US20080099290A1 - Emergency case - Google Patents

Emergency case Download PDF

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US20080099290A1
US20080099290A1 US11627367 US62736707A US2008099290A1 US 20080099290 A1 US20080099290 A1 US 20080099290A1 US 11627367 US11627367 US 11627367 US 62736707 A US62736707 A US 62736707A US 2008099290 A1 US2008099290 A1 US 2008099290A1
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Prior art keywords
case
body portion
emergency
rim
compartments
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US11627367
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Mark D. Stern
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Stern Mark D
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C5/00Rigid or semi-rigid luggage
    • A45C5/03Suitcases
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/02Interior fittings; Means, e.g. inserts, for holding and packing articles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C15/00Purses, bags, luggage or other receptacles covered by groups A45C1/00 - A45C11/00, combined with other objects or articles
    • A45C15/02Purses, bags, luggage or other receptacles covered by groups A45C1/00 - A45C11/00, combined with other objects or articles with memorandum tablets
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C15/00Purses, bags, luggage or other receptacles covered by groups A45C1/00 - A45C11/00, combined with other objects or articles
    • A45C15/06Purses, bags, luggage or other receptacles covered by groups A45C1/00 - A45C11/00, combined with other objects or articles with illuminating devices
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/18Devices to prevent theft or loss of purses, luggage or hand carried bags
    • A45C13/24Devices for sound-producing, piercing, gas-discharging, or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/42Devices for identifying luggage; Means for attaching same
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/02Interior fittings; Means, e.g. inserts, for holding and packing articles
    • A45C2013/026Inserts

