SOURCE: ReadyBox


July 21, 2011 09:00 ET

Thinking Outside the Box With ReadyBox

The ReadyBox, a New State-of-the-Art Emergency Supply Kit, Empowers Disaster Victims to Take Charge When Catastrophe Strikes

GLENDALE, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 21, 2011) - With hurricane season on the horizon, and random disasters of all kinds seemingly happening almost everywhere, a new high-tech emergency supply kit for the ordinary citizen is getting high marks from first responders.

"We can't be everywhere at one time," said veteran firefighter Dennis Waters. "That's why you need to have the ReadyBox at home so you can take care of yourself and your family before we can get there to help you."

The ReadyBox is an emergency supply kit containing tools and technologies that empower disaster victims to take immediate, critical control of potentially catastrophic situations in the urgent period immediately following disasters, at least until first responders arrive.

The state-of-the-art kit is the creation of California entrepreneur Marshall M. Watson, who came up with the idea for the ReadyBox after experiencing an earthquake while working on the 40th floor of a high-rise office building.

"Had that been a 7.0, my life would have changed forever," Watson said. "And the only emergency supply kits I could find contained items like tube tents, tissue packages and playing cards. I thought: 'You have to be kidding me! Why can't the average person have what actual first responders and relief agencies use in an emergency?'

"That's why I created the ReadyBox," he said.

Next Generation Emergency Preparedness

In designing the ReadyBox, Watson said he realized basic concepts about emergency preparedness hadn't changed in decades.

"Disaster agencies still recommend having extra batteries for your flashlight and non-perishable food with a can opener," he said. "People are still arguing about which fabric keeps you warmest and driest -- cotton or wool. But a lot has changed since the 1970s!"

Among the technologies included in the ReadyBox is a universal phone charger that allows almost any cell phone to be powered using a hand crank, eliminating the need for batteries, and Mylar body wraps that retain 90 percent of a person's body heat without the need to store bulky jackets or similar heavy garments.

Outside the ReadyBox: It Glows

On the outside, the ReadyBox is a laptop-sized portable case equipped with a convenient handle and made of water-resistant high-density polyethylene, making it light enough to carry, able to float when exposed to standing water, and durable enough to withstand water damage and serious impacts.

"Other products on the market come in flimsy, bulky backpacks that are cumbersome and could easily tear, get soaked or be crushed," Watson said.

Furthermore, the ReadyBox glows in the dark because of its exclusive use of photoluminescent technology that has been customized to give the ReadyBox hours of illumination in the dark. "What good is having an emergency product if you can't find it in the dark?" he said.

"Outside" thinking about the inside, too

In determining the contents of the ReadyBox, Watson said he talked with firefighters, EMTs and reviewed FEMA and Homeland Security recommendations.

"For some kits on the market, it's all about quantity -- the number of items that are stuffed in the bag," Watson said. "But that's the wrong way to think about it. In the ReadyBox, we've included everything you need and nothing you don't. It's quality and utility that matter."

Contents inside the ReadyBox include:

  • Hygienically sealed, nutrient-dense food that is certified by the U.S. Coast Guard (five-year shelf life).
  • Clean, purified water in three one-liter boxes (five-year shelf life).
  • An LED flashlight and multi-frequency radio that generates its own power, never needing batteries.
  • A universal cell phone charger set with an adapter that charges virtually any phone during a power outage.
  • Hospital-grade medical supplies, including easily applicable antibiotics and antiviral masks that meet CDC guidelines for protection against tuberculosis and anthrax spores.
  • Protective thermal wraps.

The critical first 72 hours

When disaster strikes, it could be several days before vital services are restored or even before first responders can reach victims. That's why most experts agree having a plan and emergency supplies to survive the first 72 hours is critical.

Watson had this fact in mind when designing the ReadyBox. "The things we take for granted -- working telephones, grocery stores, hospital emergency rooms -- could all be gone in an instant," he said. "ReadyBox gives you the tools and technologies to take charge of what could be a very bad situation."

The ReadyBox is available at

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