Guide to Surviving Civil Unrest and Riots – 11 Rules to Follow


This guide to surviving civil unrest is meant to give you some insight on what to do if you find yourself caught in the crossfire of a riot. With a sad heart, we have to admit that riots are now common occurrences in 2022. More often than not, they’re not even considered important enough to be announced on national TV. That’s just how common they are now.

With that said, riot safety is now a very major concern for a lot of people. At times like these, it’s extremely smart to have an action plan ready for any of those uncertainties.

police stopping a riot

Here are 11 rules to follow to ensure your safety and survive civil unrest:


Surviving Civil Unrest – Rule 1: Always Stay Informed About the Happenings


First and foremost, ensure that you’re always watching the news. On the news, you’ll find indicators of any growing antagonism or hostility. You’ll also find if there’s another disruption or a problem in a certain area or neighborhood.

Also, start monitoring social media as frequently as possible. At these times and this age, social media is a huge part of a lot of people’s identities. Certain social media apps like Twitter can sometimes deliver news even faster than regular news.

Local governments, as well as local emergency services, usually have social media profiles, in addition to contributions from traditional media and other people. These profiles offer up-to-date and trustworthy information from a reputable source.


Rule 2: Make Sure You’re Well-Stocked on Proper Gear

AOKIWO 200Pcs Emergency Survival Kit Professional Survival Gear Tool First Aid Kit SOS Emergency Survival Kit with Molle Pouch for Camping Adventures (Black)…
  • Exclusive 200 PCS Survival Kit - Uniquely customized by U.S military veterans, our survival kit includes 28pcs emergency survival gears, 16pcs medical supplies, 10pcs fishing tools and 4 in 1...
  • Top Quality Survival Gears & Approved First Aid Kit - Includes the most popular survival necessities: military knife, saber card, tactical pen, 3-mode tactical, multi-function paracord bracelet...
  • Molle System Compatible - The EMT bag was made of military grade 1000D nylon which is durable, portable and water-resistant, its small size and large capacity, the size is 8” x 6.5” x 6”,...

It goes without saying that being prepared with the right gear on you at all times is extremely essential and smart.

Some of those essentials naturally include food, water, and, of course, first-aid supplies. But there are other things you should also invest in, these include:

  • Flashlights
  • Disposable batteries
  • Satellite radios
  • Gas masks
  • Cash
  • Toiletries
  • Outdoor survival kits
  • Any needed medical prescriptions

Try to stock up on those items and have enough of them for 3-4 days. Watch the news closely to check if the situation is getting out of hand and whether or not you need to stock up on the items even more.

Garmin 010-01879-00 InReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Orange
  • Small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator enables 2 way text messaging using the 100 percentage global Iridium network (satellite subscription required)
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required). Display size-0.9 x 0.9 inch
  • Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app and compatible devices

Rule 3: You and Your Family Come First


Helping people is a great thing to do, but in these uncertain times, helping others comes last if it’s going to be at the expense of your safety and the safety of your family.

A general guideline is that, if you can help other people, you should definitely do it. Especially if they’re elderly, children, or defenseless women.

Also, never trust anyone you don’t know, and never let down your defenses around people you don’t know. Always proceed with caution around people you don’t know.


Rule 4: Evacuation Must Be Planned Well


If you live in a location where riots are likely, you should plot out an escape route using apps like google maps. It’s preferable to be prepared so that you will know exactly what to do in the event of an emergency.

You should be prepared to evacuate the area if need be, and you should know how to put your evacuation plan in effect swiftly and securely.

Consider including an escape route that’s drivable, as well as another route that’s suitable for safe walking.


Rule 5: Never Get Directly Involved in the Situation


If you’re away from home when a disturbance occurs, take immediate action and come home. When coming home, stay away from areas where there are huge rallies or demonstrations and do not participate.

Make sure your family understands that when large groups of people begin to swarm the streets, they should check in with each other, stay near, and attempt to avoid these crowds.

Hold your enthusiasm and keep it in check; don’t remain for the sake of gloating to people afterward that you were caught in the crossfire of a riot and you managed to survive. That’s not a smart decision.


Surviving Civil Unrest – Rule 6: Keep Identity Documents Handy

Redify 2 Pack Passport and Vaccine Card Holder Combo - PU Leather Passport Holder with Vaccine Card Slot, Travel Passport Wallet for Women and Men, Family Passport Cover Case (Blue, Wine Red)
  • 【Lightweight And High Quality】:This 2-in-1 passport and vaccine card holder combo uses PU leather and rock solid design, Waterproof and easy to clean,will safely protect your documents...
  • 【Exquisite Design】:This ultra slim passport case with vaccine card slot has been custom made to perfectly fit both your passport and vaccine card.The vacinatation card holder is crafted...
  • 【ApplIcable Group】:The passport holder with vaccine card slot is a great accessory to keep your passport book and vaccine card waterproof protector organized and safe during travel,...

You should always have identity documents on hand, like your ID and passport.

