Tuesday, November 02, 2004

How to Survive a Riot

Just in time for the post-election:


You're vacationing in Cap Haitien, Haiti, when you hear a commotion outside your hotel. Thinking it's some kind of festival, you step outside ready to party. Uh-oh! This is no celebration--it's a riot. What should you do?

Remain indoors.
Stay away from the windows. Listen for reports on the radio or television. If you believe the crisis is out of control or threatens your life, plan to leave the country quickly. Determine the best route to the airport or embassy, and leave the building through any safe exit.

Exit away from gunfire or mobs.
Select a way out that is not easily observed. Exits could include windows, ductwork or the roof.

Leave as a group.
You are safer with company, especially if you have to dash across an open area such as the front of a building, a wide street or a plaza. Gunmen will have multiple objects to focus on, not just one, and will not be as likely to make a move.

Do not run.
Unless your life is in imminent danger, walk. A person walking is harder for the eye to detect--the human eye can quickly sight someone running. Running also can generate excitement--people may chase you. If you must travel by car, be prepared for evasive maneuvers.

Drive on back streets, not main roads. Do not stop for anything. Remember, the car can be a useful 3000-pound weapon that even a mob cannot stop. If you cannot drive forward, drive in reverse. If a Molotov cocktail (flammable liquid in a glass container with a lighted wick) hits your car, accelerate--it may burn out as you gain speed. If not, you'll be driving a hot rod.

If you encounter roadblocks, be prepared to bargain your way to safety. You might have to give up everything you are carrying in order to get away. Offer cash first, personal belongings (watches, cameras, jewelry) second. Abandon the car outside the embassy or airport.

via Popular Mechanics


Posted at 07:11 AM in Science | Permalink


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