Pinoy entrepreneur designs 'wearable' disaster survival kit

By KC Santos

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA – After Typhoon Ondoy, Danvic Briones set out to make the ultimate accessory in disaster preparedness.

Danvic now calls it the Rescue 72 Vest Bag, a “grab-and-go” kit he says can store three days worth of basic supplies one needs in time of disaster.

It took him two years and ten prototypes before he finally settled on a commercial product. The Rescue Vest Bag looks like your ordinary life vest but with modular or detachable parts that can be customized according to the user’s preference.

“Especially when disaster strikes, a person can be very panicky. If all the things you need are found in one bag then your chances of making it to safety are higher,” says Danvic.

The idea behind his product came up after he saw a family stranded on top of their house and then washed away by the rushing flood. That was around two years ago when Typhoon Ondoy -one of the worst natural disasters in the last few years – struck Metro Manila.

“The idea is that for people to be self-reliant so that they may not only protect themselves but also help their loved ones or others for that matter.”

Danvic says the three-day pack contains all that a person may need for the “pre- and post-disaster phase”. In the Philippines, a country that experiences at least 20 typhoons every year, he points out it takes at least three days for rescuers to plan, assess and finally do rescue operations.

“At least within those critical three days, you have all the things necessary for you to survive and you don’t have to be dependent on rescue efforts but basically your instinct,” says Danvic

The Rescue 72 Vest Bag has three major components: the multi-tool kit, first aid kit and the personal hygiene kit. All three provide basic necessities like whistles, distress light, basic medicine and items for hygiene, which should be provided in evacuation centers but are often taken for granted.

“Without these, supposed solutions become problems like simply opening canned goods, changing clothes, disinfecting wounds and washing hands. These should no longer further worsen the problematic situation that comes after relocating victims,” says Danvic.

Despite its numerous components, the bag is lightweight but can carry up to 30 pounds. It also features a floatation function and a cord which can be latched either on a sturdy ramp or to the vest of another to keep everyone connected or avoid from being swept by rushing flood waters.

The Rescue 72 Vest Bags are sold for P6,000 (adults) and P4,500 (child). Danvic also uses his linkages with other agencies to spread his advocacy to promote a self-reliant attitude toward disaster prevention and preparedness among Filipinos.

“Even if you don’t have the resources to buy these kinds of kits, what’s important is that you find the means to improvise what you have for you and your family’s safety.”

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