illustrations and animation. She hopes to be able to use the skills she has cultivated as a Communications major to bring value to the creative industry. Her goal is to one day work somewhere where she can be around creatives while utilizing her writing and illustration skills.

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