Abstract

An emergency case is described that includes compartments for documents and photo albums, as well as closeable compartments for retaining a variety of small, personal objects.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of Stern, U.S. Provisional Appl. 60/863,375, filed Oct. 29, 2006, entitled Emergency Case, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to cases adapted for containing important personal items and documents for emergency transport.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The following discussion is provided solely to assist the understanding of the reader, and does not constitute an admission that any of the information discussed or references cited constitute prior art to the present invention.
  • Disaster response agencies generally recommend that individuals prepare in advance for rapid evacuation from their homes or offices, or even from the entire area where their home or office is located. When such rapid evacuation is needed, it is often difficult for the person to have the time or attention to adequately select and take particular desirable items, e.g., items needed for re-establishing normal activities following a disaster or for survival in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, or items having great personal, often emotional, value to the individual, such as family pictures, jewelry, small heirlooms, and the like.
  • Even though disaster response agencies recommend personal preparedness and recommend that individuals take personal documents and desirable personal items, kits recommended by such agencies tend to focus on basic supplies such as food, water, shelter, and the like.
  • Many different cases and portfolios for carrying and protecting documents have been provided, including many different briefcase designs. In most cases, such cases include an essentially rigid shell having mating upper and lower case portions. Those portions are hinged, such that rotating one of the case portions opens or closes the case. In essentially all instances, such cases include one or more latches, and in some instances, the cases are designed to be waterproof or at least water resistant.
  • A particular example of a waterproof, portable storage container for documents and computer readable media is described in Orman, U.S. Pat. No. 7,102,516. “The container is designed to be liquid and air tight such that it will not allow liquid or air into the case once it is closed.” The waterproof container includes an accordion-like document retention device.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides cases that are particular adapted for use in a disaster or other emergency to allow a person to quickly take along items that will be important following such an event, including items of personal value, such as photographs and personal mementos. The case is configured to allow a person to place desired objects in the case in preparation for an emergency event.
  • Thus, in a first aspect, the invention concerns a portable case for storing documents and personal objects, that includes a first case body portion having a top wall and four sidewalls defining a first case cavity and a first rim; a second case body portion having a bottom wall and four sidewalls defining a second case cavity and a second rim, wherein the first and second case body portions are hingedly attached such that pivoting the first and second case body portions about the hinge attachment and toward each other closes the case with first and second rims adjacent one another; a generally rectangular document retention device, secured on one edge to the interior of the first case body portion or second case body portion; a folder holder dimensioned to enclose at least one folder or book mounted in the other of the first case body portion or the second body portion; and a plurality of closable compartments in the first case cavity or second case cavity or both.
  • In particular embodiments, the first and second case body portions are principally formed of plastic (e.g., polyethylene, polypropylene, polycarbonate, or ABS), metal (e.g., steel or aluminum); or of composite materials (e.g., impregnated fiber composite or sandwich composite (e.g., metal/resin layered composite).
  • In certain embodiments, the case is water-resistant, waterproof, and/or air tight; the first rim and the second rim are sealingly abutted when the case is closed; the first rim or the second rim has a U-shaped channel at the rim of the sidewalls having fitted therein an elastomeric gasket.
  • For certain embodiments, the case includes a plurality of closeable compartments in one or both of the case body portions; the plurality of closeable compartments have fully removable lids or covers; the plurality of closeable compartments includes hinged closures, e.g., hinged with flexible strap hinges; the hinged closures includes labels providing identification for intended contents; the labels include identification of intended contents including at least two items selected from the group consisting of jewelry, keys, money, medicines, licenses, passports, flashlight, flashdrives, and miscellaneous.
  • In particular embodiments, the first cavity contains the generally rectangular document retention device and a plurality of closeable compartments, where the closeable compartments are located along a least one of the sidewalls and an edge of the document retention device is located proximal to another of the sidewalls.
  • In some cases, the document retention device includes a plurality of sleeves (e.g., transparent plastic sleeves); the sleeves are fastened at one edge within the case; the sleeve fastening is accomplished with fixed rivets, with screws, with posts, or with binder rings; the sleeves are replaceable; the document retention device includes sleeves sized and shaped for holding compact discs (CDs) or DVDs or the like.
  • In certain embodiments, the case is fire resistant; the fire resistance is provided at least in part by a phase change material; the phase change material has a melting temperature below the temperature at which damage to expected contents will occur.
  • Also in particular embodiments, the case includes an electronic visual detection device, where the electronic visual detection device is visible from outside the case. Such a device may include one or more light emitting diodes (LEDs), which may be steadily illuminated or may blink or flash; the flash rate or illumination intensity may reduce at low battery charge condition; an audible warning device may be included to warn of low battery condition; the audible warning may be intermittent; the intermittent audible warning may reduce in frequency or occurrence an/or intensity as battery charge decreases.
  • In further embodiments, the case contains emergency supplies; the emergency supplies comprise at least one of: first aid supplies, water purification supplies, fire starter, solar generator, emergency tools, and emergency radio.
