Physical and Psychological effects of having liquid acid thrown into your face

Imagine the physical and psychological effects of having liquid acid thrown into your face. Not surprisingly, acid attacks are called” Torture in a bottle”.

Recent statistics show that the UK, especially London, experiences more acid attacks than any other country. More surprising, men are the most common target.

Acid comes in many forms: sulfuric acid is used in drain cleaner; hydrochloric acid and ammonia are found in household products; and corrosive chemicals can be bought online without a license.

Unlike guns or knives, a bottle of acid is easy to conceal, legal to carry and simple to buy. The perfect weapon to inflict massive physical and psychological damage on anyone, anywhere.

An acid attack is more than a violent and premeditated assault to cause physical injury. It is designed to ostracise the victim from society. Horrendous disfigurement is not conducive to social interaction, however high your self- esteem.

A study of recent acid attacks worldwide  shows that they are not gender, area or time specific. But, the attackers do specifically target the face and the head of their victims.

The 6 steps to protecting yourself from an acid attack:

  1. Understand the nature and history of the threat in the area to which you will be travelling
  2. Keep away from the edges of roads or pathways when in a crowd. You can become the  victim from a random attack. 
  3. Assess your surroundings to ensure that you are stepping into puddles of acid
  4. Be careful not to transfer acid from your clothes or skin to that of someone helping you
  5. Apply a steady volume of water to the affected areas. Use enough water to douse the wound for 45 minutes or more
  6. Loosely wrap the wound with a sterilised gauze. Do not apply any creams.

if you are interested to learn more, attend one of our H.E.A.T. courses to know how to survive in any hostile environment.

H.E.A.T. tip: Do not use milk. Although  alkaline, when combined with an acid, the exothermic reaction could cause more risks.

6 Ways to Survive a Volcanic Eruption

Molten rock from a volcanic eruption can reach speeds of over 55 kph. Usain Bolt sprints at about 40 kph. So, do not attempt to run away from a lava flow. Move to the side.

The scientific definition of an active volcano is one that has erupted during the last 10 000 years. But, this timeline is based on a geological time period which starts at the  beginning of the Holocene era. There are over 1500 volcanoes on the planet but  more than 500  have erupted in recent history.

In Africa, the tectonic plate responsible for volcanoes covers the continent. The majority of known volcanoes are situated in the Arfar triangle. But, during the past decade, there have been 12 volcanic eruptions in places such as DRC, Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Africa and Djibouti amongst others

The death and destruction caused by a volcanic eruption occurs because of the super heated pyroclastic cloud, lava flows,falling ash and climate change.

 In April 1815, Mount Tambora erupted in Indonesia. The eruption was classified as VEI-7, which was 100 times more powerful than the eruption of Mount Vesuvius ( VEI-5) that destroyed Pompeii. Not only did Mount Tambora eject more than 10 000 tonnes of pyroclastic rock into the air but it lowered the world’s temperature by an average of 1 degree Celsius.

That year in June,  Mary Shelley had planned a walking holiday in Switzerland. Unusually,the weather was wet and cold. To pass the time, she and her friends organised a ghost- writing competition. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, named after the landlord of the holiday home they had rented.


6 ways to survive a volcanic eruption

  1. Before travelling to an area with volcanoes, research the risks.
  2. Identify evacuation routes and understand the local emergency alert systems.
  3. On hearing or seeing an eruption, protect your head and move to higher ground.
  4. As you move, periodically look up to identify falling projectiles and avoid them.
  5. Cover your nose and mouth to prevent inhaling noxious gasses.
  6. If inside, consider the roof design and structural integrity of the building. Wet volcanic ash is heavy and you might be buried alive if the building collapses.

To learn how to survive a natural disaster and protect your loved ones, book your place on one of our H.E A.T. courses.

H.E.A.T. tip:

If a volcano has been declared unstable and has a history of pyroclastic eruption, do not travel closer than 5 kms from its base. Plan your trip accordingly.

6 Techniques and Never get Lost in a City Again.

If you ever see a helicopter hovering near a road sign, the pilot is probably ” temporarily embarrassed as to my location”.

If you have ever felt that growing dread when you realise that you are lost, here are some proven techniques to help you get back on track.

Learn these 6 techniques and never get lost in a city again.

