The recent Black Friday sale saw a few incidents break out. There were bomb threats, shooting incidents, and fights between shoppers. There were probably cases of shoppers being pickpocketed or mugged. You also can’t discount the fact that some got hurt from so many people rushing to grab stuff. This is why you should be extra careful and know what you need to know to survive Black Friday shopping and Cyber Monday sale, as well.
If the above examples are not enough to deter you from braving the crowd at malls and stores, maybe the fact that at least twelve people have died during Black Friday shopping will. According to the Black Friday Death Count website, there have been 12 deaths and 117 injuries from 2006 to 2018.
This gruesome figure includes two people shot dead last year, three more including a man helping a woman who was being beaten up were also shot dead in 2016, and another two shooting casualties at a Toys ‘R’ Us store in 2008. In 2011, a man collapsed in a Target store and was ignored and stepped over by shoppers. Three other casualties, one in 2013 and two in 2012, died in car crashes after going on a Black Friday shopping spree.
Perhaps the most disturbing Black Friday death was that of a Long Island Walmart temporary employee who was trampled to death in 2008. More than 2,000 people rushed inside the store after the sliding glass doors gave in to the weight of the rowdy crowd. Jdimytai Damour, who was 34 at the time of his death, was one of 6 to 10 workers pushing back on the glass doors. The workers were run over and Damour sustained fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead an hour later.
Back in August, a man in a red mask started a stampede in a Houston mall after jumping on a table in the middle of the food court and announcing he was going to kill himself. The young man didn’t push through with his threat but the possibility that he could be carrying a weapon or bomb was enough to make people run for their lives.
While it seems like the incident was just a prank, people could have been hurt from the stampede. The same can be said with hoax bomb threats. In Camillus, New York, a Walmart store received a bomb threat on Black Friday and was evacuated. A day before that, the Walmart store in Whitehall Township, Pa., was also evacuated after someone called in a bomb threat.
It takes very little for a crowd to go into panic and start a stampede. As you can see in the video below, a special sale on oven toasters and other items is enough for people to go into riot mode.
The best way to be safe during Back Friday is to stay at home and shop online like the 54% of U.S. consumers as reported in the video above. If you didn’t get what you wanted on that day since many websites bog down from the deluge of online shoppers, there’s still Cyber Monday, which is purely dedicated to online transactions. Those who prefer to see the actual items before purchasing them can still do so as long as they’re extra wary of their safety.
Leave the Children, Elderly, Handicapped, and Pets At Home
Take a good look at the video below. Now imagine that you are among the throng of shoppers and you have a little child with you. Scary isn’t it.
Did you notice the little child at 3:38 of the video? It’s shameful what the other lady did. Still, it’s irresponsible to bring a child that small to a sale. They’re not an extra pair of hands for your shopping spree. They can easily get hurt and are less likely to survive Black Friday shopping gone wrong.
Just leave them at home where it’s safe. The same goes with the elderly and handicapped. Leave your pets at home, too. Most, if not all, stores don’t allow them inside anyway. Also, don’t leave anyone in the car. It can get dangerous when it gets hot.
Keep Your Valuables Safe
You should already know by now to keep your valuable as close to your body as possible. Avoid placing your wallet in your back pocket. Put inside your front pocket so you can easily know if it’s still there or not. You can also hide it in your inside coat.
Avoid bringing a bag and keeping your valuables in there. This can easily be dropped, lost or grabbed from you. Also don’t wear any jewelry or watch.
You also need to keep your valuable information safe. Many thieves steal identities to steal money. These criminals often use a device to read your credit card details and use it to steal from you.
The SafeWallet RFID Shield Credit & Debit Card Blocker by Frog & CO will keep you from being victimized by these lowlifes. The protective sleeves, made from space age alloy, are currently on sale at Frog & Co, formerly Survival Frog. A pack of four normally sells for $9.97 but is now available for only $6.98.
Get them now so you’re protected for years, especially during future Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
Aside from your wallet or purse, the only valuable you should have on you is your phone. You’ll need it to call for help when you are hurt or in trouble.
Assign A Meet-Up Point
If you’re with a group, especially with your family, designate a place where you’ll meet up when you get separated. Each of you should also have a phone so you can call one another. Make sure your phones are fully charged. In case you forgot to charge before leaving home, you can use a portable charger.
