How to Survive a Stampede

The sad news of 36 dead in a stampede during a New Year’s eve celebration on Shanghai’s Bund set my wife and I into ritual motion to locate family and friends, wishing them a happy and safe start to the year. A city we deeply love is in mourning.

The coverage from Shanghai Daily includes a helpful article, How to Survive a Stampede. Some of the tips are common sense, such as scouting out exits in crowded places. Some are not intuitive and can save lives:

3. Try to stay on your feet and keep your hands up by your chest like a boxer – it helps to protect your chest.

4. Divert pressure to your side. When pressure is applied to the body in a front to back direction, people won’t be able to breath. Survival rate is higher when the pressure is applied on side, because rib cages protect the ability to breath.

See the full list, here.

Over Christmas I reflected on travel safety. ISIS and broader religious-fueled terrorism has upended the travel map in many places. Everyday risks remain and should not be overlooked.

There are Good Samaritans everywhere, however a traveler in a foreign country in a foreign language is at a disadvantage of information and ability to communicate, and should always be alert. This is why I follow my ‘3 Ds Rule of International Travel’ rule: don’t be drunk, drugged or debauched, especially when you don’t speak the language or know the legal system.

Our thoughts are with those lost, and hopefully those saved in the future.

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