How To Survive A Riot

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How to survive a riot and remain sane? Preppers, we are already facing civil unrest not only in the US but all over the world. The crowd during a protest act can lose control, which will result in violence, tear gas attacks, and looting. Self-defense strategies are vital in such circumstances. The best weapons will be your decision to stay away from the mob, but if you have no choice, it’s your responsibility to protect yourself and your family. Stay with us to learn the essentials and protect your beloved.

So, The Riot Has Started

For many of you, readers, a riot may sound like something that will never reach you or your loved ones. It seems like the unrest is a thing some newsletter came up with. It’s not real and will never hurt you. Well, I don’t want to disappoint you, but in this case, you are wrong.

Riot is a dangerous and destroying event, typical for any country when angry groups of people go to the streets and act violently towards everything they see. They crash the cars, loot the shops, hurt people.

Unfortunately, that’s the part of human nature—when they get dissatisfied, they get angry. When they get angry, they get uncontrolled. Once uncontrolled, you have to call the police forces to pacify them.

But if the riot begins, do you know what to do in this situation? Which is the best way to act to protect yourself and your family?

I am here to increase your awareness. Riots are real, and rioters are irascible. The authorities pronounce one wrong word, and things get bad. It seems like we are sitting on a ticking bomb.

You probably heard of the Ferguson and Baltimore riots of 2015 and 2014, respectively. But if these examples seem “sunk into oblivion,” the Black Lives Matter riots are really close and more than real.

Sometimes unrest can begin from something innocent, like the win of a popular sports team. Happy fans go to the streets, often drunk, and sometimes this fun transforms into a riot.

Yes, it might sound strange and unreal, and yet it is.

And because most of the riots are spontaneous, it is tough to get prepared for them. Today we will discuss the most important points about preparation.

The Nature Of A Riot

Briefly, the nature of a riot is spontaneous and uncontrolled. When many people get dissatisfied with some policy, discrimination cases, the only thing they think will be effective is to go to the streets and to shout at the authorities’ faces.

And once they see their “brothers in the spirit,” they feel confidence and support. If one rioter starts a fire, other rioters follow his/her example. This situation is hard to plan, and it’s unconscious and instinctive. If no police officers are present nearby, things can get terrible.

So, the idea is that you can occasionally find yourself caught in the middle of this rampage. In this case, you have to know how to behave to remain intact.

Avoiding The Riot

Well, the best way to get prepared for the riot is to try to avoid it. Below you can find some tips devoted to some basic and easy actions to perform if you feel “the storm is coming”:

  • Make sure your family knows that when the groups of people start crowding in the streets, they should check each other, stay close, and try to go away from these masses of people.
  • Keep your curiosity controlled, don’t stay because “I will be able to tell about this to my friends!” Bad idea.
  • Try to leave the area of problematic criminal neighborhoods.

And don’t think that knowing these simple rules is enough to call yourself a “true survivalist.” Keep practicing and preparing, learn more about some easy smart preparation steps.

Basic Preparedness Steps

Before delving into the concrete actions towards rioters, let’s revise some basic material.

First of all, sometimes civil riots can stretch out for days. It might seem unrealistic, but it already happened. I’m referring to Brussels in 2015 now. One single terrorist managed to make the local government close the subway for 5 days. People were recommended to stay at home. Can you survive 5 days with no food in the fridge? Yes, you can, but these days won’t become the best in your life.

To make sure this will never happen to you, make your own food supplies. If packed correctly, some foods can survive decades of shelf-life, so all you have to do is once think in advance and then be calm about the potential lockdown.

Knowing some basics of prepping can’t hurt, so you should better get acknowledged with them.

Not let’s talk about some specific anti-riot things and actions. First, make sure your everyday carry bag has some essential items, which will be helpful not only in the riot but in general. Here you can learn more about creating a personal get-home bag. Basically, it should better include:

  • multi-tools
  • LED flashlights
  • pepper spray
  • knives
  • lighters
  • lock picking tools.

