6 Benefits of Attending a Hostile Environment Awareness Training (H.E.A.T.) course.

6 Benefits of Attending a Hostile Environment Awareness Training H.E.A.T. course.

Any course that increases your knowledge is beneficial. Such knowledge may improve your work performance or enable you to advance along your career path. But, no course can have such life-changing results as a H.E.A.T. course.

Here are 6 Benefits of Attending a Hostile Environment Awareness Training course

The knowledge you gain from such our courses will eliminate the ignorance you may have about how to survive various stressful encounters. Do you know how stress affects your thinking faculties? Can you respond effectively and decisively to a life threatening situation such as a carjacking, kidnapping, home invasion or violent assault? Does the thought of such an event fill you with a paralyzing dread and crippling anxiety. If so, given the increasing likelihood of such criminal acts occurring, you need to attend a H.E.A.T. course.

What is a H.E.A.T. course?

Hostile environment awareness training is characterized by exposing delegates to high fidelity stressful situations, but in a controlled environment. By using a combination of theory and realistic simulations, you will learn how to respond effectively and ensure your personal safety and security when in danger.

6 Benefits of attending a H.E.A.T. course

  1. Understanding the psychology of survival. This helps you to overcome normalcy bias, to heighten your situational awareness and to cultivate a survival mindset when faced with any disaster.
  2. Knowing why and how to prepare before travelling to a foreign environment ensures that you reduce the known risks to your life, liberty or limbs.
  3. Receiving practical instruction in-and experience of- emergency first aid, a simulated kidnapping and conduct under hostile interrogation, you will be better equipped to handle these stressful situations when they occur.
  4. Engaging in group desktop exercises to develop a survival strategy based on real life incidents encourages group co-operation and independent thinking.
  5. Learning how to prioritize your survival needs during an emergency helps you conserve energy whilst staying calm.
  6. Practicing how to make shelter, signal for help, find drinkable water, start a fire and navigate to safety in any man made or natural disaster has many everyday applications.

Attend one or all of our all-inclusive H.E.A.T. courses in Cape Town, South Africa. Learn to return home whatever dangers you face when travelling.

Find out more, about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

What is every day carry (EDC) and what should I carry?

What is every day carry (EDC) and what should I carry?

Every day carry (EDC) refers to useful items you should carry in your pockets, in a bag or in your car. What you should carry depends on your decision as to how you will carry the items. You may ask yourself? What is every day carry (EDC) and what should I carry?

Why carry anything? Life is risky. Unforeseen events, obstacles and challenges happen on a daily basis. To have some means of overcoming these circumstances successfully is an indication of preparedness.

With proper planning and preparation, you will always perform better than if you had no plans or were not prepared.

How did I carry EDC items?

Select how you want to carry your items on a daily basis. Women are used to carrying handbags but men are not. Men’s clothing often has pockets and belt loops. Women’s clothing has fewer methods of stashing or storing EDC items.

Larry Ellison of Oracle wore a bespoke suit daily. Therefore, he had an assistant to carry his Blackberry because he did not want to stretch the look of his suit.

Are you willing to carry all your EDC items in your pocket or on a belt, or would you prefer to carry them in a handbag or backpack?

You need to choose what you are comfortable carrying before deciding what to carry. A knife, torch, pepper spray, phone, lighter and first aid kit will not easily be carried in your pockets. But, a knife, wallet and car keys will.

Practice “layering” your EDC items and consider what you will carry on your person ( around your neck, on your wrists, in your pockets); next, in your bag; and lastly, in your vehicle.

What to carry?

Weight, purpose, functionality and accessibility should dictate your selection of EDC items. A set of small titanium lockpicks might seem a good idea but can you pick a lock? A can of pepper gel is definitely useful for self defence but can be bulky. If you carry a small pepper spray on your key ring, can you deploy it effectively without fumbling around in your handbag?

Consider that EDC is a dynamic choice you must make depending on your anticipated activities. When going out at night, carry a small torch. This will help you read a menu in a restaurant and illuminate the pavement when the street lights are out.

If it is likely to rain, carry a lightweight poncho in your bag. If it will be hot and sunny, carry sunscreen and a hat.

If you think that you might be skipping a meal, take some sweets or a snack. First aid kits are useful but there is a proliferation of chemists in most urban areas.