  • A related aspect concerns a method for promoting a business by distributing a plurality of cases as specified in the preceding aspect or otherwise described herein free of charge to customers or potential customers of the business, where the case is labeled with at least one identifier for the business.
  • Additional embodiments will be apparent from the Detailed Description and from the claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a plan view of an exemplary opened case.
  • FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of an exemplary opened case.
  • FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the bottom case portion illustrating closeable compartments in open configuration.
  • FIG. 4 shows a vertical cross-section of the case of FIG. 1.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention provides cases which are adapted to conveniently contain important personal documents and objects for rapid access in the event of a disaster or other emergency. Examples of such emergencies include, for example, fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, and the like. Disaster response agencies consistently recommend that people prepare for emergency evacuation, including preparing important personal items for rapid removal. Such agencies further commonly recommend that people prepare disaster kits, e.g., containing emergency supplies such as tools, water purification supplies, tarps, flashlights, radios, first aid supplies, and the like.
  • Despite such recommendations from disaster response agencies, only a small fraction of individuals actually prepare in any substantial manner. In some cases, individuals will have at least some type of first aid supplies, but only rarely will they have prepared personal items for emergency evacuation. The present invention addresses the lack of preparedness by providing a convenient, easily transportable case which is designed to contain a number of different personal items which are usually important to individuals. Typically, the present cases are relatively inexpensive, such that they can be widely distributed and/or readily purchased by a large fraction of the population.
  • Commonly, the present cases are constructed in a form similar to a large briefcase, with both portions of the case having cavities which are sized and shaped to accept documents and/or photograph albums, along with separate, closeable compartments. Such separate closeable compartments are generally designed for, and in some cases labeled for, particular types of other important personal items. Examples include jewelry, keys, money, licenses (e.g., driver's licenses), flashlight, medications, and the like.
  • Case Shell Construction
  • The exterior shell for the present cases can be constructed in many different ways, and using any of a variety of different materials. In general, the primary material forming the shell for the case should be a relatively durable material, such that minor impacts will not damage the integrity of the case. The shell material will also preferably resist exposure to at least moderate heat, e.g., at least 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 95, or 100 degrees C., or even higher. Examples of suitable materials include plastics, metals, and composites. Such plastics can include, for example, polyethylene (e.g., high density polyethylene), polypropylene (e.g., high density polypropylene), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), polycarbonate, and the like. A large variety of different moldable and otherwise formable plastics are widely known and available. Plastics with suitable physical and forming characteristics can be easily selected and used. Useful metals include, for example, steel, aluminum, and various related alloys, generally in sheet form. A large variety of different composites can be used, e.g., composites using a plastic binder with one or more fibrous materials such as glass, carbon, metal, and the like. Certain composites include heterogeneous layers, e.g., a sandwich construction, with the layers selected to provide desirable properties, e.g., impact resistance, chemical resistance, heat resistance, and the like.
  • Depending on the material(s) selected, the case can be formed using conventional techniques, e.g., molding such as injection molding or blow molding, heated drape forming, stamping, pressure laminating, and the like. Persons skilled in forming materials can readily select an appropriate forming method for particular materials.
  • In many instances, the case will be shaped with two case sections which are connected together with a hinge(s) in a conventional manner. At the side opposite the hinges there will typically be one or more closures, e.g., clamp-type closures that compress the case sections together.
  • Certain advantageous embodiments will be constructed such that the case is essentially waterproof and/or fire resistant. For waterproof cases, typically the mating points between the case portions will include an elastomeric seal, e.g., a gasket. Usually, the case will be closed, and a compression latch mechanism will exert pressure on the seal so that an effective watertight seal is formed. Often, watertight case will also be essentially airtight. During use of such cases, situations may occur in which the air pressure outside the case is greater than the air pressure inside the case (e.g., when the case closed at high altitude and/or high temperature and then is to be opened at low altitude and/or low temperature. For such designs and in such conditions, it is advantageous to include a pressure equalization mechanism. Such pressure equalization mechanisms can be of various types and may be incorporated as part of the latch mechanism or separately. An example of a pressure equalization mechanism incorporated with a latch mechanism is described in Uke, U.S. Patent Appl. Publ. 20020043534, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • Fire resistance can be provided using conventional methods. For fire resistance, it is desirable that protection also be provided to the contents of the case. Thus, it is desirable to reduce the rate at which the contents of the case heat to a level that would destroy the contents. In the simplest construction, an emergency case can be constructed of a plastic resin that has acceptable strength and formability characteristics, while also having relatively low thermal conductivity and relatively high melting temperature and ignition temperature. This design can be modified to provide a two or three layer case which includes an insulative layer, e.g., a fire-resistant foam layer, thereby reducing heat flow to the case interior. The foam can form the interior of the case or can have an interior finish layer. As another advantageous alternative, the interior layer or layers can include a heat absorptive material, such as a phase change material, which, if desired, can be used in combination with one or more insulative layers. Such phase change materials are commonly used to assist in imparting fire resistance to enclosures. In addition, heat or fire resistant gaskets can be used, such as metal-graphite filled elastomeric gaskets (e.g., CHO-SEAL 6371 material is a nickel-graphite-filled silicone elastomer). In constructing fire resistant cases, the outer shell or covering can be made to be sacrificial, e.g., the case will melt or even burn, leaving more heat resistant internal materials.