  1. Stop moving the moment that you realise you are lost.
  2. Look around you and orient yourself to your surroundings. Try to identify a cardinal point ( North, East, West or South) using the sun, moon or the stars.
  3. Look at the nearby buildings for direction clues. Depending on the hemisphere or country, domestic satellite dishes point to a specific  cardinal point.
  4. Boost your phone’s navigation speed, accuracy and reliability by adding GLONASS ( the Russian navigation system) to your GPS function.
  5. If in a Christian city, find a church. Not to pray for help but because it is built along an east- west line. The altar is at the eastern end facing the sun. In a Muslim city, worshippers always pray facing Mecca ( but not necessarily east).
  6. Buildings are often stained and marked by pollution and acid rain. These are carried by the prevailing winds. The side of a building facing the prevailing winds will show more pollution marks. By knowing the direction from which these winds blow, you can determine direction.

Whether you are walking in a dodgy neighbourhood or your satnav is not working, attend one of our H.E.A.T. courses and never feel that you are utterly and hopelessly lost again.

H.E A.T. tip:

In an urban environment, depending on the time of day, look for groups of commuters heading in one direction. In the morning follow them; in the afternoon backtrack. You will end up at a commuter transport hub.

6 steps to protect your loved ones at home

Armed home invasions are terrifying experiences that are on the increase worldwide. FBI statistics show that 15 000 homes are invaded every day in the US. These attacks are happening in both rural and urban areas around the world. Many victims in South Africa’s cities have witnessed brutal rapes, violent beatings and fatal shootings within the privacy of their own homes.

By definition, a home invasion is an illegal and often forceful entry into an occupied and private dwelling. The intention of the home invaders is to commit violent crime against the occupants. Unlike burglaries, which are often carried out when homes are empty, home invasions occur precisely because the occupants are at home- having a meal, watching television or enjoying a bath. Home invasions are about power, not goods.

6 steps to protect your loved ones at home

  1. Review your existing domestic security strategies and ensure that you have a secure perimeter and effective access control.
  2. Implement affordable changes to beef up the protection of your home by adopting the 4 D principles: Deter, Deny, Detect, Delay.
  3. Place weapons around the house but beware of the curiosity of small children. Tape knives to the underside of tables and counter tops. Hide blades in the toilet cistern. Keep a hammer or metal rod behind a door. Look at how you can make improvised weapons from everyday objects.
  4. Teach and train your family members, visitors and others the protocols to follow when someone asks to come into your home. If that person is not known to you, do not let them in until you have confirmed their identity and purpose.
  5. Create a “safe room” in your house. This is a secure room in which you can lock yourself and your loved ones and call for help- even whilst the invaders are ransacking your home.
  6. Get training to know how to escape from rope, duct tape and flexicuffs typically used in a home invasion.

To learn the most practical and effective techniques to secure your home and protect your loved ones, attend one of our H.E.A.T. courses as a family. The family that trains together, survives together. Let us show you how.

H.E.A.T. tip: Reinforce your front door by installing a deadbolt and using safety studs, corrugated pins and setscrews in your hinges.

6 ways to survive when the taps get turned off.

Many people in several parts of the world face a daily struggle to acquire potable water. For some, the lack of infrastructure means using communal collection points. For others, natural disasters or armed conflict have disrupted water supplies. And for others, the freedom  of living off the grid outweighs the inconvenience of not having water at the turn of a handle.

Yet, the challenge of not having immediate access to water is a blessing. Whilst we know that you need to hydrate regularly or you will die, we often fail to see beyond our consumer and instant gratification desires. The  lack of water in your  taps requires a shift in your  thinking. 

You need to think out of the box. Attend one of our H.E.A.T. courses and learn how to survive when the taps run dry.

  1. Realise that no municipality or body corporate can control your right to life. You need to look for ways to become more self-reliant.
  2. Consider using a variety of containers to collect and store water empty bottles. But, first of all you must sanitise these water containers. To fill a bath tub that is dirty, has a coating of soap film and is exposed to falling debris, will only spoil the stored water and make it unsafe to drink.
  3. Understand the water flow in your premises. Shut down the incoming water flow until you have a filtration and purification system in place. As the water pressure in the pipes is reduced, the water from your taps could become  contaminated.
  4. Identify water storage units in your home. Toilet cisterns and geysers hold potable water. Car radiators do not.
  5. Cook using tinned foods. Freeze condoms for re-useble ice cubes.
  6. Invest in a water filter and purification system.

Carry a water spigot key. Whether you use it or not is a moral decision. But, circumstances might force you to hydrate before you comply.