In other words, do not carry EDC items that you can buy easily during your every day activities. Do carry EDC items that will enable you to respond effectively to an anticipated risk. But remember, risks change and so does your knowledge and confidence to be able to respond to such risks.

Learn more about EDC by attending our life changing Personal Safety and Security course. Acquire practical knowledge and training to dispel your fears. Live confidently and well.

Learn more about how Zero Foundation Africa, can help you.

Signaling devices to get you rescued

Signaling devices to get you rescued

Whether you find yourself lost outdoors, trapped in a lift or stranded with your vehicle, you need to attract the attention of others to help you. Here are Signaling devices to get you rescued.

Shouting is the least effective means of making your location conspicuous and attracting rescuers. Rather, remain calm and use the acronym STOP.

  • S = stop. Do not exacerbate the situation but stay put and sit down.
  • T = think. Retrace your route in your mind. Make a note of any useful kit you are carrying. Consider how you arrived in this situation.
  • O = observe. What landmarks can you identify? Are your footprints visible? Can you hear noises that might help with confirming your location?
  • P = plan. Knowing what you know, what plan will you make to get rescued? Either you must self- rescue or signal for help from other people.

6 really effective signaling devices

  • 1. 3 or 6 is the magic number. Three or six of anything is universally recognised as a distress signal. Use a whistle, gun, torch, smoke or flags to attract attention. The response will be 3 blasts of a whistle, gunshots or torch flashes.
  • 2. Use S.O.S. in Morse code. Simply send a S.O.S. signal using any of the above devices to make three short dots (S) and three long dash(O) repeated by three dots. Repeat every minute, as possible.
  • 3. Use ground signals to communicate with a plane. Dig symbols into the ground or lay down branches to indicate a medical emergency, need for food, indication of travel or place to land.
  • 4. Create a Catherine Wheel by tying a chemical lightstick to a length of cord. Twirl the cord over your head or in front of you and create a circle of light visible for several kilometers.
  • 5. Carry a Skystreme inflatable foil kite. With its lightweight and reflective material, the kite can reach 50 metres in height yet is small when packed. Like all good survival tools, it can be repurposed as an emergency medical splint, filled for use as a water carrier or inflated and used inside your clothing for added warmth.
  • 6. Set up 3 signal fires, equally separated from each other. Build them in the open or on high ground. When rescuers might be nearby, start the fires and add damp wood, damp grass or spare tires to generate smoke for visibility in daylight. At night use drier wood and more fuel.

Your strategy when lost or stranded is to advertise your location. The more signaling devices you can use, the better. Adapt your use of emergency signals to your environment and create contrasts that will stand out and attract others.

Attend one of our courses to learn and practice with several emergency signaling devices. Sometimes a whistle and torch might be enough but the true survivor joins our courses to understand how the latest technology can assist. We show him or her how to signal for success, wherever you might need to be rescued.

Find out more about how Zero Foundation Africa, can work with you.

6 tips to secure your home by thinking like a burglar

6 tips to secure your home by thinking like a burglar

Burglars have effective ways to break into your property. They can use a ladder and spray expanding foam into the external alarm box; or ring your alarm system manufacturer and elicit the engineer’s shut down code. Here are 6 tips to secure your home by thinking like a burglar.


There is also a small device (still classified) that can be placed on the keypad and instantly display the correct alarm code. As it works on over 70% of installed keypads, the device is often used by professional burglars.

Alternatively, to scale high walls, burglars can use Spiderman Suckers. Operated by compressed air, the unit has four vacuum pads and a carrying capacity of over a tonne.

How do you protect your home?

1. Conduct a site survey of your property. Start with a walk around the perimeter and move into the house. Identify unlocked windows and doors.
2. Look at the most obvious points of entry. Strengthen doors and windows. Place alarm control panels away from the front door.
3. As locks on sliding doors are typically of poor quality, insert a wooden rod in the lower track.
4. You should replace all door locks with a high security locking device and install deadbolts on all external doors.
5. Review all access routes to your property. Install motion detector lights with camera surveillance to alert you of trespassers.
6. Lock up and alarm your garage and tool shed. These areas might not be the main target of attack but they do provide tools that a burglar can use to break into the house.

