How to Survive in a Wildfire Situation

A wildfire is, by definition, a fire that burns strongly and is generally out of control. The term has its root in the ancient Greek word. This word referred to a combustible liquid that could be lit easily but was difficult to extinguish.

Whilst the Greek wildfire was used in warfare, especially against ships, today a wildfire poses a threat to civilian lives and property.Typically, these fires rage in rural areas and often start on their own. However, because of the nature of the terrain and vegetation, a wildfire will often burn uncontrollably and sometimes for weeks at a time.

As fire often spreads fast and wind- borne embers jump from one hotspot to another, you can find yourself quickly surrounded and cut off from safety.

6 Tips to survive a Wildfire

  1. As soon as you see, hear or smell a fire, leave the area. Take the lowest route because fire burns in an upward direction.
  2. Avoid taking an evacuation route that could channel you into a narrow valley or onto a steep slope. Both act as a chimney for a fire.
  3. Cross a section of burning or smoldering ground to get behind a fire. Before doing so, remove clothing made of synthetic material, jewelry and cover your mouth with a cloth.
  4. If in your car, stay put. Close all windows and vents and lie on the floor. The turbulence caused by the fire will shake the car but not cause the sealed fuel  tank to explode immediately.
  5. Once the fire has passed over you car, get out and move in the direction from which the fire approached.
  6. If your clothes catch fire, do not stand. You might inhale the smoke from your burning clothes and affect your lungs. Simply stop, drop and roll on the ground. Do not use your hands to beat out the fire, just keep rolling.

H.E.A.T. tip: If caught in a wildfire, immerse yourself in a deep body of water if available. Do not immerse yourself in a puddle. The water will boil.

Join one of our courses and learn how to survive any natural or man-made disaster.

Lightning travels at 5920 km per second. That is faster than a bullet fired from an assault rifle- 1000 metres per second.

A natural disaster poses serious risks to your life, liberty and limb. People die, are trapped or injured during and after a natural disaster. Whether a fire, flood or storm, natural disasters are life threatening.

By understanding the causes of natural disasters, we are better equipped to survive.  Natural disasters are caused by three factors: the Earth’s movements; weather; and extreme weather. In Africa, extreme heat would be classed as a weather- related disaster. But,  a subsequent famine would be the result of extreme weather. 

6 Survival Tips for a Storm

  1. Stay indoors. There is a very real threat from flying debris and broken infrastructure.
  2. Equalise pressure in your building by opening the windows a couple of centimeters. This will reduce the risk of your building imploding.
  3. Tie down or lock away outdoor furniture such as tables, chairs and portable  bbq equipment.
  4. Know how to turn off your water, electricity and gas at the mains.
  5. Make a plan to relocate or protect your household pets.
  6. Check that your windscreen wipers are working, the petrol tank is  full and the spare Tyre is inflated

Remember, during a disaster, people panic. This panic makes people frustrated and they often become violent. Avoid this violence by knowing what to do and when to evacuate.

H.E.A.T. tip: Although lightning hits the tallest object in striking distance, it also strikes metal and electrical surfaces. Do not use your mobile phone whilst outside in a tropical storm.

Learn more survival techniques by joining others on one of our regular H.E.A.T. courses during 2018

Drinking water when SHTF

For many of us, water is a resource that is only appreciated when it is scarce. Often, the shortage of food is a nuisance but you can  live for 3 weeks without it. You can only live 3 days without water. But, in a SHTF scenario, your need for water will increase because of stress, activity and anxiety. The problem is that you do not know how drinkable that water is following a disaster.

Once you realise that a SHTF scenario could happen, you need to fill up bathtubs, buckets and bottles with water from your taps. As the disaster occurs, it is likely that chemicals, fuel or sewerage will contaminate the municipal water supply and your water resources.

In a flood, for example, drainage pipes burst and vehicles overturn. The flood waters become contaminated and this water needs to be treated before it can be drunk. In a fire, storm or bombing, similar destruction of the water infrastructure could make the water undrinkable.

How to make water drinkable:

Before boiling water, filter out the debris using a sock, stocking or a cloth. Bring it to  the boil, let it cool and store.

Add a few drops of food colouring to a teaspoon of bleach. Add the unscented bleach to two litres of water. Wait until the bleach has settled. Drink.

Use what the military uses: iodine tablets or an iodine solution. Mix with water according to the instructions.

Chlorine dioxide tablets will purify one litre of water at a time but let the tablet fully dissolve. The taste is similar to a swimming pool but not as strong. Experimen and buy some tablets to add to water from the tap. You will not enjoy the taste but you might get used to it. 

