One of the biggest questions I have received lately on my site is what can you do to best be safe in a large crowd. This has also been a common story on news reports, first with the Super Bowl and now the Winter Olympics.
I have given numerous presentations on the subject to groups and organizations and in some of my programs I spend hours on the subject. I also go into great detail on this subject in my book, “Tom Patire’s Personal Protection Handbook.” Now I want to uncover some of the basic information of things you should consider when in large groups.
The most important thing you need to do is be aware of your surroundings. This may seem easier said than done and to become an expert in it takes time and training. However, with these simple points, you can begin to understand what you need to do and begin to put these concepts into practice.
I am briefly going to touch on the concepts of viewing and hearing which are two of the most important senses you need to develop in becoming aware of your environment. Once you learn these, you will be ready to start learning more of what you should be aware of, which I cover in my book. For now, these concepts that I am going to point out to you are important building blocks.
Checklist for Accurate Viewing
1. Always scan from left to right.
2. Look through objects rather than directly at them.
3. When scanning your surroundings, use a glance rather than a stare.
4. Constantly change your viewing angle in order to get an all-around view of your surroundings.
5. Use a slow-moving glare to let a potential bad guy know you’re aware of what he’s doing.
6. When using your eyes to deter a bad guy or bad guest, stare directly into his eyes with a blank expression on your face.
7. When moving from the light into darkness, close one eye. This will make it easier for your eyes to adjust to the dark.
8. Never stare directly at a bright light. Doing that will only blind you. Always look down and away from the source of light.
9. Whenever possible, use reflections from windows or mirrors to give you a better view of whoever or whatever might be lurking behind you.
Checklist for Accurate Hearing
1. Control your breathing and keep your mind concentrated on what you’re doing.
2. Raise or lower your height so that your voice is pitched to the level of the person you want to hear you, or whom you want to hear.
3. To increase your “audible zone,” change the height from which you’re calling and/or listening.
4. Stand still while you’re calling or listening. Don’t try to walk and call or walk and listen at the same time.
5. Systematically change directions and height levels as you’re listening and calling out.
6. Call at least five times in one direction, then listen for at least 10 seconds, call out and listen again before changing direction.
7. When you’re listening, concentrate on the pitch of the voice you’re trying to hear rather than on actual words. You’re much more likely to recognize the tone of a family member’s voice than you are to hear what he’s saying.
Understanding these fine tuning concepts of basic senses are critical building blocks as you continue to understand how to keep yourself and your family safe in a crowded environment such as sporting event, concerts, or public transportation.
Written by Tom Patire
Tom Patire is America's Leading Personal Safety Expert®. A top selling author and keynote speaker, Tom is dedicated to educating people about personal safety. Learn more