There are many other cost effective solutions and strategies to protect yourself, your home and your possessions.

For more than 6 tips to secure your home by thinking like a burglar and if you want to make your home impregnable, attend our Personal Safety and Security course or take the online course.

Find out more, about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

Crimes against women have increased markedly over the last 5 years. Police statistics show that Gender-based violence, assault, rape and femicide have become commonplace yet few women fight back. Why not fight like Bruce Lee and win?

Fight like Bruce Lee and Win

Crimes against women have increased markedly over the last 5 years. Police statistics show that Gender-based violence, assault, rape and femicide have become commonplace yet few women fight back. Why not fight like Bruce Lee and win?

Possibly, this inability to strike first or strike back when defending yourself has to do with fear. Fear of reprisal; fear of retaliation; and fear of being too weak.

Yet, every man provides four circles as a target: two eyeballs; two vehicles. The question is: how do you hit them consistently and accurately?

The secret to street fighting, and self-defence generally, is to use speed, aggression and surprise. But, an easy to use system also helps.

The 3 phases of a fight

When somebody assaults you, it is difficult to know how to respond. This is why the gross motor and simple system we teach on our H.E A.T. courses is so brutally effective.

1. Entry

You have to enter a fight. However scared you might be, getting in to the fight is necessary. This is because you need to get into the most effective lethal range to end the fight. You need to be close enough to use your elbows, knees, headbutt and any weapon you might have.

2. Pressure

In this second phase, you apply pressure on your opponent using punches. You punch hard towards your assailant’s centre line. Throw a series of punches to force them to run backwards.

3. Termination

You have to finish the fight. Once you start throwing punches and force your opponent to run backwards, they cannot maintain momentum. So, move closer and head butt them or use your knees and elbows to cause injury

By Benedict Weaver / Zero Foundation Africa

Learning this fighting technique on one our H.E.A.T. courses means the best possible outcome for you.
Learn more about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

Escape from restraints like Houdini

Escape from restraints like Houdini

There is a very real need to know how to escape from restraints. The reason is not to prevent embarrassment when enacting a scene from the film 50 Shades of Grey but rather to escape a dangerous situation- at home or in the workplace. What if you could escape from restraints like Houdini did?

Home invasions are on the increase as are robberies at work. Criminals typically restrain occupants after breaking into their home or office. The commonest restraints is duct tape, but rope and flexicuffs are also used.

If you are restrained by such criminals, is there any hope that you can survive the encounter. Absolutely yes, if you attend one of our hostile environment awareness training (H.E A.T.) courses in Cape Town.

These life-changing H.E.A.T. courses teach practical and effective personal safety and security techniques. All our training is based on practical instruction that has been tried and tested. You practice what we teach.

3 ways to get out of restraints:

1. Duct tape

This is the most common means of restraining someone. Duct tape is cheap to buy and has a reputation for fixing anything. Yet, when your hands (and feet) are duct taped, you can break free using either leverage or friction. We show you how in a matter of seconds.

2. Flexi-cuffs

Single use flexi-cuffs are plastic handcuffs made from nylon. Cheap and lightweight, they are available in single and double cuff styles. Using a simple technique involving paracord (often sold as a bracelet) or technora cord, you can escape in less than a few seconds.

3. Rope

Rope is made from a group of strands that are twisted together into a larger and stronger form. As rope or similar cordage is found in many homes and office premises, criminals use it to tie up their victims. Yet, if you widen your elbows when presenting your wrists to be bound, you can escape in seconds using a see-sawing action.

Being restrained during a home invasion, office robbery, abduction or kidnapping, does not mean that you cannot escape to safety.

You do not need to be a travelling executive, journalist or aid worker to face the risk of being unlawfully restrained. Home invasions are common and false imprisonment a fact of life for many victims of domestic violence.

By Benedict Weaver / Zero Foundation Africa

To break free; join us on our courses and learn to escape from restraints like Houdini.
Learn more about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

Read clouds like a Weather Forecaster.

Read clouds like a Weather Forecaster.

Clouds are formed by a cooling process. As air temperatures drop at a rate of 2°C per 300 meters, the water vapour in the air will condense to form a visible cloud when cooled to a ” dew point”. Learn how to read clouds like a weather forecaster and harness this knowledge to survive any hostile environment.

