Posted Sept. 22, 2016
CHARLOTTE — As the situation in Charlotte continues to escalate, one fact is certain: Wherever there is a high population area, you’re going to have a high chance of people not getting along. In this case, there have been dozens of arrests, accompanied by a taxpayer-paid visit from the National Guard. Protesters even tried to throw a photographer into a fire.
Whether the issue stems from race, politics or economic status, there will be times when tensions in cities reach a critical boiling point — and it’s during such times when the average, peace-loving folks like us should take measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Here are three tips:
No. 1 – Avoid flashpoints.
When certain densely populated areas become a cauldron of human rage and anarchy, that’s when “groupthink” begins to take over. Groupthink is the loss of reasoning in individuals – when they adopt the mentality of the crowd  that they’re a part of. As the psychology website alleydog.com explains:
A good way to define this term is to tell you how Irving Janus (the main researcher on this topic) describes it. Janus (1972) said that groupthink is “a deterioration of mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment that results from in-group pressures.”
This is one reason why it’s absolutely crucial for individuals to take cover and stay out of sight for the duration of the riot — especially during the hours that curfew is in effect. Obviously, you’ll want to keep away from downtown areas, but also, it’s best not to come within blocks of businesses, either.
You’ll know where the rioting has reached a fever pitch wherever there is looting, as this is an invaluable indication of where law and order has been temporarily overturned; places where consumer goods are concentrated tend to be magnets for looting. Also, it’s best to keep away from places that sell alcohol, because A), this is probably not the best time to be attending happy hour, and, B), alcohol will attract and enable the dreaded groupthink amoeba.
No. 2 — Gather your valuables and necessities.
If you currently live within blocks of the rioting, then you’ll want to consolidate, hide and protect your valuables and necessities. It’s really anyone’s guess as to what the groupthinkers are going to do and where the riot virus will spread, which means that it’s best to prepare for the worst BEFORE the anarcho-festivities engulf a street near you.
With that said, you should make sure that your home is on lockdown, your windows are shut, and any entrances to your residence are secured. Draw the curtains (or even board up the windows if you have the time), so that any peaking inside your residence from the outside is impossible. Next, let’s suppose that groupthinkers will breach …
You should then secure your valuables (jewelry, most of your loose cash, checkbooks, most identification and important paperwork, most of your medications, and expensive electronics. I’ll soon explain why I emphasized the word “most”) by getting them in a safe or lockbox. However, whether you have a lockable compartment or not, you’ll want to get these valuables out of sight to a place that cannot be quickly identified.
This might also be a great time to install a camera inside your home which covers the entry points to your residence.
No. 3 — Prepare to escape.
Now that your valuables are secured, you should start getting your bugout gear together (if that’s not already done). While I’m not necessarily going to discuss what should be in your 72-hour pack, I will say this: Do you remember how I emphasized the word “most” in the last pointer? Well, you’ll also want to gather enough cash, paperwork and IDs, and medications that will get you by for a few days in the event that you have to leave. Also, make sure you grab some water and food, just in case you end up in the nightmare scenario of getting trapped for a length of time.
Once you’re feeling fairly confident that you could have your group evacuated within roughly 2-5 minutes, then it’s time to ask yourself an honest question: At what point should you actually leave?
Once you’ve put your bugout trigger in place, then you’re not going to deal with the mental conflict of the old “should I stay or should I go” syndrome. This also will keep arguments among your own small group at bay, especially if everyone agrees on the trigger in advance. The point is simple — limiting confusion is crucial in these scenarios.
What NOT to Do
Ok, this part is extremely important, so read closely …
DO NOT put on your tactical gear, and if you’re carrying a weapon of any kind, make sure that it’s well concealed. Not only will your tactical vest attract the attention of the groupthinkers (because it could make you look like law enforcement, which is bad), but this is also going to attract the attention of the authorities (because they might think you’re impersonating law enforcement, which could be worse).
During this scenario, the authorities are still in relative control, because they still possess superior firepower, communication and tactical organization in comparison to both the rioters and innocent folks.
So just be smart, keep a small profile, and you’ll be most likely be left alone.
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