Fill some clear glass or plastic bottles with clean water ( no murkiness or floating debris). Place the bottles in direct sunlight for 6 hours or more. The sun’s UV ( ultra violet) rays will disinfect the water. Alternatively, invest in a  battery- powered Stripen. These units destroy bacteria by using UV to modify the molecular structure of the molecules found in the water.

For the best results, use a ceramic filter. Unlike the five methods listed above which will get rid of viruses, bacteria and micro- organisms, ceramic filters remove almost 100% of all contaminants. Even lead, fuel and other toxins.

H.E.A.T. tip: Keep a 7 day  supply of bottled water in your home before a SHTF scenario. Whilst a minimum of 2 litres per person per day will be suitable for drinking and cooking, you will need other water sources for washing and cleaning.

Bug Out Bag List: Ultimate guide for preparing Bug Out Bag when travelling in Africa

BugOutBag1The need of Bug Out Bag List

Owing to the unpredictability of disasters, whether man-made or natural, potential preppers and survivalists tend to imagine a variety of “what if” scenarios. As a result, their bug out bags are filled with a range of gear and gadgets which might or might not proof useful in a disaster situation. This is article will give you the ideal bug out bag list to ensure that you will survive with what is in your head complemented, rather than supplemented with your bug out bag contents.

You can survive any disaster situation by achieving the following four objectives: be dry, be warm, be hydrated and be rested. You could use your bug out vehicle to keep you dry and rested, but you cannot be guaranteed to remain warm and hydrated. You can carry a bug out backpack with as much equipment that you would use on an extended hike, but your key focus during and after a disaster is to have bug out bag essentials that will enable you to survive for at least three to five days. In that time, your Head Office will have arranged for your evacuation and you would have been able to stabilise your personal situation despite the chaos around you.

The market for bug out gear is huge amongst preppers and survivalists. Some of this gear should be regarded as bug out bag essentials, but other kit such as knight vision goggles and handcuffs are both heavy and unnecessary.
As the majority of travellers to Africa will experience disasters or find themselves in hostile environments in urban rather than rural areas, herewith a bug out bag checklist:

  • A holdall or small rug sack no bigger than 15 litre capacity.
  • A lightweight waterproof jacket and a woolen jersey to keep you dry and warm.
  • Two pairs of wool socks
  • A water bottle and purifying tablets (the Aquamira brand does not taste of chlorine) as well as a survival straw or mini Sawyer filter system.
  • A shemagh which can be used as shade, a towel, a small blanket, a neck scarf, extra insulation, a sling and a tourniquet if necessary.
  • A torch with a spare battery
  • A signaling mirror
  • A small hygiene kit with a cut-down toothbrush, small tube of toothpaste, dental floss, anti-bacterial hand gel and some toilet paper.
  • A notepad and writing instrument – a pencil (the shavings can act as tinder) or a Fisher pen.
  • A full tang sharp knife held in a secure sheath.
  • A small first aid kit with re-wrappable bandages, plasters, moleskin for blisters, pain killers and diarrhoea tablets. Keep an emergency supply of your personal medication.
  • An automatic analogue watch with an alarm function.
  • Three Bic lighters and a small container of cotton wool balls soaked in Vaseline.
  • A button compass (to give you the cardinal points for navigation) and a local map.
  • A set of lock picks, especially useful to defeat padlocks.
  • Lightweight leather gloves.
  • $ 200.00 or more in small denomination notes and some local currency.

This basic bug out bag list will provide you with the essentials to survive by adapting what you find in the local environment. Whilst this is not the ultimate bug out bag, the contents can be used on a regular basis before a disaster so that you are confident that they are fit for purpose.

Future articles will address urban survival tools and urban survival gear, as well as survival food and emergency food supplies.

Nigerian kidnappings

Nigeria is no doubt becoming one of the world’s hottest spots for kidnappings and tourist attacks. The Liberty whitepaper reported that Nigeria has a very high risk of kidnapping especially in the hot spots of the Niger Delta boarder and northern Nigeria.

The target industries include mining, transportation and construction workers. International employees working in the oil industry are also becoming at high risk for kidnapping. Nigerian kidnappings are the most dangerous, including the abduction of the Chibok girls who still haven’t returned home.

In recent news, a German national was kidnapped in Nigeria on the 16th of July 2014. The man was abducted outside of his residence when he was leaving in the neighbourhood of Anguwan Faransa. The Liberty whitepaper also indicates that locations prone to kidnappings include workplaces, hotels and in transit. The German national is an instructor of a government-run technical school.