  • The case can also be labeled, e.g., on an exterior side of the case. Such labeling may be of various types, e.g., a name, trademark, and/or logo identifying the manufacturer, distributor, seller, or donor of the case of the case. Alternatively, or in addition, the case may be labeled with a generic identifying term identifying the case as a disaster or emergency case, e.g., Emergency Document Case”, “Emergency Personal Case” and the like.
  • Flexible Case
  • As an alternative to the relatively rigid shell discussed above, emergency cases can be constructed using flexible cases, such as leather and/or fabric cases. In these embodiments, the case is comparatively flexible, and the interior components as discussed herein are fitted and retained in the interior of the case. Such retention can, for example, involved mating hook and loop fasteners (e.g., VELCRO® fasteners). The interior components can be constructed and installed such that they provide a substantially rigid framework for the flexible case, or can float in sections. In the latter case, typically a plurality of internal components will be used that each attaches to the case and are either not attached to each other or are flexibly attached to each other.
  • Such flexible cases can be labeled with a logo in ways conventional for flexible cases. Examples include heat transfers, stitching, sewn-on logo plates, and the like.
  • Case Interior Construction
  • Document Holder Compartment: The interiors of the present cases are configured to provide at least a minimal set of features that adapt the case to hold certain types of important personal items. In general, the case will include space for flat documents, a space or holder for a photo album or similar object, and a number of closeable compartments.
  • The document holder or holders a designed to retain documents flat within the case. This can be accomplished in various ways, such as by using a pocket, a retainer flap, and/or document sleeves. Preferably the components for retaining the documents are fastened to the interior of the case.
  • Though not preferred, a case may include a space dimensioned to hold documents flat, e.g., letter, A4, or letter sized documents.
  • In this context, a pocket may, for example, be a rectangular pocket dimensioned to hold a plurality of letter, A4 or legal sized documents flat. For example, such a pocket may have a capacity of at least 10, 20, 30, 50, or 100 paper sheets. The pocket can be fastened by affixing one wall of the pocket to the case, or by fastening one edge of the pocket to the case. In embodiments where one edge of the pocket is fastened to the case, the opposite edge of the pocket may be lifted to assist in inserting or removing documents from the pocket. In some embodiments, the pocket will include a closure to prevent documents from falling out of the pocket and/or to retain the pocket in position within the case. Such a closure may, for example, include a strap and/or a flap. A case may include a plurality of such pockets.
  • Photograph Album Holder: In addition to the document holder compartment, the case includes a compartment for retaining a photo album or similar object. Usually the compartment for retain a photo album or similar object will be located in the opposition portion of the case from the document holder compartment. The photo album compartment may be a cavity sized and shaped to accept typical photo albums, but preferably the compartment includes an album retention device. Such device may, for example, include a retainer strap (e.g., elastic and/or hook-and-loop), a retainer flap (e.g., similar to those used in suitcases, or a pocket (e.g., an expandable pocket). When retainer straps are included, advantageously the strap is configured to allow the strap to be fitted to provide a tensioned retention of the photo album or similar object. As indicated, the photo album retention device may include a pocket (e.g., an expandable pocket such as an accordion-style pocket), which may fastened along its back to the case, or by one edge such that the pocket may be flipped or lifted to facilitated insertion or removal of the photo album. When the pocket is fastened at one edge, the fastening can be located such that an additional volume is present behind the pocket (i.e., between the pocket and the body of the case). The space can be used to accommodate expansion on insertion of a photo album (e.g., a particularly thick album) and/or to accept other objects (e.g., an additional album(s) and/or books as well as other items).
  • In embodiments in which a pocket or flap is used to retain the photo album or similar object, the exposed side of the pocket or flap may bear one or more additional smaller pockets, e.g., sized to hold booklets such as passports and/or immunization records and/or bank books.
  • Closeable Compartments: Advantageously, the case can also include closeable compartments configured to hold items that individuals will commonly wish to save. Such objects can include, for example, keys, jewelry, medicines, batteries, flashlight, identification cards, bank cards, money, and the like. As indicated, such compartments can closed with a lid or cover, usually with a hinged lid though fully removable covers or lids may be used. Such covers or lids may close single compartments or a cover may close multiple compartments. The hinges will usually be flexible plastic strap hinges, though other types may also be used. Advantageously, lids can be labeled for expected contents; one or more compartments may be labeled for miscellaneous (e.g., Misc.).
  • In most cases, but not necessarily, the walls and/or covers for the compartments will be formed of a plastic, typically a moldable plastic. In order to avoid cracking, preferably the plastic is not brittle.
  • Advantageously, the compartments can be located in one or both case portions. For example, the document compartment can be a rectangular compartment incorporating two of the case sidewalls. Depending on the relative sizes of the case and of document compartment, the closeable compartments can be distributed along one or both of the other sidewalls of the case. Thus, if the closeable compartments are distributed along two sidewalls, the interior walls of the closeable compartments will form the additional two boundary walls for the document compartment. Closeable compartments can be similarly distributed in the case portion in which the photo album compartment is located.
