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Monday, February 14, 2011

Riot Safety Tips

ATHENS - DECEMBER 18:  A protester prepares to...
Isn’t it interesting that each citizen of the world feels as if they are somehow different than other citizens of other countries?  I overheard a woman in the grocery store talking about the riots in Egypt.  She couldn’t believe that the Egyptian citizens are defying their government and purposely “egging” this situation on.  And then I heard her say that this would never happen in America.  I wanted to shake her back to her senses!   Apparently, this woman was from another planet.  She must have forgotten about the African American civil rights march and the riots that broke out, or the L.A. riots, or surely she must have seen the rioting on television during Hurricane Katrina?  Or even the Greek riots that happened last year? 

It does not matter what nation you live in, no one likes the idea of not having basic human rights to serve their basic needs.  The Egyptian riots begain over bread lines.  If you think this will not happen in America, you are sorely mistaken.  Food prices are rising exponentially.  It is only a matter of time before Americans reach the boiling point.  A person will do whatever is necessary to protect their children and their loved ones.  In every country around the world there has been riots concerning this very issue.
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. — Ecclesiastes 1:9
Perhaps I should agree with that woman at the grocery store.  Because, we are different in the respect of culture, traditions, and even spiritual beliefs, but our similarities are what binds us together as a race.  Many of you have already heard of Maslow’s heirarchy of needs.  Ingrained in each human is a desire to care for ourselves, our family and those we love.  When one’s personal rights are taken away, a person’s anger rules their actions and their thoughts.  They defy government, because the government is the one that took those freedoms and rights away.

Staying Safe During a Riot

Fortunately, riots for the most part are peaceful, but when human rights are a centerpiece for the protesting, it can and typically does turn violent.  No matter how much a person wants to stand up for a cause, a riot is not the place to do so.  Just typing in the world “riots” into google images shows you what you would be up against if you were caught in a riot.  It is no place that I would want to be.
Stay inside.  Your voice will not be heard in an angry mob.  Stay inside until the riot subsides.
Keep away from windows.  Because riots can turn violent quickly, it is best to stay away from windows. Bricks, trashcans and other heavy surfaces can be hurled into the windows, thus creating medical problems.
Stay calm.  Remaining calm will keep you as clear headed as possible.  Maintaining rational thoughts will keep you from panicking and helping you find the safest escape route.
Find an exit.  Looking for the nearest exit that is safe to take is what your thoughts should be focusing on.
If a person is caught outside when a riot breaks out, your main priority is finding safety.  Staying away from the angry mob is the goal.
Be prepared.  Though riots are often difficult to predict, if you are traveling in an area that is a known place of civil unrest, there are certain things that you can do to keep yourself safe. Wear clothes that cover all of your exposed skin, and that fit in with the local dress. When a person blends in with locals, it is easier to escape.  Rioters can be unpredictable, and you may be the target for violence if you stand out as an outsider.
Have an escape.  During a riot, it’s important that you get as far away from the rioting crowd as possible. If you are in an area that you know well, this may be easy for you. However, if you are in an unfamiliar area, you may have a bit more difficulty. Before traveling to an unfamiliar area, it’s best if you have a general idea of how to make your way around the area without attracting too much attention.
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