As America keeps changing into whatever it has been becoming during these last few years, incidents like the ones seen recently are likely to become more common. People rarely find themselves in this kind of volatile, extraordinary circumstances and often don’t know how to react. I’ve been in them more than I care to remember so what I say comes directly from years of experience, at times coming across riots, protests and especially roadblocks on daily basis, some of them more violent than others.
This is the advice I have for you.
- Lives DO matter.
- Stay informed and avoid whenever possible.
If you know there’s trouble, avoid it at all cost. Not only are you risking getting stuck for hours, you risk getting attacked and mugged as well. It just isnt worth it so take an alternative route. I didn’t use one back then, especially because I knew most of the city like the palm of my hand but get comfortable with your GPS.
If you happen to see a roadblock forming right in front of you, act fast. Sometimes you can drive around them quickly before they close in, sometimes you can make a quick U turn and get the hell out of there. In those moments, a second too late makes all the difference between making it home in 5 minutes or getting stuck there for hours, or worse. An agile vehicle is great for such situations. I learned to appreciate SUVs for their better than sedan ground clearance and off road capability. I don’t need to cross the nearest national park off road with it. But if I can go off the road to avoid the roadblock for a bit or go over a sidewalk or boulevard to do so, then yes I can appreciate that. This is why my daily driver is a Honda CR-V.
- Remain calm and stay in the vehicle.
- Move slowly.
- Do NOT stop. Whatever you do, when surrounded by protesters and otherwise angry people, do not stop. Especially if they block your view as in the photo above, keep moving. If you stop you just encourage them to pile up in front of your car. They may climb on top of it. Its easier for them to break your windows, open doors and even pull you out. The responsible citizen will keep driving at a very slow speed doing his best to slowly push people but no one can ask of you to stay in a place where your life may be at risk. Even if you accidentally hit or run over someone keep driving. If you get out to check on the protester you hit there’s a good chance you’ll get attacked and in such number your life is clearly at risk. Just keep driving slowly, get yourself to a safe area to ensure your safety and then contact the authorities to let them know what just happened.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.