  • The closeable compartments can be formed in a unitary construction with the case body, or alternatively may be formed separately and installed in the case, e.g., using thermal or solvent welding, screws, clips, and/or rivets.
  • Visual Detection Device
  • Recognizing that the present case will commonly be used in emergency situations during which lighting may not be adequate or is essentially absent, a detection device can advantageously be included to assist a person to locate the case. In many instances, such a device will be an electronic visual detection device. For example, the detection device may be a light such as one or more light emitting diodes (LEDs). Usually, the device will include a power source and associated circuitry located inside the case (e.g., in a separate housing mounting inside the case). One or more LEDs, which may be flashing) are mounted such that they are visible from the exterior of the case, e.g., mounted in a cavity formed in the exterior surface, in a penetration through the case, or behind a transparent portion of the case. The detection device may be manually switched (from inside or outside the case), or may use a photodetection circuit such that the detection device is turned on in low light and turned off at higher illumination levels.
  • The device may also be fitted with an audible warning indicative of a low battery condition. Thus, for example, when the battery charge level becomes less than a predetermined level, the device will trigger an audible signal. In order to preserve the remaining battery charge, the audible signal may be intermittent and/or the light may be turned off. In certain embodiments, the periods between the intermittent audible signal triggering may become longer as the change in the battery is progressively reduced.
  • Optional Emergency Features and Supplies
  • In addition to the basic case, cases with additional advantageous features can be provided. Such enhancements can, for example, be principally directed to enhancing the resistant of the case to better protect the contents, first aid, and/or emergency supplies and equipment. In some instances, addition of such enhancements will include enlargement of the case.
  • One desirable enhancement is to construct the case in a manner and with materials such that the fire resistance is increased. Techniques for accomplishing this are well known, typically involving using fire resistant materials (e.g., metals, and commonly steel) and/or reducing the thermal conductance across the case shell. Such techniques can be applied to the present cases.
  • Also advantageously, the cases can be made waterproof or at least water resistant. Conventional techniques for constructing water-proof or water-resistant cases can be applied to the present cases. Such techniques can include, for example, the use of gasketed joints between case sections. In some instances it may also be desirable to construct cases that are air tight. In such instances, beneficially the case includes a pressure equalization valve. Such pressure equalization valves can facilitate opening when the air pressure outside the case is greater than the air pressure inside the case.
  • In addition to being adapted for containing personal supplies, the present cases can also be configured with certain disaster or emergency supplies. Examples of such supplies include first aid supplies or a first aid kit, and/or water purification supplies or equipment (e.g., iodine pills and/or a water filter capable of removing at least bacteria from the water and preferably capable of removing viruses).
  • In addition (or as alternatives), the case can contain useful emergency equipment. Such emergency equipment can include, for example, one or more of a solar electrical charger (e.g., for batteries, radios, flashlights, etc.), emergency radio, emergency beacon, lights, and the like.
  • For cases where disaster or other emergency supplies are included, it may be desirable to utilize a larger case in order to accommodate the additional items.
  • Exemplary Design
  • An exemplary design for a present case is shown in FIGS. 1-4. The exemplary design illustrates features that are commonly included in the present cases, but should not be regarded as limiting the present invention. As shown in the FIG. 1, a case commonly is constructed with two shell portions connected with hinges along adjacent sides. The body of the case includes a first case body portion 10 and second case body portion 12, connected with hinges 14 and 16 (see, FIG. 2). The number and type of hinges may be varied, e.g., a full length hinge may be used. As shown in plan view the case body portions mate along the perimeters in conventional fashion. As illustrated, the first case body portion is the case bottom and the second case body portion is the case top. Normally, such a case will include a handle and a latch or latches 2 on the side opposite the hinges.
  • As shown in open plan view in FIG. 2, in the interior cavity of the first case body portion is document retention compartment 20. Such document compartment is usually sized to accommodate conventional sized documents, usually letter size (8½ by 11 inch), although other sizes such as A4 and legal (8½ by 14 inch) may be used instead. The document compartment will generally be sized to accommodate the intended document size flat, with a small amount of additional clearance around the perimeter, e.g., to allow for document sleeves and/or facilitate access to documents. In most case, the document compartment will include multiple documents sleeves 100 (e.g., transparent plastic sleeves into which documents may be placed) (see, FIG. 4). The sleeves can advantageously be fastened at one edge within the document compartment. Such fastening can be accomplished in a variety of ways, e.g., using fixed posts or rivets or openable rings (e.g., 3-ring system) attached to the case. In addition to the document sleeves, sleeves 46 for holding computer data storage media (e.g., CDs or DVDs) can be included and retained in similar manner.
  • Also within the lower case body portion are additional compartments 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, and 32 adapted for holding smaller personal items. In the design shown, these additional compartments are distributed along two of the perimeter walls of the lower case body. These compartments are labeled to identify intended contents with labels 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, and 33. The labels are usually applied to and/or molded into closures for the compartments. Such closures will most often be individual closures for each compartment, but may also be configured such that a single closure covers two or even more compartments.
