Hostile Environment Awareness and First Aid Training (HEFAT)


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This is a two-day personal safety and security course, suitable for anyone working in or traveling through a hostile environment including professionals from the fields of news/media, development, oil and gas and telecom sectors.

This course teaches your staff about the hazards facing them in (remote) hostile environments, how to minimize their vulnerability and how to react when a situation takes a turn for the worse. This course could save their lives and your company’s reputation.

Topics to be covered:

Day 1 – 7th October 2013:

• Risks and threats • Personal conflict management • Pre deployment considerations & risk assessments • Vehicle security, IEDs and UXO • First aid and trauma management • Unconscious casualties and head injuries

Day 2 – 8th October 2013:

• Personal security/robbery/car-jacking • Hostage survival, arrests and detentions • Weapons e.g. small arms, artillery, air attacks • Legal and illegal checkpoints • Riots, civil disorder and lethal/non-lethal crowd control measures • Travel health and survival • Fire, carbon monoxide risks and trauma care

Days 1 and 2 will be a mix of classroom-based theoretical sessions and practical simulation exercises to demonstrate and practice lessons taught in the classroom.

For further information please write to us on or click on the link below to register for this course:

Last date to register: 22nd September 2013

Self-Defense Program for Women – Karachi, Pakistan


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This is a self-defense program designed specifically for women. Our approach to personal safety begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, and progresses to hands-on physical defense techniques.

Participants in the program learn a wide range of tactics, including verbal techniques, ground defense options, escaping from bear hugs, choke-holds, weapon retention and many more.

The practical techniques are designed to maximize the strengths of a woman’s body and build upon existing instinctive responses to provide women with effective self-defense options. In S.D.P., women will have the opportunity for hands-on dynamic impact practice and realistic simulation exercises.

Day One: Saturday 21st Sept (0900 till 1400)

Threats, mindset, situational awareness, avoidance, use-of-force, improvised weapons, unconventional weapons, shock-awe and defense positions.

Day two: Sunday 22nd Sept (0900 till 1400)

After a series of warm-up drills to simulate fatigue and adrenaline, students will perform a variety of simulated attacks and counter-attacks along with possible outcomes of various defense moves and probable injuries sustained.

Group discussions will be held throughout the day to explain and answer participant questions/concerns.

Student Requirements:

• Track suit, face towel and sneakers • Mouth guard (can be provided for purchase) • Exercise mat (can be provided for purchase) • Water bottle • Knee and elbow protection (can be provided for purchase)


This two day interactive program costs Rs. 12,000 per person. Refreshments will be provided during the course of the program, along with a workshop certificate at successful completion of the course. Groups of three or more persons can avail a 10% discount.

For further information please write to us on or click on the link below to register for this course:


People are wonderful.

After a disaster, there is a flood of goodwill that pours into communities to help with the local recovery effort. These volunteers and donors come not only from within the community, but from areas all over the US.


The Problem
Unfortunately, it is hard for someone in California to help someone in New York in a meaningful way — they would have to travel to the devastated community. This is not only costly, but also causes an unnecessary influx of people to an unsafe disaster area.

The Remote Volunteer
We’re helping change this pattern and allow people across the country to volunteer meaningfully without rushing into a disaster zone. Using the platform, a California resident has the ability to help in a New York recovery effort, without ever leaving their home. We’re seeing a new class created – the remote volunteer. Since the software…

View original post 412 more words

Vehicle Fitness and Common Causes for Breakdowns – Survive Pakistan


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Ever seen those scenes from a movie where right when you need to escape a terrible situation, the vehicle just won’t start? Or how about a flat tyre in a bad neighborhood? Or right when you need to get to an important meeting on time, your engine overheats and stalls? It’s not fate, it’s poor maintenance and the lack of attention to details that causes these incidents to take place.

When we first put out our survey and asked our readers what they would like us to write about, they chose “On the road Safety and Security”. We believe there is a good reason for that, especially here in Pakistan, where being on the road is almost the same as being in combat; no rule of law, no common courtesy, at times getting stuck in a violent protest or behind the traffic build-up due to it, or if you are very unlucky you could be driving up to an explosion about to happen. For others the fear is of a different nature; some are more concerned with how to prevent getting mugged at a traffic light or getting into an accident due to bad brakes.

Whatever YOUR reason for choosing this topic; one thing is certain, you are reading this post because you realize there are hazards on the road that you need to learn about and PREVENT!

Most Common Reasons for Vehicle Breakdowns:images-3

1. Lack of Fuel:

Believe it or not, the most common reason for a breakdown is not having enough fuel in your vehicle! While in most other countries the reason for not filling up your tanks could be laziness, the most common reason why this happens in Pakistan is sudden gas station shutdowns due to violence or strikes. This is an easy fix; ALWAYS make sure you have at least a half tank of fuel, if not topped off every other day.

