Method of Providing Survival Supplies Container with an Illumination Apparatus

A private civil security subscription mechanism serves to facilitate the procurement of civil security provisions for corresponding authorized beneficiaries. These provisions are provided in a container having an electric light incorporated therein. The electrical light may provide various types of light from a variety of power sources. Authorized beneficiaries are thereby provided predictable access to electrically provided light and civil security provisions.

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Description

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. provisional application Nos. 60/820,628 filed on Jul. 28, 2006, 60/823,806 filed on Aug. 29, 2006, 60/825,524 filed on Sep. 13, 2006, 60/825,976 filed on Sep. 18, 2006, 60/826,491 filed on Sep. 29, 2006, 60/827,591 filed on Sep. 29, 2006, 60/827,820 filed on Oct. 2, 2006, 60/827,828 filed on Oct. 2, 2006, 60/828,341 filed on Oct. 5, 2006, 60/828,342 filed on Oct. 5, 2006, 60/829,447 filed on Oct. 13, 2006, 60/829,779 filed on Oct. 17, 2006, 60/862,398 filed on Oct. 20, 2006, 60/862,718 filed on Oct. 24, 2006, 60/863,469 filed on Oct. 30, 2006, 60/863,481 filed on Oct. 30, 2006, 60/864,302 filed on Nov. 3, 2006, which are hereby incorporated in their entirety herein.

This comprises a continuation-in-part of each of:

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED PRIVATE CIVIL SECURITY FACILITATION METHOD as filed on Mar. 17, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/384,037;

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED CATASTROPHE-TRIGGERED MEDICAL SERVICES FACILITATION METHOD as filed on Mar. 30, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/394,350;

PERSONAL PROFILE-BASED PRIVATE CIVIL SECURITY SUBSCRIPTION METHOD as filed on Apr. 11, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/279,333;

RADIATION SHELTER KIT APPARATUS AND METHOD as filed on Apr. 24, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/379,929;

FRACTIONALLY-POSSESSED UNDERGROUND SHELTER METHOD AND APPARATUS as filed on May 2, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/381,247;

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED CATASTROPHE-TRIGGERED TRANSPORT SERVICES FACILITATION METHOD AND APPARATUS as filed on May 2, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/381,257;

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED MULTI-PERSON EMERGENCY SHELTER METHOD as filed on May 2, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/381,265;

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED CATASTROPHE-TRIGGERED RESCUE SERVICES FACILITATION METHOD AND APPARATUS as filed on May 2, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/381,277;

DOCUMENT-BASED CIVILLY-CATASTROPHIC EVENT PERSONAL ACTION GUIDE FACILITATION METHOD as filed on May 12, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/383,022;

RESCUE CONTAINER METHOD AND APPARATUS as filed on May 26, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/420,594;

PURCHASE OPTION-BASED EMERGENCY SUPPLIES PROVISIONING METHOD as filed on Jun. 1, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/421,694;

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED PRE-PROVISIONED TOWABLE UNIT FACILITATION METHOD as filed on Jun. 12, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/423,594;

RADIATION-BLOCKING BLADDER APPARATUS AND METHOD as filed on Jun. 19, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/425,043;

PRIVATE CIVIL DEFENSE-THEMED TELEVISION BROADCASTING METHOD as filed on Jun. 23, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/426,231;

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES PRE-POSITIONING AND ACCESS CONTROL METHOD as filed on Jul. 10, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/456,472;

PRIVATE CIVIL DEFENSE-THEMED BROADCASTING METHOD as filed on Aug. 1, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/461,605;

METHOD OF PROVIDING VARIABLE SUBSCRIPTION-BASED ACCESS TO AN EMERGENCY SHELTER as filed on Aug. 1, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/461,624;

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED INTERMEDIATE SHORT-TERM EMERGENCY SHELTER METHOD as filed on Aug. 7, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/462,795;

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED CATASTROPHE-TRIGGERED RESCUE SERVICES FACILITATION METHOD USING WIRELESS LOCATION INFORMATION as filed on Aug. 7, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/462,845;