When the dew point equals the air temperature, the air cannot hold any more water vapor and clouds become visible.

The word cloud comes from the Old English (1320s) word “clud”. This described a rock formation because that is what clouds look like.

Yet, the names for all five categories of clouds are Latin in origin. Their names are: cirro, alto, strato, nimbo and cumulo. These words describe the height and shape of the cloud. Recognising these types of cloud will help you predict the weather.

What are the 5 types of clouds?

  1. Cirro= lock of hair. These wispy looking clouds exist at 6000 metres altitude and above.
  2. Alto= middle. These clouds are thicker and exist around 4000 metres altitude.
  3. Strato= layer. These clouds are stratified and have a layered look.
  4. Nimbo= cloud. These clouds exist above the freezing point in the atmosphere and exist around 2000 metres altitude.
  5. Cumulo= heap or pile. They exist at all levels of the atmosphere. At low levels, they look like cotton balls. Other times they look softer but larger in appearance. The largest ones are massive clouds reaching the troposphere and beyond.

Learn to recognise the different types of cloud to anticipate bad weather, persistent rain, or mist. You can plan your shelter needs accordingly.

By Benedict Weaver / Zero Foundation Africa

To learn how to read clouds like a weather forecaster and to understand how to read the weather and plan accordingly, attend one of our courses.
Learn more about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

Get realistic training to survive in a Hostile Environment.

Get realistic training to survive in a Hostile Environment.

A survivor is defined as “a person who copes well with difficulties in their life”. You can get realistic training to survive in a Hostile Environment. Anyone reading this article can relate to that definition even if the types of difficulties we have personally faced are not the same as each other’s.

Alison Clarke:

Stepped outside of a Cape Town night club to get some fresh air before going back inside. A man approached her and suddenly started touching her inappropriately. She could have panicked, frozen in place, and become a victim but instead, remembering her training, she did what is known as the “Trident” – and it saved her life. The best part of the Trident is that it is a simple self-defence technique anyone can master.

Scott O’Grady:

Was flying a peacekeeping mission over Bosnia in June 1995. His F16 jet was hit by a missile and he ejected. On landing, he grabbed his bail-out bag and survived for a week behind enemy lines. The contents of that bail-out bag saved him until he was rescued by US Marines.

The two examples above are from different scenarios but both reflect difficulties handled well under pressure.

Every employer has a Duty of Care (DoC) responsibility to its staff and contractors working on the company premises. However, this responsibility extends beyond the physical workplace when staff travel abroad on company business. Then, your staff represent the ethos and business practices of your company. If their travel experience could expose them to the risk of loss of life, liberty, or limb, then their employer must ensure that the corporate traveller has the necessary skillset to avoid preventable death, detention or bodily damage.

Such a skillset is taught during hostile environment awareness training (H.E.A.T.) courses, which are available in South Africa, equip employees with the ability to operate effectively when seemingly benign situations turn hostile.

The benefits of a two-day H.E.A.T. course:

  • It will provide details of their company’s corporate travel security policy and procedures. (If your company doesn’t have a policy, one needs to be developed before the pandemic ends and travel resumes).
  • It will showcase the pre-planning that needs to be carried out before leaving staff leave their home country: key areas include destination intelligence about the foreign country; meet and greet protocols at airports; routes to hotels; local resources for emergency medical situations; and evacuation process along corridors of safety and emergency communications.
  • It will introduce the concept of “Everyday Carry (EDC)” – by knowing what kit to carry and how to use it, staff will be more self-reliant and capable of operating with confidence in a hostile environment, which will in turn provide the company with sufficient time to arrange for a controlled and safe evacuation.
  • It will allow staff to make informed decisions about where to spend their leisure time without exposing themselves or the company to physical, financial, or reputational risk.
  • It will show management how to prepare a debriefing on their return.
  • The nature of this debriefing is to provide management with lessons learned; marketing intelligence about the competition; and identified risks to other employees travelling on business.


By Benedict Weaver / Zero Foundation Africa

Get realistic training to survive in a Hostile Environment. Sign up for a H.E.A.T course today .

Find out more about how Zero Foundation Africa can help you.