Reports by witnesses indicate that the kidnapping was carried out by approximately 20 militants on motorcycles. Although no group has admitted or taken responsibility for the abduction yet, Adamawa, where Anguwan Faransa is centralised, is a throttlehold for the notorious Islamist group Boko Haram.There are other militant groups active in the state of Adamawa.

Kidnappings in Nigeria and other African countries are on the rise and with the failure to capture and prosecute the groups involved, it is only getting worse.

During our H.E.A.T course we will teach you about the selection and surveillance of target during  kidnappings scenarios. We also cover the Psychology of survival in our survival manual. BOOK our kidnap mitigation course today and DOWNLOAD our manual to learn about surviving a kidnap scenario.


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Basic self-defence tips

There are countless reasons we can think of to convince you why you should learn even the most basic self-defence skills or tools that can come in very handy. Whether you do not feel safe walking alone or you would like to be able to protect a loved one in unfortunate events, this is a post for everyone.

Physical violence occurs anywhere at any time. Sometimes it is predicted but in most cases it is not. In the modern world of technology, people are so distracted when in public space, constantly referring to their cell phones, iPads or listening to music on their headsets. These incidents are not only distracting you from your surroundings but they are also an attraction to criminal attacks.

Here are some basic self-defence tips you should think of next time you are walking in an uneasy space:

  • Prevention is the best way. Always be aware of your surroundings while walking or even driving and always be alert and awake at   all times.
  • If you are in a building and you have an anxious feeling about the person you are in the elevator with, prevent them from attacking you by stopping at every floor.
  • React as early as possible before an attack can gain full control over you. Attack first the vulnerable parts of the body which include, nose, eyes, throat, groin, knees and stomach.
  • Use your elbows, knees and head to attack. These parts of your body are more effective to inflict pain.
  • Use everyday objects as weapons that can be found in the environment around you such as keys, pen, rolled newspaper as a baton, you can also throw some sand in the attacker’s eyes or use your spray or perfume.

Remember that all fighting skills depend on balance. These are just basic self-defence tips that you can use in your daily life. However, in our H.E.A.T Manual we take you step by step on how to effectively defend yourself in seriously hostile attacks.

Our comprehensive basic self-defence skills will give you a physical strategy you should follow if you find yourself in a physical predicament.

DOWNLOAD our H.E.A.T survival manual today and learn more about effective basic self-defence skills.


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Terrorist attacks on Kenya

The coast of Kenya is the one part of the country that is considered to be dependent of tourism to maintain its economic growth. However, tourist attraction regions are plagued with violent terrorist attacks on Kenya that have been blamed on Islamist militants.

In September 2013, Kenya’s biggest shopping mall in the capital city of Nairobi was attacked by Al-Shabaab militants. The gunmen attacked the populated mall killing 67 civilians in what was considered the country’s worst incident since the 1998 bombing of the US embassy that killed more than 200 people. These are only some of the biggest terrorist attacks on Kenya in recent years.

In 2014, a grenade attack hit a tourist resort bar in a popular coastal resort town in Kenya. It was reported that the attack was executed by two men on motorbikes who drove passed the resort bar and threw grenades at the customers inside the bar.

The crowded bar, called Tandoori situated in the Indian Ocean of Diani, was attacked in the early hours of a Thursday afternoon. The two men on the back of the motorbikes fled before the police could arrive at the scene. The sudden attack left 10 people injured, at least one victim was seriously injured and had to go for surgery at a nearby hospital.

Terrorist attacks on Kenya and other African countries are increasing by the day. Al-Qaeda militants are spreading across the world, including Al-Shabaab that has recently launched at attack on the Somalian presidential palace. In our H.E.A.T Manual, we cover a full module on the different makes of bombs. We also cover medical emergency procedures you should follow during a bomb injury.

DOWNLOAD our ultimate survival manual and learn more about emergency medicine today!


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Kidnap and exploitation of women

Kidnap and exploitation of women in Africa and other parts of the world is increasing by the day. Here is a brief post on some of the kidnap and exploitation of women in and around Africa.

Inside the islands of India, Andaman Islands’ Jarawa tribe have been experiencing a host of incidents linked to kidnapping and exploitation. In early 2014, the Jawara tribe reported to authorities eight women missing. The eight women’s incident was reported following a string of extreme sexual exploitation of Jawara women.