2. Damaged/Worn Out Tyre – Otherwise known as Punctures

images-1There are two main reasons why your vehicle tires/wheels will wear out; driving carelessly fast on bad roads and not keeping your tires properly inflated.

Careless Driving: Driving fast over potholes may get you over them faster but it will also take a toll on your tires and could cause your tire(s) to blow out. Same goes for driving too close to and impacting against curbs (AKA foot paths) as over time it will damage the sidewalls and possibly the rims, causing slow leaks which can eventually lead up to flats (and in worse case an accident).

Improper Tire Inflation: If you are like most of the drivers we know, in other words, making visual inspection of your tire and assuming it’s good to go, stop it now! Every vehicle comes with a manual that includes the proper amount of tire pressure to be maintained at all times and if you no longer have that manual, check the tire placard that is mostly placed at the front-facing edge of a vehicle ‘B’ pillar. If you cannot locate this, simply go to the manufacturer website and search for your vehicle there. images

The common rule of thumb is to check your tire pressure at least once every month but a better practice would be to check them once every week; the more often you check your tires the faster you will detect slow leaks which could save you from a potentially ugly breakdown.

This also applies to your spare tires; just because they are ‘spares’ does not mean you ignore them. Make sure your spares are in good condition and all necessary flat-change equipment is present and functional.

3. Engine Problems: There are two primary reasons why your engine will die on you;images-5 Spark Plugs and Fuel. Your engine needs an uninterrupted flow of fuel and a spark to ignite it, in order to create the energy needed to run the vehicle. In order to ensure that keeps happening as it should, make sure you get your vehicle in for regular maintenance and have them both checked. Since this is unsafe for anyone that does not know what they are doing, it’s better to let the professionals do it for you.

4. Fluid Maintenance: Oil is to your vehicle as blood is to your body – just can’t survive without the two. There are a few things you have to understand about what this oil does for your vehicles in order for you to really get why this is so important!

Oil as a lubricant – all those engine parts rolling and grinding against each other, over time, without this lubricant they will cease to function, resulting in a complete engine seizure – you’re not going ANYWHERE! Unknown

Oil as a cooling agent – All that friction between moving parts that we told you about? It causes your engine to heat up; because motor oil lubricates these parts and reduces friction, it therefore reduces the heat bringing down the overall temperature.

Engine Coolant: Another important fluid your vehicle needs is ‘coolant’ which is normally replaced by water in Pakistan. Why should you avoid using water and switch to the recommended coolant for your vehicle? Because coolant has a very high boiling point and a very low freezing point, water on the other hand is the opposite and should ONLY be used for very short intervals; say you ran out of coolant and used water just to get to the station and get the coolant refilled. Unknown-1Due to this, in very cold environments the water will freeze and expand causing serious damage to the engine. On the other hand, in very hot environments (such as Karachi), the water will heat up rapidly and overheat your engine, causing serious damage!

If you are worried about the cost factor, a mix of coolant and water can be used as well.

Aside from the above, regular Battery Maintenance is also very important to avoid an unexpected stall or breakdown. Get a pair of Jumper Cables and keep them in your vehicle’s trunk just in case of an emergency. Get your vehicle battery tested and if needed, recharged or replaced before it gives up at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Stay tuned for our next post on important Road Safety & Security Do’s and Don’ts and remember to share your thoughts with us at or send us a message on @AfterShockCEM or @BoloBhiSafety.

From all of us here at Survive Pakistan – Stay Safe!

Survive Pakistan – A Safety and Security Advisory Forum


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For most of us living in a high risk environment such as Pakistan, security has become a term we have gotten very used to, without realizing what security really is. It’s not about any one or two products, systems or services, it’s not about having armed guards or CCTV cameras, it’s about taking important preventative measures to avoid situations where we no longer have control over our own safety and well-being. 

AfterShock-CEM has recently joined hands with BoloBhi (Urdu for ‘Speak Up’), a non-profit Imageorganization that is geared towards advocacy, policy and research in the areas of gender rights, government transparency, legislation, Internet freedom, digital security, privacy and empowerment. 

Together, we are initiating a series of safety and security awareness Blogs and live chats, starting early February 2013 where we will not only post information that you can use, share and learn from; we will give you the chance to hold interactive dialogue with our team and ask questions that you want answered. Our first two topics which were rated the highest preference after a series of polls, will be safety and security on the road; to include vehicle fitness and safety, planning and managing your daily road-trips, keeping sensitive information about your trips private, what hazards to watch out for while outside and what to do in case something goes wrong. 

If you follow any one of us on Twitter under @AfterShockCEM or @BoloBhiSafety, you will know that we are always giving out real-time crime and traffic alerts, important safety and security tips and sharing good resources on the topic with our followers. In case you’re not part of this chain, sign up and follow us so you too can take advantage of this. 