The QuickHeat Rechargeable Hand Warmer with Portable Power Bank by Frog & CO is pretty handy during these cold days. It helps you keep warm and lets you charge your USB device. Its rechargeable battery takes two hours to charge and will last ten hours.
The EasyPower 6-in-1 Emergency Car Escape Tool is another option for your charging needs. It’s a powerbank, USB charger, window breaker, seat belt cutter, and dual flashlight in one small yet pretty useful tool.
This should be pretty obvious but there are people who let their emotions get the better of themselves. Getting into a fight over a TV set is never okay. In fact, it’s pretty childish. You don’t know if the other person or group you’re fighting with have a tendency to get physically violent. Worse, there are shoppers who come packed.
In 2012, a line cutter sucker punched a man after he objected to his actions. The latter pulled out a handgun and the former hid and left. The man had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and was released. As for the idiot who cut in line, he’s probably still thanking the stars he’s still alive.
Two men were not as lucky as Mr. Line Cutter. In 2008, two women started fighting inside a Toys ‘R’ Us store. Their male companions also started quarreling leading both men to pull out their handguns, fire and kill each other.
Even if you get out of your Black Friday fight alive, you still don’t want to be caught on video and be known as the lady who got stun gunned because of fighting.
Survive A Stampede
Your best bet to survive Black Friday shopping and the potential stampede is to be prepared. On the days prior to the sale, walk through the store and make a mental note of where the exits are. Going for the main exits can be risky as everyone else will be heading there thus creating a chokepoint and more pressure. Art of Manliness suggests looking for hidden exits.
Determine which areas will be safe to hide in case the crowd gets too unruly. Look out for chokepoints like doorways and bridges, as well. These are the places to avoid.
Another key to surviving a stampede is not to panic. Stay calm and focus on how to get away from the rampaging crowd. Try to remember where the exits and safe areas are.
Go with the flow. It’s easy to think that you need to go against the direction of the crowd to get away from them. This is a big no-no. The crowd is likely too strong and you won’t be able to overcome it. Just go with the direction of the crowd and keep up with the pace. Don’t stop even if you drop something and make sure you don’t kneel.
Try moving to the side while going in the same direction as the crowd. Go on a zigzag pattern until you find an exit or an immovable structure where the crowd will part giving you a small space to stay or hide until the stampede is over.
While it’s true that you can be trampled to death, the more common cause of death during stampedes is the lack of air. Give yourself some breathing room by putting your arms up in front of you like a boxer. This should create a little space for your to breath.
When you fall try your bet to get up. If that’s not possible, curl up on your side and cover your head with your arms.
Get Home Safe
If you’re going on an all-nighter to wait for the store opening, make sure you still get some sleep. Set an alarm if you have to.
Once you’re done with your Black Friday, take the time to relax a bit and get your bearings. Maybe a nice meal and hot coffee would get some energy back into your tired body. If you still feel drowsy, stop and park the car in a safe portion of the road and rest for a while. A better option would be to have someone come over and drive your car for you.
You should also keep your car in tiptop shape. This is not only for when you go Black Friday shopping. Have your car regularly checked and always keep tools and an emergency kit inside.
The Lifeline AAA Premium Road 42 Piece Emergency Kit is equipped with the basic items you need in case of car trouble. It includes an 8 gauge heavy duty booster cable with three AAA batteries, a 9 LED aluminum flashlight, 2-in-1 screwdriver, duct tape, and 5 cable ties. You also get an emergency poncho, shop cloth, and a first aid kit.
Another option is the Pocket Jumper Pro Car & Truck Jump Starter also from Frog & CO. The portable device can both jumpstart your battery and charge your phone or any small device. There’s also a built-in 120 lumens flashlight with emergency mode.
Of course, these are not the only things you need in your car emergency kit. Ideally, you should add more items such as a glass breaker, seatbelt cutter, multitool, and a folding shovel aside from your regular car tools.
A shovel like the Stealth Tact Shovel Modular Multifunction Entrenchment Tool by Frog & CO will especially be useful when you get stuck in snow. This 12-in-1 tool is also a knife, saw, hatchet, hoe, screwdriver, and a hex wrench. You can also use it to shatter glass, start a fire, open bottles and scale fish. There’s also a watertight compartment to hide more survival items.
