Some good information in the “Active Shooter” thread.
Some thoughts I wrote previously concerning protecting your family. This applies to an active shooter, but, the general guidelines will apply to mobs:
Being alone during an attack and your response will basically come down to the fight or flight reflex. IMHO, what you will do, will be based on your psychological mindset, your training, your experience with violence, your profession. Be honest with yourself and your abilities to combat violence, experience has taught me that men have a tendency to overestimate their combat abilities and usually just die on the scene. I don’t know what yours are, but, decide what you are going to do, before you arrive at the venue. In the middle of the attack is no time to be making the decision.
Unless you are trapped and facing death, this decision is already made for you. You must get your family off the “X” and out of the primary attack zone. There should be no attempt at heroics when the ones you love are counting on you to provide leadership. As Mapwrap already discussed, know what you are going to do, where to take the family, running to the nearest store in a mall and finding the back door is excellent advice.
Often, terrorists on a major attack will place shooters at the main exits and kill as many as they can as they run out. Know where all the exits are, take the time to drive or walk around your venue, learn where the exit doors are, where the service entrances are, where the security kiosks or police substations are, where the exit roads are, where are the bottlenecks that a VBIED could be parked.
Spouse and Children:
As much as I would like to assume your spouse is highly trained (man or woman) the odds are they are not, so, it is up to you to develop a basic plan. Have a quiet, serious talk and go over some basic strategy, Outline the need to be situationally aware, inform them what can happen and stress that they are also responsible for helping survive an attack. I know its common for families to go shopping and split up, each going to their own preferred venue, but, during the holidays, that is a major tactical mistake.
You don’t want to have some family member on one end of the mall and you on the other, if an attack occurs. Stay together, stay close. If you have children with you, one of you must be the primary protector, it is simply too distracting to watch the kids and scan for an attack at the same time.
Having small children is a dynamic all its own, I know. I once was part of a team that was providing security for a Coca-Cola executive and his family below the border and trying to run with a screaming 4 year old under your arm and returning fire with one hand is for the movies. Decide who carries the child and who looks for exits, who will take point, and who will not. Your spouse must recognize the threat and be able to function in a terrifying situation. Teach basic commands in a loud voice. Get the kids, get Tommy, grab my belt, run to the back of the store, etc.
Simple commands, they work, because they are simple. Have a shopping schedule and stick to it. Know the stores you want to visit, go there, do what you need to do and then leave. Try to arrange for visits during non-peak times. When the mall first opens at 1000 is much safer than 1900, remember terrorists use the maximum amount of destruction for the maximum amount of media coverage. I occasionally have to go to the Afghan government palace and I don’t go there after 1400, which is prime hit time here.
Talk to your spouse about a possible attack and the ramifications of being caught up in the situation. The noise will be loud, especially if they detonate a suicide vest first to soften up the guards/resistance or create mass panic which leads to easy targets. Try to make your spouse understand that people will be screaming and dying, and, if they have never experienced this type of violence, will probably go catatonic. This is a natural reaction that you must stop immediately, either by verbal commands or simply slapping the shit out of them.