In the wake of the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy, specialists are sharing ways in which individuals can stay safe whereas attending public holiday events.

On Sunday, 5 individuals had been killed and dozens of others had been injured after Darrell Brooks allegedly drove a car drove via a parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Brooks has been charged with a number of murder counts. 


The incident in Waukesha is just the latest incidence of events the place automobiles have pushed via crowds. In June, a truck drove via the satisfaction parade in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the place one particular person was killed and others had been injured. 

In Germany in February 2020, a driver plowed via a crowd of individuals at a carnival parade, Fox News reported on the time. The motivations of the drivers in every of the three incidents seem to be unclear.


With the holiday season now totally underway, public events have begun after the hiatus final 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Families who’re planning to attend holiday events this 12 months ought to concentrate on any potential risks and “be ready to act if need be,” security skilled David Nance instructed Fox News.  

Police canvass the streets in downtown Waukesha, Wis., after a car plowed right into a Christmas parade hitting a number of individuals Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

“Keep in mind as we enter the season of joy, not everyone has the best intentions for you and yours,” Nance instructed Fox in an e-mail.


Crowd security skilled Paul Wertheimer instructed Fox News that security suggestions are situational and should not apply in each situation.

“At the time of emergency, a better alternative may appear,” Wertheimer stated. “Nevertheless, the more options a person has, the better prepared to respond quickly and confidently in an emergency, the better one’s chances of survival.”

Whether you’re attending a tree lighting, a parade or one other gathering, listed below are some ideas for preserving your self and your loved ones safe this holiday season. 

Know the format and make an exit plan

“Know the general layout of the parade or event, in particular, all exits and the location of first aid or police and fire units,” Wertheimer stated. “Familiarity with all exits is important because you don’t know where you will be if an incident occurs.”

Nance agreed, including that folks also needs to hold a watch out for any modifications being made to the occasion. 

Both Wertheimer and Nance additionally stated to have an agreed-upon assembly place ought to your group get separated. Wertheimer added that kids ought to be instructed they’ll ask regulation enforcement or hearth officers for assist. 


Nance added that it’s vital to share the exit plan along with your complete group. 

“Always have an exit plan with multiple escape routes in case an emergency should ensue,” Nance stated.

He additionally instructed considering via your escape plan earlier than the occasion, which is able to “increase your chances of escaping safely during what could be a very stressful event.”

A police officer uses a flashlight while looking for evidence in downtown Waukesha, Wis., after an SUV sped through a barricade and slammed into a Christmas parade, injuring multiple people Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

A police officer makes use of a flashlight whereas on the lookout for proof in downtown Waukesha, Wis., after an SUV sped via a barricade and slammed right into a Christmas parade, injuring a number of individuals Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Nance additionally stated individuals ought to keep away from events with just one entrance and exit and they need to keep away from being totally surrounded by a crowd, which might make it tough to rapidly transfer to security if vital. 

Dress appropriately and hold your palms free

“Preparing for a parade or event means wearing the correct clothing,” Wertheimer stated. 

That contains footwear with laces, or boots, with non-slip soles, Wertheimer stated. Other footwear might fall off or trigger you to slip whilst you strive to escape a harmful state of affairs, in accordance to Wertheimer.

He additionally stated to ensure everybody in your group carries identification. For kids who don’t usually have IDs, Wertheimer beneficial {that a} wristband or paper with primary info – together with the kid’s first identify and their guardian or guardian’s cellphone quantity – be “discreetly placed on the child.”

Cassetta additionally stated individuals ought to hold their eyes and ears open during public events.

“Practice situational awareness,” Cassetta stated. “Keep your heads up and phones away but close to your body, in case you need to call a loved one or 911 in an emergency.”

Toppled chairs are seen among holiday decorations in downtown Waukesha, Wis., after an SUV plowed into a Christmas parade injuring dozens of people Sunday, Nov 21. 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Toppled chairs are seen amongst holiday decorations in downtown Waukesha, Wis., after an SUV plowed right into a Christmas parade injuring dozens of individuals Sunday, Nov 21. 2021. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Wertheimer stated individuals ought to look out for exit routes and exit indicators, avenue barricades and locations to conceal or take shelter, similar to concrete or metal avenue furnishings, buildings and partitions. If houses or different buildings aren’t obtainable, Wertheimer stated to search for giant tree trunks.

Nance stated it might be useful to place your self in a spot the place there are barricades that stop car entry. However, he famous that you just shouldn’t put your self in a spot the place you wouldn’t have the opportunity to go away the realm instantly, if vital. 


Wertheimer additionally stated to search for the place regulation enforcement, hearth officers and ambulances are.

People also needs to listen to the climate, Wertheimer stated, particularly if there’s lightning, heavy rain, snow, excessive warmth or excessive winds.

In addition, Cassetta stated to hold a watch out particularly for crimson flags like, “anything that looks or feels out of place.”

That might embrace an unattended bag on the bottom, somebody approaching you rapidly, a automobile driving uncontrolled, or “a sound that send alarm bells through your head” similar to a scream or screeching sound, Cassetta stated.

Listen to your intestine

If one thing does increase a crimson flag, Cassetta and Nance each stated to act rapidly. 

“Listen and act on your intuition,” Cassetta stated. “If you don’t feel safe, even for an instant, leave the event… right away.”

Nance added: “If you sense someone or something seems odd or out of place, move away and notify event security or police.”

Act rapidly

In the case that one thing does overtly occur, Nance stated to transfer away instantly. 

“Ignore your curiosity regarding the dangerous situation and focus on moving yourself and your family immediately to a safe place,” he stated.

Wertheimer stated that when a harmful state of affairs does come up, following the gang isn’t at all times the very best factor to do. 

“Don’t necessarily follow the crowd,” he stated. “There may be a quicker route to safety or places to hide along the way.” 

“Obey all law enforcement and fire instructions,”  Wertheimer added. “This is not the time to ask questions.”

In a state of affairs the place a automobile could also be driving towards a crowd, Wertheimer stated to acknowledge the place the automobile goes and check out to get out of the best way. If a shooter is current, it could be harder to see the place the pictures are coming from.

In that case, Wertheimer stated, “Seeking shelter near your location may be the best momentary option.”