A Small but Powerful Tool That Could Save Your Life

Here in the Northwest the winter season is upon us. Here that means lots of rain, which means flooding: underpasses in Seattle become closed, the Skookumchuck River in Lewis County overflows its banks every year (some years it's really bad, like 2009). In other parts of the country, winter brings snow and ice, making roads dangerous.

No one EXPECTS to go off the road into deep water. No one EXPECTS to get swept off the road during major flooding. No one EXPECTS to get trapped in their vehicle during a flash flood, where water can rise 10' in a matter of minutes. But if that ever happens, the ResQMe Key Chain Emergency Car Escape Tool can save your life.

About now you are thinking "Well, whatEVER. I don't live near a river. Or on a canal in Florida. Or by an ocean. What does this have to do with ME?"

That's what I am about to share.

In late 2008, my brother and his wife lost a good friend. He lives in Texas, nowhere near a river, canal or ocean. In Texas it doesn't rain a lot, but when it does it comes down like nothing we up here in the Northwest see. Up here the weather radar shows green for rain, and maybe some yellow if the rain is really intense. In Texas, their rain starts in the yellow range and goes into red and dark red. (I didn't know rain on the radar map could go that color, meaning more rain in an hour than we ever see. Meaning they can get 2 or 3 or 5 inches in an hour.)

Their friend was going into work around 6:30 am during some heavy rain. While going through an underpass the water was deep enough to make her car stall out (maybe 1 foot or 1.5 feet). She called her husband who was getting off his work shift at 7am to leave early and come pull her out of the water and give her a jump. He left immediately in his truck to go help his wife. He went to the exit they usually use but she wasn't there. He called her on her cell asking where she was. She explained that due to the rain she used a different exit. He raced that way. But it became obvious that due to flooding he couldn't make it there so he called 911.

She called him back, saying the water was rising in the car and because the strong current was forcing her small car against the abutment she couldn't get the door open and the windows didn't work because they shorted out. She had nothing in the car that could break the safety glass in the windows, hitting or kicking did nothing. As the water got higher and higher in her car she begged her husband to come save her. There was nothing he could do but talk to her until her phone went dead.

As the water started to recede, two men stranded on the overpass saw the hood of her car. They immediately dove into the water and went to her car. By the time they got her out and onto solid ground she had been underwater for over an hour.

This happened only a ¼ of a mile from where my brother works, on a piece of road he drives every day. He kept saying "If I only knew, I could have gone and saved her". But he didn't know. And she wasn't saved.

This ResQMe Car Escape tool would have saved her life.

As the bad flooding in early January 2009 was starting to peak, I was driving home around 6pm, in the dark. The usual way I go home was blocked off due to deep water over the roadway so I turned around and decided to go the Smith Prairie/Neat Rd way. When I got to the low part of the road I could see that water was rushing over two parts of the road – about a 30 foot stretch, then maybe 15 foot of no water, then a real long stretch of water.

There was no road block out. I could see a pickup truck nearly out of the second stretch of water and onto higher ground. There was an SUV waiting to go until the truck got through (stopping and waiting didn't look like an option). Once the car was nearly through to higher ground, I started in.

Let me give you a picture of the situation: the river was off somewhere on the right. I didn't even know the river went by there as I had never seen it through the trees on that side of the road. On the left side of the road there is a field that's about 10 acres – the road wraps around 2 sides of it. The water was so high that it gushed at a fast rate from the right, over the road and FILLING that 10 acre field in about 8-10 foot of water. And it was dark. And raining.

I started through the first track of water. It was only about a foot deep. I could see the double yellow line with water rushing by. OK, I thought. I paused the car on the small patch of road with no water. There was no way to turn around. The only way was through. And so I drove on.

The water actually sprayed up over the front and top of my car making 0 visibility. I slowed down a bit so the water was spraying up as high as the top of my side windows. I could not see any double yellow line. I could not see the road. All was dark and water. I used the tree line on the right to guesstimate where the road was. My battery light came on several times. I finally made it through that to the higher ground. Was I shaken, knowing that at any second my car could be swept off into a 10 acre mass of water? Remembering my brother's friend who did not make it? You bet your boots I was.

I stopped at the fire department and told them it was TOTALLY UNSAFE for anyone to drive through that. They said someone must have moved the road barrier. I said No there was NO barrier. Since even the fire trucks could not get through that water they had to call the Yelm Fire Department to go out and put up barriers.

I carried a big hammer on my front seat for the rest of that winter, just in case. I didn't know about the ResQMe Car Escape Tool. But now I do know about it. And I am giving one to my brother, his wife, niece and nephew.

