We live in an uncertain world. It seems like every day there is a news report regarding a demonstration that took place. While many demonstrations are peaceful, they can also turn violent. An angry mob of people is no more fun to deal with than a natural disaster such as a flood or a tornado. In fact, thousands of people are injured or even killed in riots every single year. It’s important to not only be aware of what demonstrations are taking place and where, but also how to safely bypass them should the need arise.

The first step to bypassing a demonstration is to be aware of your surroundings. If you know you’re going to a riot-prone area and there is no way to avoid it, some easy preparations may prove to have a life-saving impact.  By expecting the best but preparing for the worst, you’re more likely to keep yourself and your family safe. Demonstrate awareness by becoming more familiar with your area. Whether it’s somewhere you’re just visiting or an area of town you frequent, take time to study the surroundings as best you can. Take note of different routes into and out of the area in case you need to make a quick exit.

The second step to bypassing a demonstration is to take control of your emotions. As humans, we’re emotionally charged beings. Demonstrations can bring out a lot of anger and other severe emotions. If you find yourself in or near a demonstration that is taking a turn toward the negative, bypass it by keeping your own emotions in check–and walking away. Often we’re programmed to try to help or diffuse a situation, which is not wise. Just avoid potential confrontations by simply keeping your head down and walking calmly toward the nearest exit route.

The third step to bypassing a demonstration is to drive your car appropriately when you find yourself near the demonstrating crowd. This means that you should remain in your car, driving calmly rather than stopping or pulling over to assess the situation. Try to avoid main roads that are likely to be occupied by additional demonstrators. Always remember that you, as a driver, are in the position of power should someone approach your vehicle or try to block your exit. Keep your cool, honk your horn, and continue to roll forward until the individual gets out of your way. Be firm, not aggressive, when driving near or through demonstrators.

The final step to bypassing a demonstration involves staying informed. In today’s world of social media, news can be made available to the masses very quickly. Pay attention to your social media feeds if you are near (or going to be near) an area with a demonstration. If you know people in the area, ask for tips on what streets to avoid altogether. By being informed you can not just avoid a demonstration, but also survive one that begins to get out of control.

No one likes the idea of finding themselves in the middle of a demonstration. The most important thing to remember is to remain calm and level headed. There are plenty of ways that you can bypass a demonstration, which will not only protect you, but also your family