How to stay safe at crowded events

Your prepping and survival skills can help you get through tough times, such as when you’re lost in the woods or you’re dealing with a long-term power outage. But what do you do if you’re forced to confront an armed attacker on your way home from work? (h/t to

Self-defense tips for crowded events

Life is unpredictable. Even if you know self-defense, immediately surrendering your valuables to a mugger is the best course of action.

Surviving a knife attack

When a thief with a knife confronts you, assess your situation as calmly as possible, and try to create some distance between yourself and your attacker.

There’s no shame in running or hiding if you need to. Your priority is to escape the threat, especially if you’re unarmed. (Related: Your survival depends on how aware you are of your surroundings: How good is your situational awareness?.)

You may be risking your life if you try to fight someone with a knife. When the attacker demands your bag or money, give it to them immediately so you may have a chance of walking away unharmed.

Try to observe the attacker’s hand and eye movements for any behavioral cues. Stay calm and don’t agitate the person. If they try to talk to you, treat them respectfully. You may be dealing with someone who is high on drugs or they may not be in the right frame of mind. The last thing you want to do is offend them or force them to attack you.

When you get the chance, call 911 immediately for assistance.

However, when the attacker has more harmful intentions in mind, like rape or murder, fighting back may be required.

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If you decide to fight back, here are two things to remember:

  • First, distract the attacker and isolate their weapon. You can do this by pretending to drop your bag or wallet as you hand it over to them.
  • Second, as their eyes follow your dropped bag, reach for their weapon. Be quick and grab the hand holding the weapon. Aim strikes at their face and eyes as you torque their weapon hand until they are forced to drop it.

Aim for your attacker’s weaknesses, like their eyes and groin. If they pin you to the ground, bite down on any exposed flesh that you see. There are no rules when your life is in danger, and aggressiveness may be your best weapon if you’re unarmed.

Surviving a vehicle-ramming attack

While these kinds of attacks usually occur in Europe, it’s possible that criminals may attempt them here in the U.S. Even though U.S. Law enforcement set up concrete pillars or barriers adjacent to stadiums and concert venues to prevent these occurrences, it’s better to prepare for them anyway.

Pay attention to the road and the cars around you. When you’re waiting in traffic, observe the people passing by.

If you notice a driver acting suspiciously, know that they could be an attacker who commandeered a vehicle to hurt or even kill innocent bystanders. As stated in the tips for surviving a knife attack, you need to get out of the way.

Call 911 for further assistance if necessary.

Surviving a follow-home robbery

Criminals who attempt follow-home robberies usually target mall shoppers. To avoid being a target, shop with a group of friends or with family.

When you leave the mall after making an expensive purchase, do not show it off. Hide your new gadget – be it a phone, laptop, or other electronic device – in a plain shopping bag before you exit the mall.

Don’t dilly-dally. Walk directly toward your vehicle with your family or friends.

Don’t be a victim: square your shoulders, walk confidently, and smile. Inexperienced thieves won’t target you if you’re paying attention to your surroundings and looking at them in particular.

Act and feel empowered. As you drive away in your vehicle, check to see if no other cars are following as you exit the parking lot. If you see someone suspicious following your car, call 911 for further assistance.

Make sure your cell phone is fully charged at all times, especially since you may need it to call for help during these emergency scenarios.

When forced to confront an attacker, surrender your belongings so you can live to fight another day.

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