In plain sight: How to stay hidden during a crisis

Sunday, April 09, 2017 by

Life can throw you a curve ball at any given moment. One minute you’re on a nice evening walk, the next you’re evading a mob of looters or crooked cops hot on your tail. In moments like these the last thing you want is to draw attention to yourself. Staying out of sight is the best thing to do in a crisis situation. Sometimes, however, the best place to hide is in plain sight. Here’s how you do it.

Blend in

The best way to stay hidden is to dress the part. Forget wearing bold and eye-catching clothing and accessories. Unless everyone else dresses that way, looking like you’ve got fat pockets is an invitation for trouble. Dress appropriately for your environment and keep it simple. If it’s raining outside, wear a raincoat. If you’re in a business district, throw on a blazer and slacks. You need to blend in and appear as though you belong, and people will know if you do or don’t from how you dress.

When it comes to color choices, neutral colors are best. Gray, dark blue, and beige and anything in between are recommended. As for garments, safe and flexible choices include a plain shirt and a pair of khakis. Have these ready so you can make a quick change when needed.

Blending in doesn’t stop with you. Your home needs to be inconspicuous and fit in with the rest of the neighborhood. Do not make it obvious you’re ready for a crisis. Doing this ensures that everyone will be making a beeline for your home when a crisis does come along. Your home should be just like the homes of everyone else. The same goes for your vehicle. Make sure that your home and your car have no distinct markings that would associate either with you. Trim your lawn and keep your bumper free of stickers.

Other tips

Looking like you belong involves more than just dressing the part. You need to act like it too. The saying, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do,” has never been more appropriate. Do what other people are doing to avoid sticking out. Strike a conversation with someone, preferably of your own gender. You’ll seem less obvious if you’re with someone else or a group. If that’s not possible, carry a local newspaper as a prop. Even if it’s in a foreign language and you can’t read it, it’s still a good tool to have on you.

Only run in case of an emergency. Running draws attention, which is the last thing you want. Walk in a relaxed manner but at the same time don’t appear as though you’re wandering aimlessly.

Do your best to look calm. If you look uncomfortable, you look suspicious. Look like you belong and should be where you are. Act like you’re a good mood but don’t overdo it.

Know your surroundings. Take note of any hiding spots or shortcuts you can use. Try to avoid long, open stretches of road because you’ll look strange if you’re there by yourself.

If you know the language or local dialect then put your linguistic skills to use.

Remember: you don’t want to be remembered, you want to be forgotten. Don’t be remarkable, don’t be noteworthy. Be the person you wouldn’t look at twice because there’s nothing more to them. Those kind of people tend to stay far away from trouble, and so will you.

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