  • The second case body portion similarly includes a large compartment 40, in this case intended for containing a photograph album or similar object. In most instances, the photo album compartment will include a holder 42, e.g., a pocket, to contain the photo album or a flap to cover and define a space for retaining a photo album (not distinguishable in this view). As shown the photo album holder is labeled on the exposed face with the label, Photos 43. The exposed face of the photo album holder can include one or more optional additional pockets or sleeves. The photo album holder can be held closed using hook and loop fasteners 60. Similar to the first case body portion, the upper case body portion includes additional compartments 52, 54, 56, and 58 (shown with Misc. labels 53, 55, 57, and 59). Advantageously, the case can be supplied with a flashlight, e.g., in a labeled compartment 30. Desirably, such flashlight is a self-charging flashlight and/or an efficient flashlight (e.g., LED flashlight, preferably with long storage life batteries) or is supplied with rechargeable batteries and a solar or mechanically powered battery charger.
  • In this exemplary case, the handle is provided by matching hand openings 4 and 5. Of course, other types of handles can be used. The case can be locked using a padlock or the like latched through lock holes 6 and 7.
  • FIG. 3 shows the case of FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, but in perspective view with the case partially opened. This view illustrates the depth of the first and second case body portions created by the perimeter sidewalls. In this view, for the first case body portion, front side wall 64 and the two lateral sidewalls 62 and 66 are visible, while for the second case body portion, the front sidewall 70 and lateral side walls 68 and 70 are visible. In this embodiment, the photo album holder 42 is a pocket into which a photo album can be inserted. While the compartment closures can be held closed in various ways, in this exemplary embodiment, latches 74 are used.
  • FIG. 4 shows the case of FIG. 1 in cross-section, with the section being a vertical section from front to back. As illustrated, document sleeves 100 are mounted in the first case body portion 10 within the document compartment 20. Within the second case body portion 12 is photo album volume 40 with photo album holder pocket 42.
  • Methods for Using the Emergency Cases
  • A basic use of the present case is for disaster or emergency preparedness and/or response. In association with this, the present cases are well-adapted for use in promotional methods.
  • In these methods, the case is used as a promotional item, usually as a branded item. For such branding, the case can be labeled with the name and/or logo and/or trademark corresponding to a company and/or product to be promoted. The labeling can, for example, be in the form of one or more adhesive labels attached to an outside surface of the case body, one or more visibly pigmented areas on the surface of the case body, and/or one or more formed areas on the surface of the case body. Additional branding (e.g., or the indicated types) may be located in the interior of the case, e.g., on the exposed face of a photo album holder.
  • Such branded cases can then be distributed as free or subsidized items by an entity corresponding to the labeling. Non-limiting examples of such entities can include real estate brokers or dealers (e.g., a gift for new home or other building purchasers), mortgage brokers or lenders for new clients, and employers for distribution to employees.
  • Similarly, the cases can be distributed by disaster response agencies or companies. The cases can be labeled with the name, abbreviation, or other indicator of the agency or company.
  • Many other such uses will also be apparent.
  • All patents and other references cited in the specification are indicative of the level of skill of those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains, and are incorporated by reference in their entireties, including any tables and figures, to the same extent as if each reference had been incorporated by reference in its entirety individually.
  • One skilled in the art would readily appreciate that the present invention is well adapted to obtain the ends and advantages mentioned, as well as those inherent therein. The methods, variances, and compositions described herein as presently representative of preferred embodiments are exemplary and are not intended as limitations on the scope of the invention. Changes therein and other uses will occur to those skilled in the art, which are encompassed within the spirit of the invention, are defined by the scope of the claims.
  • It will be readily apparent to one skilled in the art that varying substitutions and modifications may be made to the invention disclosed herein without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. For example, variations can be made to the relative and absolute dimensions of the case and portions thereof, to the materials from which the case is constructed, and to the selection of emergency items included in the case. Thus, such additional embodiments are within the scope of the present invention and the following claims.
  • The invention illustratively described herein suitably may be practiced in the absence of any element or elements, limitation or limitations which is not specifically disclosed herein. Thus, for example, in each instance herein any of the terms “comprising”, “consisting essentially of” and “consisting of” may be replaced with either of the other two terms. The terms and expressions which have been employed are used as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention that in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding any equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, but it is recognized that various modifications are possible within the scope of the invention claimed. Thus, it should be understood that although the present invention has been specifically disclosed by preferred embodiments and optional features, modification and variation of the concepts herein disclosed may be resorted to by those skilled in the art, and that such modifications and variations are considered to be within the scope of this invention as defined by the appended claims.
  • In addition, where features or aspects of the invention are described in terms of Markush groups or other grouping of alternatives, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention is also thereby described in terms of any individual member or subgroup of members of the Markush group or other group.
  • Also, unless indicated to the contrary, where various numerical values or value range endpoints are provided for embodiments, additional embodiments are described by taking any 2 different values as the endpoints of a range or by taking two different range endpoints from specified ranges as the endpoints of an additional range. Such ranges are also within the scope of the described invention. Further, specification of a numerical range including values greater than one includes specific description of each integer value within that range.
  • Thus, additional embodiments are within the scope of the invention and within the following claims.

