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  • Maddie Cohen

4 Strategies to Stay Safe in a Stampede or Crowd Crush

With festival season right around the corner, it’s important to acknowledge what to do in a stampede.


A stampede, or crowd crush, occurs when the number of people exceeds the capacity of the space during a live event. When a surge of bodies moves in the same direction, people can collide and fall on top of each other. This is extremely dangerous. It can happen both indoors and in outdoor settings, so be vigilant.


Here are four ways to stay safe in a stampede or crowd crush:


  • Keep standing.

Staying on your feet will reduce your risk of being trampled. Try to move with the crowd rather than against it, and aim to keep standing even if you feel like falling over.


  • Use gestures and eye contact.

Rather than flailing or screaming, plan to use gestures to communicate with others. Point or wave if you feel like you’re in trouble. Even eye contact can signal that you need help.


  • Conserve your energy.

Your instincts may tell you to scream or try to physically escape the crowd. Instead, conserve your energy. Keeping your hands up by your chest will help protect you as well.


  • Accept help from others.

The last thing most people want to do in a crowd crush or stampede is get even closer to strangers. However, accepting help from other people—even just grabbing onto an extended hand—can help.


Another option is to ask people to crowd-surf you out of the surge. If you feel uncomfortable before the stampede or crowd crush gets too dangerous, this simple request can get you back to safety.


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