On the night of September 11th, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, an armed mob of militants attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex.
A team of six American security operators went beyond the call of duty — and in fact disobeyed “stand down” orders they knew they couldn’t live with — to courageously venture into the mass chaos in order to save the Americans trapped by the violent mobs.
The battle lasted for several hours and has become a political football, with both sides of the aisle trying to place blame or rationalize their role in the security lapses that led to so many American deaths.
The truth behind what REALLY happened is now being recounted by the security team who had their boots on the ground, in a new book called “13 Hours”.
But lost in all that political infighting is the fact that the Benghazi attack can teach us very valuable lessons about surviving civil unrest.
The events that unfolded in Libya represent the worst-case scenario you may face even as a civilian during times of collapse where you be looking out your window at Ferguson-type protests, unrest, violent mobs, no “rule of law”… and no help on the way.
One man who has been through that very event is Kris Paronto.
I asked Kris what type of EDC gear a person should carry to be better prepared for riots and civil unrest.
Here is what he had to tell me…
Everyday Carry Survival Gear For Escaping & Evading A Riot!
When it comes to escaping and evading a riot or “flash mob”, your gear isn’t your primary consideration…
… it’s being aware of your surroundings and identifying threats around you before they become a crisis you have to escape from.
Keep your eyes and ears open to warning signs others may not notice.
However, if civil unrest does happen, there are some things you can be carrying that will help you to get out of the immediate area and get to safety.
Here are five items to consider for your everyday carry survival gear…
1. Backup Cell Phone
You should, obviously, be carrying a cell phone to be able to call for help (police, medical, etc.).
But there might be the case where you want to call in a tip about a riot, but you don’t want to have to give your name because doing so might put you in danger.
Yes, these are extreme circumstances, but depending on your role (like for military contractors), this is a very real possibility.
If this is the case, you should consider carrying a backup – preferable a prepaid “burner” phone that’s not tied to your identity.
Sometimes I keep my phone in my car and sometimes I even keep the backup on me.
In addition, if your phones are on different networks, one might work even if the other has failed or doesn’t have coverage.
2. A Man-Purse Or “Go Bag”
You should have a go-bag.
You could keep a variety of things in that, included a tourniquet.
I’ll be honest; maybe that’s the worst case scenario, but I do, because I’ve seen where they were needed and where they save people’s lives.
I have had the luxury of putting them on too, so I do know they work.
I use a camera bag as my go bag.
It’s low profile, looks like something anyone could be carrying, and doesn’t scream “tactical prepared military operator.”
The idea is simply to have what you need in an envelope that allows you to carry it with you easily.
3. Something To Eat And Drink
When you’re really faced with a flash mob, you may want to have some water with you.
You may not be able to get to a water source if you’re avoiding a mob.
The last thing you want to do is reveal your presence, or make yourself more vulnerable, because you are wracked with thirst.
Having some food with you is also a good idea, for the same reason.
You could keep some candy bars and some gum in your car, in your go-bag, or even on your person.
You don’t know how long you might need to be on the run, and you don’t know if you might get stuck somewhere.
Having a little food and water can give you a burst of energy and make it easier for you to keep a low profile while danger passes.
4. A Weapon
Now, obviously, if you can legally carry, you should be.
It makes sense to carry a gun when you can because the police can’t be there fast enough to help you.
But you do need to be trained with that weapon.
Don’t just carry and think that you’re going to be able to pull that gun out and use it.
If you have not trained with it, then nine times out of ten you’re going to fail with it when it’s time to use it.
So you’ve got to be, not necessarily an expert, but just know and be familiar with what you’re carrying.
Have a holster that you’re using, that you’re used to as well.
Don’t feel uncomfortable carrying it.
If you feel uncomfortable when you’re carrying it, chances are you probably shouldn’t be carrying it, because you won’t use it when stuff starts to go bad. You’ll lock up.
5. A Knife And Multitool
Finally, you should carrying a Leatherman or a knife or tool or something like that.
Say you’re stuck in your vehicle and have to cut your way past the seatbelt.
You need to have a knife to do that.
A Leatherman is good because it has so many tools available for whatever you might face.
A Swiss Army Knife is good for the same reason.
It doesn’t have to be anything exotic or military-styled.
It just has to have the tools you might need.
What it comes down to is that sometimes, you just need to be prepared.
Bad things can and do happen to us.
That’s a little pessimistic, but it’s kind of where we’re at in today’s society.
You need to prepare ahead of time for flash mobs and riots.