Here are some additional things to consider carrying:

  • Portable Phone Battery
  • Mini First Aid Kit
  • Get Home Bag 

Get A Gas Mask For Civil Unrest

Mira Safety Cm-7M

I believe you have heard of gas masks already. Probably, you don’t have one yet. I strongly recommend you obtaining it because this wonderful item can protect you from tear gas. Tear gas is something harrowing and foul, and you can often run into tear gas if you accidentally find yourself in the middle of the riot.

I would also advise buying as many gas masks as there are members of your family. These devices are multifunctional—they will protect your body from tear gas and during nuclear fallout or the pandemic period (especially discussable issue nowadays).

New Pd-101

I spent some time investigating the gas masks market and found the two most popular good quality units available. These are:

  • MIRA Safety’s CM-7M Military Gas Mask
  • Parcel Distribution’s PD-101 Full Face Respirator

If you decide to get those items, I ensure you. You will be feeling protected during the riots and be calm about your loved ones. Just give them a mask, and they will be more prepared.

Know Your Neighborhood

If you occasionally run into a group of people, and it feels like the riot is about to begin, it will be advantageous to be able to navigate the city you live in. I recommend learning more about every side street if you want to survive a riot.

This is not difficult to perform, especially if you work in the office and not at home. This means that every day you have to come home from the workplace. Try to check different options, choose various paths. This exercise will help you remain not only calm if the riots begin but also be capable of finding an escape route quickly.

One more tip—try to remember the names of the streets you usually walk in. Having this information is always beneficial, especially in the riots period.

Self-Defense for You and Your Family

One more obvious answer to the question “how to survive a riot?” is making sure your family members know how to protect themselves. There are numerous issues that can serve this purpose, but the most popular ones are knives, pepper spray, maybe guns.

But before you start using them, you have to know how exactly you plan to do this. YouTube is a wonderful helper in this mission.

Check this video to learn more about how to reach your effective pepper spray in a second and how t use it properly:

Devil Juice Pepper Spray, for example, has a 3 million SHU rating. I am sure no one will even want to get it in one’s face.


This object will become your closest friend if the restless times come.

Develop Riot Situational Awareness

Don’t be overconfident or too trusting. Of course, you don’t have to spend days inside your flat being afraid to leave it. Neither should you check the pockets of everyone entering this flat.

But what you have to do is develop your situational awareness skills. Let me show you what might happen if you don’t.

Remember Cologne, 2016? The “sexual assaults” riot, which could be predicted if people had some sense of situational awareness.

First of all, migrant men were throwing fireworks. They were speaking Arabic, trying to make people be afraid of them. If people looked closely, they would notice the coming storm.

But history isn’t made out of presumptions. Now we cannot change it. But we are responsible for our future. And the effective way to prevent riots is to learn how to count on our biological human intuition.

Yes, in some sense, we are programmed this way—we can notice little things and make smart conclusions. But if we don’t practice, we lose this ability, and it becomes a problem.

This video provides some useful tips on how to develop situational awareness:

Try to imagine yourself in a critical situation. What would you do? How would you act towards the angry mob? Think carefully and keep in mind that such events are more than real.

Social media provide lots of material on riots. You can watch some videos on this topic to help your imagination. For example, this one:

In the streets, check people in the area. Do they look like they are about to hurt you?

Remember—everyone can become a potential threat, no matter what skin his/her color is or what language he/she speaks.

Of course, the best way to survive social unrest is to stay away from it. If you see violent rioters, getaway. Try to make your way and leave as fast as possible.

But, it is complicated and dangerous to go forward the crowd, walking through it. Better go with the flow, and when you get in a convenient and relatively calm place, like somewhere near the back street, go there.

If the riot caught you up in the car, stay there. The car is quite a safe place. People won’t hurt you there.

Protect your head. Don’t let others beat you there. (The best option will obviously be not to let them beat you anywhere, but still).

An exception is if you want to be a part of the riot. Suppose you want to make a political statement. In this case, you are on your own, and my pieces of advice won’t keep you safe. But if you feel adamant about participating in such sort of events, be ready for the rubber bullets and the tear gas or other things police officers prepare for the rioters.

You cannot survive a riot if you are inside of it. You are the riot now.


