Stay safe in large crowds with these tips
The travel alert issued by the US government warns that terrorists are most likely to strike populated areas or public transport systems. But unless you’re going to cancel your trip abroad (and at home), you’re going to have to be in those places. Here are some tips for staying safe in a crowd, whether it’s on a packed train, a sports stadium or Times Square.
Know where the exit is
Just as you should always know your exit route on a plane or in a hotel room, when you’re in a crowded space, know your way out. It’ll help you go in the right direction should anything happen, but it’ll also help to dampen those feelings of claustrophobia when things get really clustered.
Stay on the edges
Unless you really, really want to get up close to the stage/speaker/center of the action, it’s wise to stay on the edge. That way, you can beat a hasty retreat, and you’ll also reach the public transport or carpark faster, making your journey back quicker.
Keep hold of your belongings
Pickpockets love crowds so don’t get so caught up in what you’re there to see that you lose your possessions. Never put anything on the ground and keep bags close by.
Time it carefully
You can make a crowded situation a lot more palatable if you time it carefully. If you’re using public transport in a major city, stay away from rush hour, when things will be at their most uncomfortable. If you’re heading to an event, arrange to get there a little earlier or later than it’s scheduled for, to avoid the crowds. And if you’re at a tourist attraction that’s always busy, try and go for a time when it’s slightly less packed.
Keep in contact with your group
Yes, you can split up and keep in touch by phone or text, but remember that in big crowds at major events, often the sheer number of people trying to use their cellphones can jam the networks. So either stay together, or settle on a meeting place at a certain time in case you do get separated.