Dealing with crowds

As I write this, news reports are just now filtering in about the explosions at the Boston marathon. I can only imagine how chaotic the scene must be. I pray those injured heal quickly and that the person or people behind the explosions are caught soon.

Being trapped in a panic-stricken crowd can be deadly. Here’s what to do.

The first order of business is to get out of the crowd. Trying to fight your way in the opposite direction is a recipe for failure. Instead, move across the crowd. Walk at an angle, moving toward one side of the group. If you are with family or friends, lock arms to try and stay together. Holding hands may not be sufficient. Small children should be carried if at all possible.


If you stumble and fall, do everything you can to get back to your feet immediately. If this proves impossible, curl up and cover your head with your arms to protect it.

Once you reach the sidelines of the crowd, keep going. If possible, head down side streets that may be less traveled. If there are storefronts, consider ducking inside and ask to use the back door to get away from the crowd.

Don’t stop moving until you get far away from the crowd. Then, assess any injuries and make plans for how to get back home.

Published by

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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