What About the Law Enforcement

Every country, every State, or Republic has law enforcement that serves as a shield for innocent citizens. But they don’t have rioter-sensors. If you failed to stay away from the riot and accidentally got in it, they can consider you to be guilty.

Nobody wants to be judges for the thing one did not do. And yet, you won’t have much time to explain to the police officers that you are not one of the rioters. You will have to run as fast as you can. But even if you get caught, there is still a plus in this situation—police forces will take you away from the dangerous area.

Stay in Survival Shape


This point, in my opinion, is quite obvious. No matter which “technique” you choose—to bug in or to bug out, keeping fit is important.

If you have excess weight, lose it; if your muscles are flabby, get in shape. These little things will eventually provide a means of escape if one day you find yourself in the middle of social unrest.

How To Survive A Riot: The First Few Minutes


Let’s pretend that you did not manage to escape the riot area. The police lines are everywhere, and you are in the very middle of the crowd. First, don’t start mindlessly running. Such events do not tolerate this kind of behavior. People around will get angry, and you will become a target.

How To Survive A Riot?

The essential thing about riots is that you have to calm down. This might sound impossible in the hustle and bustle of the riot. But you have to do your best to think logically and rationally.

If you think you will fail, there are some basic tips to consider and questions to ask yourself in case of emergency:

  • Are people around you standing still? Are they moving? Where?
  • Do you see the fights? You don’t want .to get in the middle of one accidentally.
  • Is your car close to the place you are at now? If it is, try to get inside, it’s safe there.
  • Can you hide anywhere? Is there anything shelter-like?
  • Do you know how to pick a lock to escape through a building?

The most significant thing about all riots is that you have to move in the opposite direction of the riot itself.

Within The Riot

You find yourself trapped inside the riot. Which way to go? What to do?

First of all, count your family members. Is everybody here? Did not you lose anyone? Try to stick together.

If you are inside the group of rioters, move with them, continuing checking the ability to turn to a side street.

Look for the place to hide in if there is no other way to go. Even a dumpster will work but don’t use it unless there are no other alternatives.

Be careful with the buildings—they might trap you just like the groups of people. Do your best to make your way upstairs, to the highest floors.


I really hope this article was useful for those people who want to feel prepared when the riots times begin. Most likely, if a riot starts, almost every newsletter will be devoted to it—hardly will you miss it.

Let me now conclude this article by summarizing the key tips for surviving a riot.

  • Avoid the riots—this is the best way to protect yourself.
  • Pack your everyday carry bag with handy tools
  • Develop situational awareness
  • Explore the territories around, so you could easily find the escape routes.
  • Don’t attract attention if you are in the middle.
  • Try to make your way out.


What Exactly Is a Riot?

A riot is an event when violent and spontaneous masses of people perform uncontrolled, often prohibited by the law actions, like looting the shops, destroying the property, shouting, and fighting. This action often has a political meaning when people want to make a political statement. They think that this is the only way they will be heard.

Why Do Riots Start?

Riots are spontaneous movements. Very often, they get violent character when a couple of rioters start a fight or set the fire. But the original meaning of these actions is different. People want to be heard by the government. They want to claim a political statement concerning different inequalities, discriminations, assaults.

How To Prepare For A Riot?

If you want to prepare for a riot, you have to remember key issues about it. First of all, try to avoid it. Second of all, pack your everyday carry bag with all necessary tools, including self-defense weapons, make sure you know how to use them. Third, practice your physical abilities—lose excess weight, train to run faster. And always keep calm!

How To Protect Yourself During Riots?

The best way to protect oneself during the riots is to stay away from them. Control your curiosity—don’t get inside the movements. You should also carry self-protection weapons with you, such as folding knives, pepper spray, probably a gun. But before using them, make sure you know how to do it!

How To Defend Your Home During Civil Unrest?

The best piece of advice here is to have a clear mind and do not panic. Once you are calm, you can make sure your home is protected. First of all, start with a fence. Rioters will have to deal with it first. If it is strong and high enough, it might stop them. Sometimes the landscape can also serve well. Then make sure your doors are stable and stay inside.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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