I almost got swept off the road by deep, fast rushing water. It was dark and I couldn’t see the danger. I would have gone into a flooded 10 acre field that had filled with 8-10’ of deep water. This was a couple of months after my brother told me about their friend. The road I was on should have been closed but it wasn’t, and it was too dark to see how bad it was. By the time I was in it there was no way to stop or go back – stopping would have for sure swept me off the road. I made it through that night, but I carried a big hammer on my front seat all that winter because I didn’t know about this tool.

So now about this ResQMe Key Chain Emergency Car Escape Tool

It attaches to your keychain with a detachable clip. It is not big and heavy, so you don't mind adding it to your keychain. All you have to do is pull the ResQMe tool away from your key chain – you don't have to take the key out of the ignition, you do not have to fumble around trying to get it off a key ring with lots of keys. You pull, and it is off. Pulling it off the key chain also uncovers the cutter blade part for cutting your seat belt.

At the end opposite the key ring is a round black part. This is the part that has a spring loaded hardened metal spike that, when you push it against the window, will blast into the auto safety glass shattering it into smithereens. Then the cutter part – that's the part safely tucked into the space where the detachable clip part came off – you just hook that over the seat belt and pull. It cuts right through the seat belt.

This ResQMe Car Escape Tool is made in the United States by the company that made the LifeHammer – the hammer that you can use to break auto glass so you can escape.

Why don't I sell that? you may ask. I'll be glad to tell you.

First off, that hammer needs to be mounted to your dashboard or center consul so you can reach it WHILE FULLY SEATBELTED against the back of the seat. So you get one or maybe you give one as a gift to someone. Where is that Life Hammer going to be? On the kitchen counter because NEXT weekend you'll get around to installing it? Or maybe in your glove box, because that's just as good as mounting it right? NO! Can you reach you glove box and rummage around in it until you find the hammer in its wall clip while tightly seat belted? No you can't. And imagine (or don't) trying to do it as water filled your vehicle. It's gonna do you NO GOOD if it is in the glove box or on the kitchen counter. And you only have seconds to act. Not 5 minutes to fumble around. The ResQMe is small enough and lightweight enough, nobody will have a problem popping it onto their key ring. And if you're driving and seat belted, you WILL be able to reach that key ring.

Secondly, that Life Hammer is great if you can reach it BEFORE YOU ARE FULLY SUBMERGED. Why? Have you ever tried to run in waist deep water (like in a swimming pool)? Can't do it with the same momentum as if you are out of the water. Ever try to punch your brother or sister (this would be years ago) under water? Could do much damage, could you? I have my doubts as to whether you could swing that hammer hard enough under water to actually break the car glass.

But you don't have to swing anything with the spring loaded spike in the ResQMe. Push it against the window – it cocks and fires.

And this tool isn't just for if you happen to get trapped in your car in the water. There was a man on the TV show The Doctors who happened upon an accident and one car was on fire with a person trapped inside. He broke the window with the ResQMe tool, sliced the seat belt and rescued the person trapped inside.

Watch the 2 videos, one from The Today Show where the news lady gets training in how to escape a sinking car, the other by the manufacturer showing how to use the ResQMe Car Escape Tool.

It's such a little thing. But it could make all the difference in the world when it really mattered.

ResQMe on the Today Show - How to survive in a sinking car

Short video by manufacturer

Don't Get Trapped In Your Car! Get The RESQME Keychain! Save Your Life!

Prepare because you care :o)

Teri Simpson

Optimum Preparedness

Web:  www.OptimumPreparedness.com

Blog:  www.OptimumPreparedness.blogspot.com


Next week I am going to talk about battery lanterns and rechargeable lanterns (solar and/or hand crank and plain battery), because I don't want to see (or remote view) you wanting to strangle me or someone else when you pull out your cool rechargeable lantern in late 2012 or early 2013 and it doesn't work, and then you go and get all pi**ed off, but there's no phone service so you can't call and complain to anyone (other than your innocent friends). Hopefully, you will (at some future point) be thinking "Geez, I sure am glad that Teri Simpson told me that stuff way back when so that my "Way cool multi-tasking solar dynamo lantern / flashlight / radio / toaster / alarm / siren / annoying blinker that I paid HOW MUCH??? for" light actually works in this big dark place that me and a few close friends are now camping out in".

Cheers till then!



0 #1 Diane 2011-12-03 08:20
Brilliant Teri -looking forward to next week.
We have sudden and very heavy downpours here in New Zealand so I can imagine this tool would be fantastic for all my family as well.

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