NATO Survival Guide for Chicago Residents

May 17, 2012

The NATO Summit is still several days away and the city has already seen cars towed and protestors arrested.

Chicagoland Real Estate Forum has been updating its readers on changes and security measures around the city of Chicago, including road closures, public transportation reroutes and train procedures. Click the link in this paragraph for those stories.

Here are some final suggestions to help get Chicago residents as prepared as possible for the first NATO summit meeting to be held in the United States outside of Washington D.C.

May the host city benefit from this experience.

Here are a few more tips to survive — and possibly even enjoy — the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago:

*Security: Peaceful protest is a right protected by the First Amendment, so Chicago resident braving out the weekend in the city should let the demonstrators do what they came to do. Do contact the police if you see anything suspicious, like people occupying vacant foreclosed properties and buildings or abandoned or unusual cars.

*Attire: This weekend in the Loop will be anything but business as usual, so to blend in, skip the suit and dress down. Anyone adorning something corporate could be a target during this passionate weekend. Do be sure to always carry a photo ID with you.

*Closings: Some businesses are shuttering their downtown doors, especially banks, so bank online from home this weekend. This is also not a good time to get a driver’s license: Many downtown Secretary of State offices will be closed. Entering buildings in general might be more difficult over the next few days, so check before you go.

*Food: The Illinois Restaurant Association and the Chicago NATO host committee have created Chicago’s Culinary Crossroads in which Chicago-area restaurants are offering special items and menus inspired by the cuisines of the NATO nations. Check out for participating restaurants.

*Clowns: Amidst the protest groups, keep on the lookout for a group of clowns. They call themselves ClownBloq, and they will be protesting the summit dressed in clown gear and armed with pies. Their mission: “to provide hilarity in the face of a humorless police state.” Could be a sight worth seeing.


There is a list of Business Owners and Managers Association (BOMA)/Chicago Affiliate Members that will be on call through Monday to offer emergency services to buildings in need. For a list, visit

Building security managers and business owners can register to receive security alerts related to the NATO Summit through Hillard Heintze, a security firm co-founded by Terry Hillard, former Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, that is advising the city this week.

Chicago residents can receive emergency alerts via telephone, text or e-mail from Notify Chicago by signing up at

For continual updates on the progress of the weekend, check out the official NATO Chicago site at

Good luck, Chicagoans, and stay safe!

Categories: Events, In the City

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