Some unruly shoppers will try to grab what you already got from the display. You can see a lot of those in the videos above. Others will take your haul after you paid for them and about to take them back home.
All Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers should be wary of thieves in both physical and online stores. There’ll always be someone lurking near or even inside these stores or in front of their computers with evil intentions. They may take your money or steal your stuff from you.
Don’t be an easy target. Take the necessary precautions to avoid getting mugged. Always have a buddy with you so these thieves will not think you’re easy pickings. Avoid parking far from the entrance. Choose a spot that’s well-lighted (if you decide to go while it’s still dark) and near other people or vehicles. If you’re alone, ask a store employee to accompany you back to your car when you’re done shopping.
A tactical flashlight will come in handy if you parked somewhere dark. Before heading to your car, take your flashlight out and check the premises for possible threats. Again, it would be better if you have someone with you or if you ask a worker to walk you to your car.
When you’re being robbed, remember that your life is more important than these worldly possessions. Surely, your family will be happier with you around than a brand new laptop or TV set.
You also need to protect yourself. Everywhere you go, you should take you every day carry kit with you. That’s why it’s called every day carry.
One item in your kit that might be pretty useful while you’re out doing your shopping spree is an emergency whistle like the Micro Scream Whistle by Frog & CO. This $2.97 whistle, which is on sale right now for $2.08, produces 100 decibels of piercing sound that will stop anyone in their tracks. When you’re roughing it out with the Black Friday crowd and you get hurt, simply blow your whistle to get attention from security or anyone willing to help. Use it to thwart robberies, as well.
A pepper spray is another everyday carry item you can use to deter attacks from angry shoppers and thieves. Be wise in using it, though. Use it only to defend yourself and not to threaten or attack someone like this woman who pepper sprayed other shoppers to get her hands on a video game console.
The SABRE RED Pepper Gel is slightly different than the pepper spray we’re used to. For one, it doesn’t atomize. When you use it, the spray can’t be blown away by the wind so you won’t be getting some on yourself. At 18 feet, it has 20% more range than others.
Make sure you have a bottle of water and some snacks with you. It’s possible that you’d get dizzy from dehydration and hunger while shopping. This will particularly be difficult when you’re already inside the store with the rest of the discount-hungry crowd. Pack a BPA-free water bottle that can be left in the car. Its way better of you have a small cooler so the water bottle won’t be left under the sun.
The Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle is not only BPA-free, it also doesn’t leave a metal taste. Plus, it is double insulated so your drink stays cold for up to 24 hours. The Iron Flask also comes with three lids, particularly the carabiner straw lid with two straws, a flip lid, and a stainless steel lid.
Aside from the water in your Iron Flask bottle, you can also bring some juice packs and keep them in your Wagan EL6224 24 Liter Electric Car Cooler and Warmer. The best thing about the Wagan Tech Cooler and Warmer is that you don’t need ice. No more stopping at the nearest store to get some ice for your drinks.
All you need to do is plug the 7.5 feet long cord to the car lighter socket. It’s big enough to store 4 1-liter bottles but won’t take that much space, which you’ll probably need for all the stuff you got from the store. Which reminds me… avoid leaving your purchases inside the car. As much as possible, put everything in the trunk, especially if you’re making multiple stops in different stores.
Don’t Fall Victim to Hackers
Even if you stay at home and do your Cyber Monday shopping online, you are still not that safe. Hackers have become bolder and more sophisticated that one slight mistake and you can say goodbye to all your savings.
Avoid unfamiliar emails. You probably received tons of Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails from unfamiliar senders. Avoid opening messages from websites you don’t know. If you’re subscribed to a particular brand or a certain website, familiarize yourself with their email address. If you receive an email with a different address, that’s likely a hacker.
Avoid unscrupulous websites. Do your online shopping on trusted ones. Look for the https:// in the website’s URL. Make sure there’s the letter “s”’ in there. That’s how you’ll know the website is secure.
Nowadays, it’s unwise and not really necessary to join the thousands of shoppers in physical stores looking for great deals on Black Friday. There’s always the option of shopping online since the same stores also offer most of their popular products on sale through their websites. If you still want to experience what it feels like, you should take these tips on how to survive Black Friday shopping seriously. Follow Gentleman Pirate Club to get more survival tips.