The easiest method of surviving on the streets in a crisis is to stay off the streets. Don’t be where the trouble is. But what if you can’t stay off the streets? Here are some tips on staying safe if you need to go out.
The best thing about traveling are the people I meet. When I went to a training summit with my ad network, Adthrive, I found myself on a total of five different planes. On one, I listened to two retired Canadian politicians talk about their glory days for two hours, which was fascinating to listen to.
But the best leg of my trip, the way that seemed to be over far too quickly, was when I sat next to Brad.
Covered in tattoos and piercings, bearing an impressive beard, and big enough to be very uncomfortable in that narrow seat, he was an investigator in one of our major cities, working with police to find and apprehend the worst of the worst.
He and I talked a lot about the difference between Canadian and American cities. While we do have dangerous areas, our cities are generally safe. There are few guns and the average Canadian is law-abiding. Even during power outages and disasters, Canadians tend to be orderly and polite.
But what about during a major crisis, or if you don’t live in a safe and orderly country?
In the middle of a crisis or riot, you do NOT want to be on the streets. Even in a relatively safe country like Canada, that’s true. The news of Something Bad happening should be a signal to lock down your home and pull out your supplies, NOT go running downtown to see what’s happening.
If people are desperate for supplies, they may act in ways they wouldn’t usually. If you are accustomed to relying on law enforcement to maintain order, remember that they have their hands full managing the effects of the natural disaster or crisis.
But what if the disaster happened while you were shopping or at work? What if you are NOT at home and you desperately want to be at home? You are outside, a major crisis is happening around you, and things are getting nasty very quickly.
You must be on high alert to survive , and this is especially true if you’re a woman. As Brad said to me, no one really messes with him anymore because he looks scary.
But to survive on the streets in a crisis, even Brad needs to be careful.
Tips to Increase Your Chances of Surviving on the Streets
Minimize risks if you go out
I’m having difficulty thinking of a reason you would want to LEAVE your home in the middle of a major crisis, but if you must – know where you’re going, get there quickly and leave quickly.
This isn’t the time to park your car a block away to get some exercise. Know your route, get the job done quickly, and get home to safety. Wear running shoes, and leave cash and jewelry at home.
Prepare ahead by always having a map when you are in unfamiliar areas.
There’s that block that is ALWAYS a hot zone of violent activities? You know you shouldn’t be going there, I hope. Fools step in where angels fear to tread. Stay out of areas that are always known to be dangerous.
A few weeks ago, we were playing a survival game with our children, asking if they’d take busy streets or quiet ones in a crisis. Well, this advice is the same whether or not there’s a crisis – stay where the people are. Cross roads at intersections and stay away from quiet and lonely underpasses. (Yes, practice scenarios about how to survive with your children, including exercises about surviving on the streets when you found yourself outside in a crisis!)
If you feel like someone is following you, step into the nearest shop and ask for help or call the police. If there is no shop around, walk to the closest police station or mall where there’s security and you can get help.
Always appear confident and bold even if you’re quaking in your boots. Criminals are often looking for easy prey and wish to do crimes of opportunity so that they can get away with easy pickings.
A woman who looks like she’ll put up a fight, or a man who looks like he could make, Chuck Norris cry will not be suitable targets for them. That’s why Brad is so good at what he does – as nice as he is, he looks terrifying.
If you are cornered, and the criminals ask for your belongings, just toss your purse or wallet on the ground.
This will give you an opportunity to escape. Do not struggle or get violent. They may have a knife or gun and things could get very ugly.
Avoid gangs of youngsters
Okay, kids, maybe you’re hanging around and selling Girl Scout cookies, but I doubt it.
It’s always best to avoid groups of youngsters who seem to be loitering or congregating for no reason. They may be bored or up to some mischief or another. Mob mentality can set in and crimes can escalate real fast.
Many horrific crimes and even murders, have been committed by youngsters who were in groups. After getting apprehended, several of them had no clue why they behaved that way. Bad energy is contagious, and everyone gets carried away in the heat of the moment.
So, avoid placing yourself in such situations.
Carry a stun gun or other weapon if it’s legal
A weapon will always give you an edge in an altercation. It could be a firearm, pepper spray, a stun gun, a tactical dagger, etc. It’s best to have one on you at all times to put the odds in your favor.
Learn to use what you carry, and practice often so that you’re quick on the draw and accurate. During a high stress situation, adrenaline will be pumping through you and your motor skills will be compromised. If you’ve practiced enough, your training will kick in and save the day.
As an important note – this is not legal in all countries. Please do not put yourself into a situation in which YOU get into legal trouble for defending yourself. If defensive weapons are not legal for you, please do not use them.
Always face oncoming traffic
It’s always best to face oncoming traffic when walking along the side of a road. This will prevent snatch thefts, kidnappings, etc.
Remember these tips whenever you’re in the streets. Even during peaceful times, crime can occur, so don’t think of surviving on the streets as being something that only happens in a crisis. There are victims daily. Being alert and on guard will ensure that you’re not one of them. Stay sharp.