Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Whistles and Car Escape Tools

While Christmas shopping at, I spent a few dollars on myself to buy a "Glow" (in the dark) Fox 40 Mini whistle and a yellow ResQMe tool for my key ring.

I debated whether to get the Mini whistle or a Micro which is slimmer and better suited for a key ring, but the Glow was impossible for me to resist. To reduce the Mini's traditional profile, I clipped down the rounded sides and filed them smooth with my Leatherman multitool while watching TV.

I decided a ResQMe is better for me than the considerably larger and much heavier LifeHammer because my travels include flying to destinations and renting a car as well as riding with friends who drive their own. With the ResQMe on my key ring, I'll always have an escape tool, in whichever vehicle I happen to be.

I considered getting the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife RescueTool because it has tools for breaking windshields as well as side windows, but decided against it because of the price and the greater weight although the price is down from $90 to $50 at a couple of websites where I saw it.

When my ResQMe arrived, I was pleasantly surprised at how lightweight it is. It doesn't weigh down my key ring as much as I thought it would.

The picture instructions on the back of the blister pack card are simple:

A. Pull the ResQMe tool to separate it from your key ring. This also removes the protective sheath from the blade.

B. Cut your seat belt with the blade.

C. Position the spike end of the tool against the side window and press the tool against the window using about 12 lbs. of pressure. Repeat as needed until enough glass is broken for you to escape safely. The tool recocks automatically so all you have to do is position the spike end against the glass and press.

In addition to buying the whistle and the ResQMe, a half-day of ice from freezing rain occurring the week before Christmas motivated me to make up my 10-day survival kit for my car as previously referenced in my blog post, "Are You Prepared?" because the last week of December through the first half of February is the most-likely time in my region for ice storms that knock out power and impede traffic.

In the process of doing so, several issues were raised which I've been thinking about and researching for another blog post that I thought I'd have done by now. Please be on the watch for it, hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

[Update 1/29/09 - I decided to do a series on preparedness. My next post introduces the Fifteen Essential Systems].

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