Civil Unrest!

Outside's guide to surviving everything

Police Barricade

Police Barricade     Photo: Truth Leem/Reuters

The Forecast: Keeping on top of all the uprisings around the world is a full-time job (see: Cooper, Anderson). Though the Arab Spring grabbed all the headlines, unrest pops up everywhere. In the past year, Jamaica, Thailand, the Ivory Coast, and even the United Kingdom have seen riots.

Stats: 2,300—the number of U.S. citizens evacuated from Egypt last January. 73—the number of people killed during the 2010 Jamaica riots.

Worst-Case Scenario: Being caught in a violent protest. According to AKE, a British security firm that trains CNN’s foreign correspondents, if you’re suddenly engulfed in a crowd, don’t stand there ­gaping—run away from the incident until you can find a side road, hotel, or police station. The best strategy for dealing with civil unrest is situational awareness: before entering a country or city, you should know the political landscape and whether the authorities are trustworthy. Memorize the location of a reputable medical facility and the U.S. consulate. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place in case you lose your documents, and know your way to the airport or nearest border crossing if things get truly hairy.

Smart Play: A heavy leather jacket is stylish protection against rocks and other projectiles. A polyethylene baseball cap insert, like the Vulcan Bump Cap ($6.20;, turns your lucky Orioles hat into a discreet helmet.

From Outside Magazine, Aug 2011 Get the Latest Issue

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