How to Survive If You Find Yourself in an Overcrowded Space


How to Survive If You Find Yourself in an Overcrowded Space

The Seoul Halloween celebration-turned-crowd crush left us questioning our surroundings. Today it was a narrow street, tomorrow this can happen in temples during festivities or at shopping complexes. Overcrowded spaces can turn from fun to fatal in a matter of minutes. Especially at unticketed events, the mob surge can go uncontrollable, risking unnumbered lives and causing injuries for a lifetime. 

This article talks about how can you avoid getting stuck in bursting spaces and how to survive if you face such a hazard. 

How Dangerous Can an Overcrowded Place Become?

Earlier, it was believed that only elders and children suffer the strongest brunt of crowd crush. However, the most recent Seoul tragedy proves that people of all ages, including youngsters, are as vulnerable as the weaker section. Continuous exposure to crowded marketplaces, events, or even housing can leave lifelong health problems with the survivors, like:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia and acute respiratory infections
  • Infectious diseases
  • Poor mental health, and
  • Poor heart health

How Can You Prevent Getting Stuck in an Overcrowded Space?

A presence of mind and timely action saved many people from getting stuck in the Seoul crowd crush. Here are the things you must be mindful of when entering any event or celebration:

crowd management

Check the Crowd Safety Arrangements

Without any safety plan, an open or standing-only event lacks basic security checkpoints, fire exits/extinguishers, and electrical installations. With no official supervising crowd density, these loopholes can turn fatal in no time. So, as soon as you walk into an event, take a look at the security arrangements.

Mark the Exit Points Throughout the Venue

Even if the security is well in place, the crowd can turn dangerous if there aren’t enough exit points. Especially during a fire emergency, lesser exit points can lead to a disaster. Thus, always avoid closed-vicinity events with fewer exits than needed. Also, stay close to any exit if you notice the upsurge in the gathering and stuffiness in the space. 

Mind the Space in the Crowd

Events and gatherings become dangerous when there are more than 5 people per square meter. While it may be difficult to know the crowd density once you are part of it, you should consider a confined space as a warning sign. Your exit alarm should start ringing when you notice people moving through the crowd’s force. 

Listen to the Sound of the Crowd

Another important warning sign is the crowd itself. While paying attention to people’s voices is hard – especially during a concert – you should take note of complaints of discomfort, dehydration, and nausea. That’s your signal of leaving the crowd which is now turning airless and suffocating. 

4 Life-saving Things to Do When Stuck in a Crowd Surge

A mob can turn as ugly as you may find. If you find yourself jammed in a mob, here’s your life-saving checklist:

Cover up Your Chest

Your upper body is the saviour that you must protect. When pushed by the crowd, try to stand like a pole, with your arms folded against your chest. This will give space for your heart and respiratory organs to breathe. 

Move Diagonally, Not Against the Crowd 

Don’t stand immobile, as this too can suffocate you to death. Start flowing with the crowd but maintain your folded arms while breathing slowly. Most importantly, experts advise moving diagonally within the mob to reach its edge. Yet, don’t force too much energy into fighting back the crowd as this can exert the body and cause dehydration. 

If you Fall, Lie Sideways

You must never bend down to pick up fallen items when stranded in a tight gathering. This mistake can cost you your life with higher chances of you getting crowd crushed. Yet, even if you do fall down, try to remain conscious and save your chest by lying sideways. Also, try to protect your head and chest from reckless trampling.

The Final Word

Nobody jumps into a mob willfully. Yet, if you ever land in one, try to stay aware of your surroundings while planning the worst-case scenario before the picture turns ugly. Also, you must avoid tagging along your elderly parents and children to a crowded event, as they are the most vulnerable. Opting for comprehensive health insurance can support you to bear the injury expenses while ensuring a quick recovery. Remember, crowd crush is unsparing for everyone, so prioritise your health wisely.

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