Claims (17)

  1. 1. A portable case for storing documents and personal objects, comprising
    a first case body portion having a top wall and four sidewalls defining a first case cavity and a first rim;
    a second case body portion having a bottom wall and four sidewalls defining a second case cavity and a second rim, wherein said first and second case body portions are hingedly attached such that pivoting said first and second case body portions about the hinge attachment and toward each other closes said case with first and second rims adjacent one another;
    a generally rectangular document retention device, secured on one edge to the interior of the first case body portion or second case body portion;
    a folder holder dimensioned to enclose at least one folder or book mounted in the other of said first case body portion or said second body portion;
    a plurality of closable compartments in said first case cavity or second case cavity or both.
  2. 2. The case of claim 1, wherein said first and second case body portions are principally formed of plastic.
  3. 3. The case of claim 1, wherein said first and second body portions are principally formed of metal.
  4. 4. The case of claim 1, wherein said case is waterproof.
  5. 5. The case of claim 4, wherein said first rim and said second rim are sealingly abutted when said case is closed.
  6. 6. The case of claim 5, wherein one of said first rim and said second rim comprise a U-shaped channel having fitted therein an elastomeric gasket.
  7. 7. The case of claim 1, wherein said plurality of closable compartments comprises hinged closures.
  8. 8. The case of claim 7, wherein said hinged closures comprise labels providing identification for intended contents.
  9. 9. The case of claim 8, wherein said labels comprise identification of intended contents comprising at least two items selected from the group consisting of jewelry, keys, money, medicines, licenses, passports, flashlight, flashdrives, and miscellaneous.
  10. 10. The case of claim 1, wherein said first cavity contains said generally rectangular document retention device and said plurality of closeable compartments, wherein said closeable compartments are located along a least one of said sidewalls and an edge of said document retention device is located proximal to another of said sidewalls.
  11. 11. The case of claim 1, wherein said document retention device comprises a plurality of sleeves.
  12. 12. The case of claim 1, wherein said case is fire resistant.
  13. 13. The case of claim 1, further comprising an electronic visual detection device, wherein the electronic visual detection device is visible from outside the case.
  14. 14. The case of claim 13, wherein said electronic visual detection device comprises a light emitting diode.
  15. 15. The case of claim 1, wherein said case contains emergency supplies.
  16. 16. The case of claim 15, wherein said emergency supplies comprise at least one of: first aid supplies, water purification supplies, fire starter, solar generator, emergency tools, and emergency radio.
  17. 17. A method for promoting a business, comprising
    distributing a plurality of cases of claim 1 free of charge to customers or potential customers of said business, wherein said case is labeled with at least one identifier for said business.
US11627367 2006-10-29 2007-01-25 Emergency case Abandoned US20080099290A1 (en)

