DANVIC BRIONES AND HIS LIFE-SAVING VEST
An innovation that could have saved friends and relatives in the Philippines
We need it now -- before another Haiyan
It was September 2009 and Ondoy (International name: Ketsana) brought with it torrential rains. Waters rose to as high as ten feet and urban Manila was submerged in minutes. Cars floated and became deadly torpedoes to anything on its path--humans, other cars, infrastructure.
Danvic Briones watched television, transfixed, unable to tear his eyes away from the carnage of Ondoy. He saw a family of five on top of a roof floating on flood waters. A wave came and engulfed the family, it crested and fell, revealing only one member remaining. This vision stayed with him. He thought of his family. What if it happens to them?
He knew about preparation. Being of Mormon background, he was aware of the idea of emergency preparedness. But this was a flood, rising so fast it leaves no time for thinking. He knew he needed a vest. But what about food, water, clothing?
He had an idea.
He knew of life vests, he knew of compartments, but not a combination of both -- and never for emergency preparedness. He then started his journey.
It took him two years and several prototypes. Being an artist, he can design, but he did not know the first thing about sewing a bag or a vest. Manufacturers told him it was not possible -- too expensive, too time-consuming, not interesting, won’t work, can’t be done.
But he believed in his idea and did not give up until he saw it come to life. In 2011, he launched the product he called the Rescue72 Vest Bag and began raising the consciousness of many about its need. The product was tested and is effective. If given the opportunity, Rescue 72 could have been the lifeline needed during Typhoon Haiyan, which took 10,000 lives. But Danvic Briones never had the opportunity to expose his product where it would have garnered international attention – the U.S.
Danvic overstayed an earlier visit to the U.S. and was forced to return to the Philippines. In 2011, he had the chance to emigrate to Canada. At least that was close. But not close enough.
Canada was unfamiliar with such disasters that struck the Philippines and thus lukewarm to his invention. The U.S., with its experiences of hurricanes Katrina in New Orleans and Sandy in New York and New Jersey, was all too familiar with the havoc such a storm can cause.
The U.S. remains the platform to market Rescue 72. So Danvic and his wife, Melissa, continue to pursue securing a visitor’s visa to return to the he U. S. so that his dream can be a lifeline in a time of disaster.
This life-saving invention is here. How many more lives have to be lost before it is recognized?
The Asian Heritage Society recognizes this opportunity and invites others with a sense of social awareness to join Danvic, share ideas, exchange technologies, learn markets and obtain governmental support as part of a collaborative effort to improve the future for millions of others.
The time is now.
From Nov. 19-22, the Asian Heritage Society, in collaboration with U.S. Rep. Scott Peters of San Diego and San Diego District 3 County Supervisor Dave Roberts, will entertain a conference at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido examining similar opportunities and how they may be shared and developed through strategic partnerships here and abroad.
Let’s not wait for another Typhoon Haiyan before we wake up.