How To Be Safe in Large Crowds

With the tragedy that took place at OSU this past weekend and Black Friday only weeks away, it’s very important to know how to stay safe in large crowds. I’m not quite sure there was much anyone could do about a drunk driver plowing into a large crowd of people, but moments before the incident there were probably some tell-tale signs that something was not right.

The holiday shopping season is no different. Apart from the thrill of getting your loved ones something special and sincere, it’s also a race against time. In other words, there will be large crowds and potential danger. It’s understandable that nobody wants to jinx the holiday spirit by making negative assumptions, especially when it comes to shopping, but with big crowds there is always some manner of risk. Whether you’re single or a parent, take these tips of crowd safety to heart.

Tips for Individuals

– Pay Attention to your Surroundings:

Your eyes and ears are the senses that will serve you best in “large crowd” situations. The first thing you should do is take note of your surroundings. For the most part there will be security guards stationed at certain areas and there will also be several exit points. Before you start shopping, make a note of where the guards are stationed and the pathways to all the exits. In case something should happen you’ll know exactly where to go.

– Secure your Wallet or Purse:

One of the biggest dangers when it comes to large crowds is the threat of being mugged. Now, it goes without saying that a purse is not the ideal accessory to have in this situation, but if you can’t go without it then keep it close to your body. If possible, hold it near your stomach where it’s always visible. In terms of securing your wallet, keep it in your front pocket. As a side-note, don’t use an ATM. Either get your cash before you head into a crowd or use a card to make payments.

– Respond Quickly:

If an alarm goes off or your sixth sense tells you something isn’t right, don’t ignore it. Respond immediately by following the exit points you’ve established earlier. In case a fire breaks out simply sink down to the floor and crawl along the wall. It’s important that you stay away from the center of a crowd if something happens, because it’s much safer and you’ll be able to move more quickly.

Tips for Parents

– Bright Clothes

It might not always be the most stylish choice and your kids may not like it, but if you know you are going to encounter a crowd then dress your children in bright clothes. You want to be able to spot them quickly.

– Make Contact Information Easily Accessible

Dino Brontosaurus: One line of customization
Don’t depend on your children memorizing your telephone number. Instead, place a tag around their wrist or write the number with a permanent marker on their arm. If I am Lost tattoos are also a great idea for young children.Β Also, don’t let their clothes or accessories display their names. Statistics show that strangers who know a child’s name have a better chance of winning their trust. Inform them to either go to a security guard or another mother if they get separated from you. If your child doesn’t have a cellphone then consider getting a two-way radio they can use.

– Establish Landmarks

It’s important that you establish a landmark or familiar spot where your child should go in case they get lost. However, they should never go to the parking lot, because this is a very dangerous place. For extra safety, take a picture of them before you start shopping. If something happens and you lose sight of them you don’t have to run around and describe how they look. Simply show security guards the photo.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to get anxious and overwhelmed within a large crowd, but these are the feelings you need to control. The last thing you want to do is lose your head when you need it the most. Make the necessary preparations and assess the possible risks, because you’ll enjoy your shopping a whole lot more when you feel ready for anything.


20 thoughts on “How To Be Safe in Large Crowds

  1. Useful post. My wife dislikes large crowds, and on the few occasions when we have unexpectedly gotten caught up in a crush of a crowd here in NYC she has bordered on hyperventilating, so we go out of our way to avoid those situations now, but if we feel like it is a possibility, or if it is just a large moving crowd and we feel like we may get split up we always quickly assess the situation-“See that bank on the corner…meet me there if we get separated.” With us both having phones it becomes easier, but I like that we take a minute to assess a situation just in case the phones don’t work or some other reason with a practical solution.
    Thanks for the reminder with the holidays approaching Tasha!

    1. Yea, I don’t care for large crowds either. Living in NYC I imagine you guys run into large crowds on a regular. It’s great that you guys decide beforehand where you will meet if you get separated cuz those phone batteries tend to die at the most inconvenient of times!

      1. Precisely why we do it. In general we avoid those areas or events where big crowds are likely to be, but it has happened on occasion that you walk into a crowded scene. Sometimes we just backtrack and work our way around it. But just like the point of your post, it is useful to ‘think’ about these scenarios beforehand.

        1. Absolutely! Sounds like you have a lot of first hand experience with this! I certainly appreciate you sharing your nuggets of wisdom concerning this subject.

          1. One last thought from me, related to what I said in my previous reply. Their was one episode of the animated show King Of The Hill where Hank, the main character was confronted with a potentially dangerous situation. On the show his character is sometimes a little too uptight for his own good, even though his intentions are always good. In the particular episode he is being talked at by a person of authority and he says, “go ahead, I have mentally rehearsed several different talk through scenarios in my head.” It seems rather silly on the one hand, but on the other, it completely makes sense to do things like that.

          2. Great point Robert!! I agree with you, it does make sense to mentally prepare yourself for different situations and scenarios. That way, you have more than just one option at hand. This was yet another good example you’ve provided and it’s very much appreciated!! πŸ˜€

  2. Tasha, again another very informative and practical post on a topic that is so important, but most of us don’t think about until it is too late. With your tips and ideas here, we can talk about them with our family and be more prepared IF something were to occur. You are doing a great job in helping us be protected by being proactive. THANKS! Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

  3. I love this, I do get a bit anxious when there are large crowds, and I’m pinning this to remind myself. Hopefully if I know what to do I won’t be so stressed when I’m at the mall, or a busy street. I do watch my purse, usually I stick my license and credit card in my front pocket and then leave my purse in the trunk. This way I don’t have to worry so much. Great tips for those with small children too, thanks so much, this post can help so many!!

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