Starting tomorrow we will start publishing short posts that will eventually all lead up to our live interactive chat. If you’re not already subscribed to one of the three Blogs, do it now so that you are informed when new posts are published and the date(s) and time(s) for the live session are announced. You can also send us an email on and let us know if there is anything specific you would like us to talk about on here.

From all of us here at Survive Pakistan – stay safe! 

A Billion Voices

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:28 PM EDT, Mon October 1, 2012

(CNN) — A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck off Japan’s eastern coast early Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
With a depth of 9 kilometers (5.6 miles), the tremor was about 96 kilometers (almost 60 miles) east-northeast of Miyako and 550 kilometers (342 miles) north-northeast of Tokyo, according to the U.S. agency.
The quake occurred just over a year and a half since a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a huge tsunami off Japan, resulting in thousands of deaths and the world’s worst nuclear crisis in a quarter century.
The Japan Meteorological Agency, however, did not issue any tsunami warnings or advisories immediately after the Tuesday morning quake, according to its website. No such warnings were issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center either.
A little more than 30 minutes after this first earthquake, another significant, if slightly weaker one, hit…

View original post 66 more words

Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) – 12 Nov, 2012


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We will be holding an exciting, intense training program which aims at preparing civilians to recognise and avoid potential threats of living and working in hostile or uncertain locations. This training will equip you with the necessary skills to plan your field operations for high risk areas, and confidence to respond effectively to incidents as they occur.

You will learn everything from initial pre-departure requirements including medical, security and travel advice along with cultural and country specific awareness, self defense, tactical firearms and driving, etc.

Who should attend?

Anyone working/traveling in hostile or uncertain areas of the world. Training is suited for journalists, field reporters, investigators, expatriate staff, NGO field staff or for Security Managers responsible for high risk operations in the field.

Course Outline:

  • Pakistan political and cultural briefings
  • Personal security and safety
  • Situational awareness
  • Pre travel, journey planning and management
  • Field Emergency First Aid
  • GPS & basic navigation
  • Vehicle security (avoidance of car jacking techniques)
  • Emergency equipment
  • Incident reaction (team composure)
  • Accommodation security (temporary safe houses, residential and commercial)
  • Abduction/kidnap avoidance techniques
  • Self defense (defensive stance, take-downs, protecting sensitive body parts, etc)
  • Surveillance detection and avoidance techniques
  • Weapons recognition, safety and basic handling/shooting
  • Improvised Explosive Device awareness (unexploded ordinance/VBIED education);
  • Conflict negotiation and resolution
  • Environmental health considerations (selection of food, water and medical sources)
  • Hostile area survival skills
  • Hostage survival
  • Working with different security personnel (ethnic, political and religious considerations)
  • Tactical field driving (must hold valid Pakistan government issued/International driver’s license)

Course Duration: This intense training will be 12 hours long with two and half hours of breaks. Part of this Training will be covered during night time for simulated after-hours threats.

Course Location: Training will be held at a private facility in Karachi, Pakistan. All field simulated activities will be conducted on site in a secured environment. Transportation to and from training venue will be available from one pick up point. For participants coming from out of city/country, discounted room rates will be available at a renowned hotel adjacent to the Karachi airport.

Course Cost: This 12 hours intensive training costs Rs. 30,000 (plus GST) per person. Group discounts of three or more persons are available at 15%. Cost includes training, refreshments, pick & drop from pre-appointed location, certificates and training manuals. Hotel/Air Travel is NOT included.

Please call +92-341-2020-359 or email: for additional information. Register online:


Training on ‘Safety and Security Management in Pakistan for the 21st Century’


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AfterShock-CEM will be conducting a one day introductory training on ‘Safety and Security Management in Pakistan for the 21st Century’.

This one day training workshop offers a fresh look into the world of security management and where it is headed. It addresses the nature, scope and history of security services, the essential elements of security, types of security organizations, regulations, certifications, standards, the impact of economic and social globalization, and the future of security management.

Suitable for entry level security professionals and managers in the fields of Security, HSE, Administration, Field Operations and Human Resources from any Industry.  Professionals working in NGOs and medium to large sized businesses are strongly encouraged to enroll.

Fill out the form below or please write to us on to enroll or for further details regarding venue, timing, course content, instructor profile and training cost. You can avail a 15% discount for groups of three or more (if you tell us you found out about this course via WordPress) but hurry! Last date to enroll is the 20th of August, 2012.

Stay Well – Stay Safe!

N Khan
Founder | Chief Consultant
C | +92-341-2020-359

Holiday Safety


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2011 is coming to an end in nine short days and with it, the festivities and fun that most of us plan for the entire year. What we don’t (normally) plan for are things that could potentially go wrong; whether it is a little one’s health or getting mugged in a deserted unfamiliar street.