Seven men were arrested following the report of the alleged abducted and kidnapped vulnerable Jarawa women. It is reported that the Jarawa tribe “have only had friendly interaction with their neighbours since 1998 and are highly vulnerable to exploitation, diseases, and dependency on goods such as alcohol brought in by outsiders”. It was found that the women were being enticed with alcohol and used by poachers for hunting and gathering inside the tribe’s reserve.

Kidnap and exploitation of women in poverty stricken environments is irrevocably increasing. Other motives may include human trafficking, slavery and sexual labour. In Africa, kidnapping motives may vary for different reasons, some include, political reasons, exchange of terrorist group members, as well as power over land.

In recent news, kidnap and exploitation of women has taken centre stage in Africa and around the world. The Boko Haram kidnapping is still one of the most highly sought after kidnapping scenarios across the globe, with a whopping 200 and more girls kidnapped. According to, more than 600 people have been victims of Boko Haram through kidnappings and terrorists acts across Nigeria and other parts of Africa.

Kidnapping is clearly a rising money-making tragedy in Africa. During our 2 day Kidnap Mitigation course we offer practical scenarios and excises that can prepare one for a potential kidnapping situation. BOOK YOUR COURSE TODAY and learn how to return to the safety of your loved ones in hostile environments.


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Al-Shaab attacks in Africa

Al-Shaab attacks in Africa
Notorious rebel group Al-Shaab has once again proved that it is a force that will do whatever it takes to get its point across. The Somalia-based cell of the militant Islamist group Al-Qaeda took centre stage in the news in the first week of July 2014 when it was reported that a major bomb and armed assault was carried out against the presidential palace in Somalia. The famous militant attackers managed to infiltrate the heavily-fortified complex of the presidential palace before blowing themselves up.

Officials reported that there at least nine attackers who were all killed in the tragic attack. The officials also went on to say that “there were eight blasts towards the end of the fighting, believed to have been suicide vests. They detonated themselves”. However, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed were not inside or anywhere near the presidential palace when the incident occurred, therefore both men were unharmed. Sources from the security force reported that both the President and the Prime Minister were protected by guards from the African Union’s 22 000 strong AMISOM force.

Al-Shaab spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab told AFP that “”Our commandos are inside the so-called presidential office”. During confirmation and admission the proud spokesman added, “The enemy suffered high casualties during the operation, which is ongoing. The assault is a victory for us since the foreign installed government said that security was beefed up”. Police and authorities conducted investigations on numbers of casualties and the types of bombs used. Nicholas Kay, UN’s top envoy to Somalia condemned the attack on Somalia’s government.

Militant rebel groups are continuously attacking different regions on Africa. PURCHASE OUR SURVIVAL MANUAL TODAY and you can learn about the different attacks, bombs and blasts that happen in Africa on page 25 of our survival manual.

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The fight to survive mentally – mental fitness

After experiencing a traumatic experience such as being held captive in a hostage or kidnap situation, it is important to keep your mind fit and healthy.

Here are some tips on how you can fight to survive mentally in a hostile environment by keeping your priorities straight and not losing hope.

What would you do if you were stuck in a deserted hostile environment with little to no food, no shelter and no idea of your location? Well, most people would panic at the first instance; however, the right approach to this scenario would be to stay mentally fit. Besides avoiding getting captured, it is also important to learn how to survive mentally in case you do get captured. In this article we are going to briefly discuss mental fitness in a hostile environment.

Strong mental fitness:
In kidnap scenarios, only the strong will survive. Often, the biggest obstacles captives face is psychological obstacles. They are drawn deep into the fear of the unknown, stressing over things that are beyond your control, anger at being trapped in the dilemma and blame. It important to remember that these feelings are normal, however, dwelling on these feelings can be overwhelming. If you continue to engage in these negative feelings, you can be paralyzed by depression and indecisiveness.

At the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, the vast Army base where soldiers train for three years to join Special Forces, they practice and suggest the SERE stage which stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape. The instructors of SERE advise that you should keep your priorities straight which include your major needs such as food, water and shelter.

Since surviving takes practice and whilst the ability to make fire is a great lifesaver, here is the survival acronym the Army’s uses according to Special Forces in the USA:

S -Size up the situation
U – Use all your senses
R – Remember where you are
V – Vanquish fear and panic
I – Improvise
V – Value living.
A – Act like the natives.
L – Live by your wits

In our H.E.A.T course we cover the Psychology of survival in hostile in environments. BOOK YOUR COURSE TODAY and learn how to mentally survive in hostile environments in Africa.

You can also PURCHASE AND DOWNLOAD OUR MANUAL and learn more about the Psychology of survival.

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