Identity documents will come in handy in the event of you getting detained for whatever reason. They’ll also come in handy if you’re alone and unconscious, God forbid.


Rule 7: Learn First Aid Skills

First Aid Only 298 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Emergency Kit
  • Kit Includes: Adhesive fabric and plastic bandages, antibiotic ointments, BZK antiseptic towelettes, burn cream packets, aspirin, ibuprofen, gauze roll and pads, wound closures, cold pack, and...
  • Convenient Packaging: Fabric case with clear plastic pockets for organization and easy access to first aid supplies in an emergency
  • Compact and Spacious: Two separate layers with individual compartments make retrieval easy and quick. Soft sided, zippered case great for travel and on the go use

During times of unrest, there’s a reason why “street medics” exist. It’s generally up to the people to take care of themselves in these scenarios.

first aid skills CPR

In some severe cases, if a patient is unable to receive basic first aid care as soon as the situation needs it, their condition will rapidly deteriorate.

Having learned first aid skills, you’ll be able to stabilize a patient until medical help arrives. You’ll also learn how to utilize common home objects as tools if you don’t have access to a first aid kit, allowing you to deal with a variety of emergency situations.


Rule 8: If Forced to Evacuate, Don’t Carry Unnecessary Stuff


It goes without saying that carrying unnecessary stuff is often very hindering, especially if said stuff is on the heavy side.

Try to limit the things you take in the event of an evacuation. Narrow them down to the essential stuff only.

Try not to wear flashy jewelry because where there are riots, there are muggers. Wearing jewelry, even fake ones, will create more issues and might sometimes put you in danger. Consider placing jewelry in a secure place before evacuating.


Rule 9: Have Gas Masks Ready

15 in 1 Full Face Respirator,Anti-Fog Respiratory Supplies Wide Field of View,Suitable for Spray Paint, Coating, Chemical Industry, Welding
  • 【One】The full face cover and strap fit most head sizes and are designed for tight and comfortable wearing. It can be used to prevent a variety of harmful vapors and particles, and it has a...
  • 【Two】Double tank type, low breathing resistance - Compact appearance, low profile design, keep the wearer's vision broad. The exhalation valve opens with a wide range, and exhales more...
  • 【Three】Large lens for wide field of view. The cartridge and the filter cotton are easy to install and disassemble, and the soft gasket can ensure air-tightness.

Gas masks; we’re sure you’ve heard of them. You most likely don’t have one yet. We definitely advise you to get one, for you and your family members.

Tear gas is a terrifying and unpleasant substance that you might come across if you happen to be caught in the heart of a riot. Having a gas mask handy can help you avoid the dangers that tear gas poses.


Rule 10: Get Self-Defense Lessons For You and Your Family

SABRE Pepper Spray, Quick Release Keychain for Easy Carry and Fast Access, Finger Grip for More Accurate and Faster Aim, Maximum Police Strength OC Spray, 25 Bursts, Secure and Easy to Use Safety
  • TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS: SABRE is the #1 Pepper Spray brand trusted by police and consumers worldwide, including New York PD, Chicago PD, and U.S. Marshals; Made in the USA
  • 2X STRONGER: 4 out 10 violent crimes involve alcohol use by the offender - our maximum strength Pepper Spray is strong enough to use against a goal oriented attacker under the influence of drugs...
  • 5X MORE PROTECTION: 42% of crimes are committed by multiple assailants - this pepper spray has 25 bursts and a true 10-foot (3m) range delivered in a powerful stream from nozzle to the target's...

Making sure that your loved ones know how to protect themselves is another clear solution to the question of how to survive a riot.

Knives, pepper spray, and maybe weapons are some of the most common items that can be used for this reason.

Basic self-defense, on the other hand, may go a long way. It’s all about knowing how to defend yourself and think clearly under pressure.

It’s about gaining the confidence to deal more effectively with events that could otherwise be beyond your control.

Self-defense lessons are available readily on the internet. YouTube is a fantastic ally here. Also, you can invest in in-person lessons at a self-defense academy.


Surviving Civil Unrest – Rule 11: If You Ever Get Caught in the Crossfire, Try to Blend In


That is, blend in with the nonviolent spectators rather than the rioters themselves.

It’s a human tendency to pick on people that stand out, so if you’re yelling, hurling bricks, situating yourself apart from the others, or doing anything else that makes you stand out, you’re painting a bullseye on your back.

There are three types of people in a riot: rioters, police, and nonviolent onlookers. While making your way to safety, you want to blend in with the “nonviolent onlookers” group and avoid being involved with the first two groups.

riot in the street

Surviving Civil Unrest – Conclusion


In today’s social setting, knowledge on surviving civil unrest is vital!

Maintain a cool demeanor and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Get out of there as soon as possible, and don’t do anything that would make you a target of police enforcement.

Riots are frightening events that can quickly spiral out of control, but if you follow the guidelines above, you’ll be far more likely to emerge unscathed from a riot!