Most serious survivalists will carry pepper spray with them as a non-lethal means of self-defense… but that’s not what this article is about. In this article, you’ll learn how to cope with pepper spray or tear gas being used on you. This is a very real possibility in a war zone, and it’s not pretty.

If you’ve watched documentaries of past riots, warfare situations, scenarios where tension is escalating, etc. the first thing the controlling forces do to disperse the crowds or put an end to the hostile protests, is to fire tear gas into the crowd.

If it’s small groups of protestors, law enforcement on the ground may use pepper spray on the protestors. If you’re in the midst of the protest or just a passer-by who is stuck in the area because of all the blockades, the chances of you being affected is quite high.

Knowing what to do during times like these will mean saving yourself from a lot of discomfort. Let’s look at a few tips you can follow.

* Avoid the affected areas

Prevention is better than cure. If you know that the area you’re going to be in might have protests, it’s best to steer clear. Even peaceful protests can get violent in minutes and you do not want to be caught in the melee that ensues.

* Don’t panic

If despite your best efforts, you find yourself in a situation where tear gas is being fired into the crowds, do not panic. Do not try picking up and throwing the tear-gas canister away. It will be hot.
Do not rub your face or skin that comes into contact with the chemicals. That will just make it worse.

* Carry a pair of goggles

Keep a pair of goggles with you if you travel in a war zone. This could be swimming googles, or a gas mask or any eyewear that forms an airtight seal over your eyes. Most people will probably have a pair of swimming goggles at home. This is probably your best option.

If your eyes are protected, that’s half the battle won. Now you can see where you’re going and beat a hasty retreat instead of staggering around in blind agony as your eyes water and burns.

* Stick to glasses

Never wear contact lenses when you’re in an area where there are protests. The chemicals in the tear gas will penetrate the semi-permeable membrane of the contact lens and cause your eyes to burn immensely. Immediately remove your contacts if you’re in such a situation.

* Be prepared

Sometimes, you may have no choice but to go to the store or the hospital or somewhere where you’re needed. In times like these, if you’re in a war zone the situation can be highly unpredictable, and you will need to stay prepared.

When going out, carry a small bag with spare clothes, eye goggles, a few shemaughs or bandannas, a few bottles of water and some antacid (Gaviscon, Alka-Seltzer, etc.) or baking soda. All these items have a purpose.

When you’re in the midst of the chaos, the first thing to do will be to wear the goggles. Next, soak the bandanna in water and tie it around your mouth. Now you can breathe through your mouth. Once you do that, run away as fast as you can.

If your skin has been exposed to the chemicals and they burn, dilute the antacids in water and wash your skin with them. You may also gargle and spit out this improvised decontamination mixture.

While it may seem like these are simple solutions and might not work, rest assured that they are very potent and can make a world of difference when you’re in pain. Ideally, you should get home and take a good shower to get rid of all the residue.

Keep these tips in mind and always remember to be aware of the situations around you. Knowing where the problem spots are and avoiding them is your best option.