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US86337506 true 2006-10-29 2006-10-29
US11627367 US20080099290A1 (en) 2006-10-29 2007-01-25 Emergency case

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US11627367 US20080099290A1 (en) 2006-10-29 2007-01-25 Emergency case
CA 2618279 CA2618279A1 (en) 2007-01-25 2008-01-22 Emergency case
US29350124 USD621615S1 (en) 2007-01-25 2009-11-11 Personal evacuation organizing case

Related Child Applications (1)

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US29350124 Continuation-In-Part USD621615S1 (en) 2006-10-29 2009-11-11 Personal evacuation organizing case

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US20080099290A1 true true US20080099290A1 (en) 2008-05-01

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US11627367 Abandoned US20080099290A1 (en) 2006-10-29 2007-01-25 Emergency case

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US20110186398A1 (en) * 2010-01-29 2011-08-04 Heys (USA), Inc. Hard-Sided Expandable Suitcase
US20110187292A1 (en) * 2010-01-29 2011-08-04 Heys (USA), Inc. Hard-Sided Suitcase Including Lighting
US20110186396A1 (en) * 2010-01-29 2011-08-04 Heys (USA), Inc. Hard-Sided Suitcase Featuring Hard-Sided Pockets
US20110186397A1 (en) * 2010-01-29 2011-08-04 Heys (USA), Inc. Suitcase with biometric lock mechanism
US8167131B1 (en) * 2010-06-10 2012-05-01 Anderson Debra A Carrying device for art and craft supplies
US20120111679A1 (en) * 2008-07-11 2012-05-10 Travelteq B.V. Luggage device
GB2490328A (en) * 2011-04-26 2012-10-31 Samantha Jayne Ridler-Ueno Emergency bag with docking station
US20140183231A1 (en) * 2012-11-12 2014-07-03 Fluent Holdings LLC, DBA Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems Compositions and Methods for Arrangement of Survival Materials
US8857618B1 (en) * 2012-12-12 2014-10-14 George Dennis Child'S activity station
KR101454707B1 (en) 2012-02-15 2014-10-27 정재은 First-Aid Box with Lighting Means
WO2015053733A1 (en) * 2013-10-08 2015-04-16 Сэргий Евгэновыч ПОЛЯКОВ Case for trunk of vehicle
US20160339978A1 (en) * 2015-05-21 2016-11-24 Serfas, Inc. Audible warning system for bicycle lights
USD796920S1 (en) * 2016-02-02 2017-09-12 Nalge Nunc International Corporation Lunch box

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US20120111679A1 (en) * 2008-07-11 2012-05-10 Travelteq B.V. Luggage device
US20110187292A1 (en) * 2010-01-29 2011-08-04 Heys (USA), Inc. Hard-Sided Suitcase Including Lighting
US20110186396A1 (en) * 2010-01-29 2011-08-04 Heys (USA), Inc. Hard-Sided Suitcase Featuring Hard-Sided Pockets
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GB2490328B (en) * 2011-04-26 2013-04-03 Samantha Jayne Ridler-Ueno Emergency bag
KR101454707B1 (en) 2012-02-15 2014-10-27 정재은 First-Aid Box with Lighting Means
US20140183231A1 (en) * 2012-11-12 2014-07-03 Fluent Holdings LLC, DBA Echo-Sigma Emergency Systems Compositions and Methods for Arrangement of Survival Materials
US8857618B1 (en) * 2012-12-12 2014-10-14 George Dennis Child'S activity station
WO2015053733A1 (en) * 2013-10-08 2015-04-16 Сэргий Евгэновыч ПОЛЯКОВ Case for trunk of vehicle
US20160339978A1 (en) * 2015-05-21 2016-11-24 Serfas, Inc. Audible warning system for bicycle lights
US9694866B2 (en) * 2015-05-21 2017-07-04 Serfas, Inc. Audible warning system for bicycle lights
USD796920S1 (en) * 2016-02-02 2017-09-12 Nalge Nunc International Corporation Lunch box

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