One million people: That's the size of the live audience for the annual midnight ball drop in New York City. On the other side of the globe, another one million people will gather across 40 miles of shoreline in Sydney, Australia to watch the fireworks.* With such densely packed celebrations around the world, it's important that we take special note of crowd safety for New Year's Eve. Here are some tips from law enforcement and safety experts.
- Stick with your group
A companion having an eye on you reduces your risk of being considered a vulnerable target by criminals. "The person at greatest risk to become a victim is someone who is alone late at night and also under the influence of drugs or alcohol," explains Karen J. Terry, PhD and criminal justice professor.
- Keep an eye on your drink and don't accept handouts
"Always watch your drink and never leave it unattended, at any time," instructs the New York State Police. If you are in believe your drink has been tampered with, get help immediately. Don't accept a drink from anyone you don't know - and above all, trust your gut.
- Stay alert, confident and present
An invaluable tip from our Personal Safety Academy: Walking with your head down, being absorbed in your cell phone and looking distracted are all actions that make you a soft target. By scanning your surroundings, walking with your shoulders back and displaying confidence, you show potential attackers that you're not someone who would likely go down without a fight. Are you a soft target?
- Scope out emergency exit routes
Every split second is precious when an emergency arises, so it's extremely helpful to know where to turn immediately.
- Resist a false sense of guaranteed security in a taxi
After a long night of noise, crowds and chaos, it's easy to go into relaxation mode when you hop in a clean, quiet cab.
"Whether riding in an Uber car or hailing a traditional taxi, it's important to remember you are still accepting a ride from a stranger," says David Nance, Personal Safety Expert and SABRE CEO/VP of Sales & Marketing. Trust your gut. If something feels off to you, do your best to get out of the situation. "Ask to pull over to a gas station store, or say you feel sick and ask to get out," says David. "Coming up with a practical excuse can help get you out of a situation."