No stranger to occasional flash floods, earthquakes and typhoons, seasoned survivors like Filipinos can appreciate the convenience of a Rescue72 vest bag when calamity strikes.
This new survival kit on the market is the work of Danvic Briones, an exhibiting artist behind the Lefthand Graphics design firm. Not to be tied down to a single trade, the 39-year-old inventor also serves as a director and partner of the green print production company Ecothings.
“The idea is for every person to be self-reliant even in an emergency or a disaster,” said Mr. Briones, who came up with the timely innovation after soldiering through Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 and seeing the damage aired on the news. “Before Ondoy, our family already had a 72-hour bag prepared at home, but it was only a simple backpack.”
That idea has come a long way since then, eventually evolving into a multipurpose vest that is not only a handy emergency bag but also a flotation device for protection. In an e-mail, Mr. Briones said: “I always ask myself, what will an average person need for three days that will help him survive?”
A single Rescue72 vest is wrought from fire- and water-resistant 420D nylon, sturdy enough to carry over 50 lbs for the individual wearer. Its thoughtful design includes a rain hood, tube tent, whistle, strobe lights and reflectors to help one weather the next 72 hours of a crisis—hopefully long enough for rescue workers to arrive.
The vest also comes with essentials such as first aid, personal hygiene and tool kits. Equipped with two large compartments on the back and four smaller ones along the front, this personal rescue device can be stocked with necessities like clothes, food, medicine and even a phone. Liquid compartments for up to a liter of water are found on either side. The pack’s modular webbing also allows all these pockets to be adjusted and moved for the wearer’s comfort.
Mr. Briones advised that the vest must be worn before putting in supplies. A zipper enclosure and snaps make for a secure fit. Until necessary, the vest can also be hung by its strap for convenient storage and access.
One of Rescue72’s biggest hurdles was finding a manufacturer who shared Mr. Briones’s vision. Garment and bag producers alike turned down the concept and claimed it was too complex or unprofitable.
Shared Mr. Briones: “That did not discourage me because at the back of my mind, I knew I would find someone [...] who believe[d] in what I was trying to do.” After two years, a dozen prototypes, four suppliers and funds out of his own pocket, the final product was unveiled.
Today, Rescue72 has its eye on local government units as well as Filipino families, to provide them some much-needed peace of mind amidst recent natural and man-made disasters. “Being prepared [...] gives a person a sense of security and calmness,” said Mr. Briones. “When an emergency or a disaster happens, a calm person commits lesser mistakes.”
The patent is still pending, but so far, the vest bags have already found clients in NGOs, who supply them to their rapid response and relief teams, and private firms looking to augment their disaster risk reduction strategies.
Apart from the vest, a more compact everyday carry device called the Rescue72 Grab-and-Go can be placed conveniently in one’s car or office. A Rescue72 vest to fit children and babies is also in development and may already hit store shelves within the month.
“A lot of people are asking for different color variations, especially women,” added Mr. Briones. Even if a new design is released in the near future for the fashion-forward, the inventor asserted that some parts would still bear the color orange, the internationally recognized color for emergencies.
For more information on pricing and purchasing the Rescue72 vest bag, Mr. Briones can be reached directly at 0917-806-0533 or online at http://rescue72.com.
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