Keeping this post short and simple; lets talk about a few tips that could help you have a fun yet safe year-end holiday.

Travel – General:

  • Research the city/country you will be traveling to and try to get familiar with the most commonly occurring country crimes and health statistics
  • Most people travel with their entire lives in their back pockets (i.e. a wallet). In case your wallet is lost or stolen, make sure you inventory everything in it and print out and email yourself an emergency contact list as well as information to your country’s Embassy/Consulate
  • Change your currency before you leave your country and if the service/target currency is not available to you, try to change it at a secured bank and avoid doing so at the airport as that is where most pick pocketers (I don’t think that is a word) and muggers first spot their targets
  • Avoid counting and/or displaying (foreign) currency in public
  • Make sure you stay at a hotel that has good ratings so as to avoid problems such as identity theft, etc. Before checkout, ask for an itemized billing receipt and see what you are being charged for
  • Make colored copies of your ID cards and passport in case you were to get mugged
  • Let someone back home know where you will be (share your itinerary) in case you are kidnapped/stranded so a general geographical context of your last whereabout could be established
  • You do not have to be vacationing in the Afghanistan caverns to get into a bad situation; things can go wrong anywhere (ask the tourists in NYC when the planes hit the world trade center). Plan ahead and always be vigilant/alert of your surroundings
  • Try and avoid going to ATMs at night time or unfamiliar/deserted parts of town
  • Familiarize yourself by driving to your embassy/consulate in case you have to seek refuge or visit it for any other reason later on
  • If your embassy/consulate has a visitor registration system, make sure you use it so they are aware of your presence in the country

Think before you speak:

  • Cannot stress this point enough; know who you speak to and give out only non-pertinent information – never share personal information with strangers such as where you are staying, what you do back home, what your income is, how long are you in town for, etc.
  • Try to learn the local customs and greetings and try to practice speaking the way they speak at home (learn the accents and slangs) – this gives people the impression that you are not new in the area and makes you a harder target
  • Learn the local driving laws and avoid getting into a traffic accident by exercising patience and driving carefully; you may get away with flipping a cop off in your country but in some, you would get locked away in a heart beat!
  • Never cuss or use foul language – you may think it is funny to sound like Eddie Murphy and throw the ‘F’ word around but the locals may get offended!
  • In case you are in a deserted area faced by a potential aggressor, try to remain calm and speak in a confident tone
  • NEVER engage in religious or political conversations – if confronted by people in a bar who want to know your opinion about the war in Afghanistan, try to tell them what they want to hear and get out of the conversation in one piece

Blend in

  • Again, try to blend in and respect the local culture – going to the Vatican in beach shorts and a tank top will most probably land you in trouble
  • Check for airline dress codes as many are now enforcing them. In order to be able to fly; find out in advance so you do not get denied a seat in transit (happened to me once when I tried to board a PIA flight in shorts and t-shirt)
  • Dress fun if you want to but try to cover up your god given goods a bit so as to not attract too much (unwanted) attention
  • If you are traveling on the road make sure you pack up extra winter clothes, warm blanket, gloves and a first aid kit in case of a break down
  • Find out which airport you may land in for a layover – if it requires you to dress a certain way, make sure you keep something in your carry on for a quick change over for the duration of your stay

Stay Healthy:

  • Fill up on your (and your family’s) prescription medicines before leaving
  • Find out any airline laws which may affect the way you transport certain prescription medicines as they may be considered as controlled drugs (narcotics) – last thing you need is to be arrested for (attempted) smuggling of prescription drugs
  • Make sure you get a pre travel check up done before departing for your holidays and get a clean bill of health – getting stuck at a hospital in a foreign country where nobody speaks your language could be a nightmare and you may end up involuntarily donating your right arm (or maybe I’m just exaggerating now)
  • If you or someone traveling with you has a serious health condition, make sure you notify the airline before purchasing the tickets and ensure all special needs airline requirements can be made available (such as wheelchair, etc) – however this varies by airline
  • Once you arrive at your destination, try to familiarize yourself with the nearest health services so in case of an emergency, you are not wandering aimlessly looking for help

The bottom line of all this jibber jabber is to try and look ahead of your fun-filled holidays and spend a day or two thinking of how you can be prepared for an unnecessary problem while traveling and planning accordingly.

Here is a cute (don’t get used to it) airline safety commercial that you must watch before take off!

Now go on out there, have a Merry Christmas, fantastic new year and come back in one happy piece.

From all of us here at AfterShock-CEM, happy holidays!

In case you would like us at AfterShock-CEM to prepare a pre-departure safety report and city-wise journey safety list, send us an email on along with information on the country and the time of the year you plan on making your trip.