If you're attending a ticketed event, like a concert or game, leave a copy of your ticket and details with someone at home. If an incident does occur, they'll know how to locate you to make sure you're ok.
Don't plan on going to a crowded event alone. You should always have at least one other person looking out for you. A helping hand in a crush or a stampede can mean the difference between life and death if you've fallen or become injured.
Being in the middle of an active crowd can get hot, so drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated. This can prevent overheating and passing out if things get too close for comfort.
Clothing / Accessories
Experts suggest wearing something bright and recognizable so friends and family can better locate you.
It's also smart to bring your ID, special medical information, and if you have one, a cell phone.
Leave behind dangerous accessories like spikes and chains, as well as long jewelry and
purses which can become tangled and cause injuries.
Wear comfortable footwear, and make sure the laces are tied so you don't trip and fall. If you lose your shoes in a crush or stampede, don't stop to get them. Getting knocked down is the last thing you want to happen.
When you get to a venue, keep track of where the exits are located. In a stampede, the closest exit might not always be the best one to use.
Be aware of your surroundings like the location of first aid stations, the presence of security workers, how the crowd is behaving, and what the weather is like.
Be careful of what you're standing on. Wet, muddy and uneven surfaces can be slippery or hazardous in a moving crowd. Broken bottles, cans, and other debris are also dangerous.
Be careful walking down stairs, escalators, and hills. These are places where the momentum of a moving crowd can change, causing you to trip and fall – and be trampled.
Don't stand near or climb on temporary structures, which could collapse under too much weight.
If you can help it, don't be the first in line waiting for the doors to open. This spot can be dangerous if there's a delay and an anxious crowd starts to push forward.
A surge or stampede generates an incredible amount of energy. Experts compare it to a locomotive: once it gets going, it's hard to stop. If you find yourself in the middle don't stand still or sit down – you can easily get trampled. Keep your legs moving in the direction of the crowd, and try getting to the outside where the flow is weaker.
The last thing you want to do is fall. But if you do, get up quickly. If you can't, get someone to pull you back up. This is when having a friend nearby can be a lifesaver.
If you can't get up, keep moving by crawling in the direction of the crowd. If that's not possible, your last resort is to ball up and cover your head.
Sometimes, high energy crowds create an ebb and flow of people that could sweep you off your feet. Fighting against these "waves" will probably knock you over, so keep your legs moving, try not to fall, and take advantage of any space that may open up in front of you. If you're lucky, you may be able to work yourself to the side where the crowd is weaker.
The worst place in a surge is at the very front of the crowd against an immovable object, like a fence or stage barricade. It may be tempting to make your way up close to where the action is on stage. But it's smart to stay away. Crowd pressure here can build up quickly and be deadly. People in back will have no idea what's happening up front.
Some of the worst crowd tragedies happen at sporting events, where overselling, poor management, frenzied fans, and festival seating all create problems.
Experts say when you go to a game, watch from a seat, not the aisles or walkways where foot traffic flows. And keep away from fences, boards, or barricades where there's no escape if fans behind try to rush the field or court.
Be aware of what's going on around you, like crowd behavior, what the score is, and how much time is remaining. It might be smart to leave a few minutes early to avoid the reaction of frenzied fans.
Festival Seating Hazards / Children
Most crowd accidents happen in "standing room only" or festival style events, where there are no assigned seats. Problems like early arrivals, rushing in to claim space, crushes at gates and stage areas, and trampling are far more common.
If you're bringing small children, it's best to avoid this type of seating all together, so check your tickets beforehand. If possible, try and upgrade your ticket to general admission or reserved seating. It's usually a much safer bet.