Soccer games, parades, even Christmas Festivals have, in recent years, unfortunately shifted from carefree family fun events to moments of concern. With what seems like an ever increasing likelihood of everything from runaway vehicles to shootings, it’s more important than ever to take a few precautions before arriving at a crowded, loud, event filled with thousands of strangers.
Here are some of our top tips on how to stay safe at a crowded event:
1. Plan ahead: Before attending the event, research the venue, the event layout, and the parking or transportation options available. Plan your route in advance.
2. Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that will not only keep you comfortable and safe throughout the event, but allow you to move comfortably if the day gets longer or something unexpected happens.
3. Keep your valuables safe: Crowded events, where people are bumping in to one another, are prime opportunities for thieves to snatch valuables. Keep your phone, wallet, and other valuables secure by carrying them in a bag that you can wear across your body or in a front pocket. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and credit cards, and only bring what you need for the event. If it’s critical to carry valuables, make sure they are kept in different locations and not in one single pocket or bag. It’s worth mentioning as well to dress down if possible. Wearing bright, flashy clothes will only attract the wrong kind of attention when thieves are looking for a valuable target.
4. Stay hydrated: It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a crowded event and forget to drink enough water. However, dehydration can cause serious health problems in any temperature, but especially in hot weather. Carry a refillable water bottle with you and take regular breaks to drink water. You may feel fine at the moment, but there’s always the potential that something happens and you won’t have water again for an extended amount of time.
5. Stay aware of your surroundings: Keep an eye on the people around you and be aware of any potential dangers. If someone is acting suspiciously, report them to event security or the police. If you feel uncomfortable in a particular area of the event, move to a safer location. Don’t allow yourself, or your loved ones, to find themselves in too-tight of a situation where they are unable to easily move. Many times, if an emergency happens, the reaction can cause as much, if not more harm due to trampling, suffocation, and other dangers.
6. Stick to well-lit areas: If you're attending a crowded event at night, stick to well-lit areas and avoid dark alleys or corners. Stay in areas where there are plenty of people around, and avoid isolated or deserted areas.
Stay with a group: It's always safer to attend a crowded event with a group of friends or family members. Stay together and keep an eye out for each other. If you get separated, arrange a meeting point in advance. As a precaution, make sure your communication devices have ample battery and service so you don’t find yourself out of comms with the rest of your group.
7. Follow event guidelines: Follow the event guidelines and instructions given by event organizers and security personnel. These guidelines are put in place to ensure the safety of all attendees. If you see anyone breaking the rules, report them to security or the police.
Events are meant to be fun, memorable experiences, and they can be. By following these tips, you can enjoy the event while prioritizing your safety. Have fun, but always stay vigilant!