Hydrate or Die: A guide to drinking water

Hydrate or Die: A guide to drinking water

Water is essential to life. But, how do we drink enough to maintain a hydrated body, especially in a survival situation? This is Hydrate or Die: A guide to drinking water.

We all think that we have different hydration needs and tend to drink fluids other than water when thirsty. Yet, general rule of thumb is to consume 30ml per kg of 9body weight. So, a 80 kg man requires 2 .4 litres a day but a 60kg woman only needs 1.8 litres.

Whilst finding such volumes may be easy in everyday life, the situation changes dramatically when a man-made or natural disaster happens. Why do you need such an amount of water and should you ration it?

The six reasons your body needs water

  1. Water is a sensory aid because it conducts nervous impulses around the body.
  2. Water helps us digest food in the stomach. If you do not have water, do not eat.
  3. Water is vital for waste removal. The kidneys flush out bodily toxins in urine. Do not drink your urine unless on a TV show.
  4. Water cools and moistens the lungs. This prevents the irritation of the pulmonary linings and helps with your breathing.
  5. Water provides lubrication around the joints and gives soft tissue extra cushioning.
  6. Water is the delivery system for oxygen and nutrients around the body.
By understanding why you need water and how much, is it a good idea to ration it, especially in a survival situation?

This question causes much debate in the survival community with differing opinions.

The most common suggestion is to conserve your water supplies and not drink for the first 24 hours. This might make sense if you can lie around and not do anything but does not make sense in a true survival situation.

At the onset of a disaster, you need to be able to think clearly and rationally. To be able to do so, you need to be hydrated. Also, building shelter, tending to the injured, bugging out of the area or creating signaling devices will be hard and require you to drink water.

Lastly, if you drink nothing for the first 24 hours, you might become so dehydrated that whatever you do drink will be ineffective.

So, rather than ration your water, attend one of our H.E.A.T. courses and learn how to find and purify water in any hostile environment. Always be hydrated so you can survive and thrive.

Learn more about how to stay hydrated in business throughout Africa here.

make a fire like a pyromaniac

Make a fire like a pyromaniac

Make a fire like a pyromaniac. Fire was controlled by humans over a million years ago. Yet, the ability to make a fire has been lost to many in the modern world. Although we have several fire starting devices such as matches, lighters and piezo igniters, few people can light a fire quickly and ensure that it continues to burn effectively.

Darwin claimed that fire was one of Man’s greatest inventions.

Making a fire:

  • Boosts morale
  • Provides illumination.
  • Creates warmth.
  • Dries out wet objects.
  • Can be used to purify water.

Fire has also assisted with providing the high quality diet which has increased humans’ brain size.

Use these 6 steps to light a fire under any conditions:

  1. You only need 3 materials: tinder, kindling and fuel. They must all be dry and collected in sufficient amounts to start and sustain your fire.
  2. Ensure that the ground or area that you are going to light your fire is safe. Never light a fire directly on the ground. Lay a platform of green wood. Contain the fire with a circle of other green wood or non-porous rocks.
  3. Place your tinder ball (comprising dry and combustible man-made or natural material) on the platform and light it. Apart from matches and a lighter, there are many ways to create a spark and ignite your tinder. Attend one of our courses to find out how.
  4. Once the tinder is lit, arrange small pieces of kindling on the burning tinder in the form of a teepee. This allows the fire to breathe and the kindling to burn.
  5. As the fire catches and the kindling burns, add larger pieces of kindling to the fire. The burning kindling will fall into the centre and create a bed of embers. These embers will help ignite the new kindling added.
  6. Once the fire is established and burning for 5 minutes or more, lay a small log on the wind-facing side and another log on the other side. Add more wood across the two logs to build a log cabin of fuel. The fire will now burn for as long as you supply wood. There are several types of fire you can build depending on your needs: a Dakota hole, automatic, snake hole, hunter or long log.

The Apaches, extraordinary fire makers on the North American plains, observed the difference between their fire control techniques and the Settlers. The Settlers built huge fires and sat away from the heat. The Apache built small fires and sat close to the heat. What type of sustainable firemaker are you?

To understand how to make a fire in any survival situation, attend a H.E.A.T. course.

To understand how you can be the best corporate sustainable firemaker, learn more at our website.