PRIVATELY PROVISIONED SURVIVAL SUPPLIES DELIVERY METHOD as filed on Aug. 15, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/464,751;

PRIVATELY PROVISIONED SURVIVAL SUPPLIES SUB-UNIT-BASED DELIVERY METHOD as filed on Aug. 15, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/464,764;

PRIVATELY PROVISIONED SURVIVAL SUPPLIES ACQUISITION METHOD as filed on Aug. 15, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/464,775;

PRIVATELY PROVISIONED SURVIVAL SUPPLIES CONTENT ACQUISITION METHOD as filed on Aug. 15, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/464,788;

METHOD TO PRIVATELY PROVISION SURVIVAL SUPPLIES THAT INCLUDE THIRD PARTY ITEMS as filed on Aug. 15, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/464,799;

WASTE DISPOSAL DEVICE as filed on Aug. 16, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/465,063;

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED PRIVATE CIVIL SECURITY RESOURCE CUSTOMIZATION METHOD as filed on Aug. 23, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/466,727;

PREMIUM-BASED PRIVATE CIVIL SECURITY POLICY METHODS as filed on Aug. 24, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/466,953;

SUBSCRIPTION-BASED MOBILE SHELTER METHOD as filed on Sep. 5, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/470,156;

METHOD OF PROVIDING A FLOATING LIFE-SUSTAINING FACILITY as filed on Sep. 13, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/531,651;

PRIVATELY PROVISIONED SUB-UNIT-BASED SURVIVAL SUPPLIES PROVISIONING METHOD as filed on Sep. 15, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/532,461;

PRIVATELY PROVISIONED INTERLOCKING SUB-UNIT-BASED SURVIVAL SUPPLIES PROVISIONING METHOD as filed on Sep. 25, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/535,021;

RESOURCE CONTAINER AND POSITIONING METHOD AND APPARATUS as filed on Sep. 26, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/535,282;

PUBLICLY-FUNDED PRIVATELY FACILITATED ACCESS TO SURVIVAL RESOURCES METHOD as filed on Sep. 29, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/537,469;

ELECTRICITY PROVIDING PRIVATELY PROVISIONED SUBSCRIPTION-BASED SURVIVAL SUPPLY UNIT METHOD AND APPARATUS as filed on Oct. 9, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/539,798;

PREMIUM-BASED CIVILLY-CATASTROPHIC EVENT THREAT ASSESSMENT as filed on Oct. 9, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/539,861;

PRIVATELY MANAGED ENTERTAINMENT AND RECREATION SUPPLIES PROVISIONING METHOD as filed on Oct. 10, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/548,191;

METHOD TO FACILITATE PROVIDING ACCESS TO A PLURALITY OF PRIVATE CIVIL SECURITY RESOURCE as filed on Oct. 16, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/549,874;

METHOD OF PROVIDING BEARER CERTIFICATES FOR PRIVATE CIVIL SECURITY BENEFITS as filed on Oct. 18, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/550,594;

METHOD FOR CIVILLY-CATASTROPHIC EVENT-BASED TRANSPORT SERVICE AND VEHICLES THEREFOR as filed on Oct. 19, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/551,083;

METHOD FOR PROVIDING PRIVATE CIVIL SECURITY SERVICES BUNDLED WITH SECOND PARTY PRODUCTS as filed on Oct. 30, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/554,452;

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR A PRIVATE CIVIL SECURITY LOYALTY REWARD PROGRAM as filed on Nov. 1, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/555,589;

SUBSCRIPTION BASED SHUTTLE METHOD as filed on Nov. 2, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/555,896;

METHOD AND SECURITY MODULES FOR AN INCIDENT DEPLOYMENT AND RESPONSE SYSTEM FOR FACILITATING ACCESS TO PRIVATE CIVIL SECURITY RESOURCES as filed on Nov. 3, 2006 and having application Ser. No. 11/556,520; the contents of each of which are fully incorporated herein by this reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates generally to the provision of survival supplies.

BACKGROUND

Many citizens of the world have long passed the point when a ready availability of the basic necessities of life is satisfactory in and of itself. Today's consumer-oriented citizens demand, and often receive, an incredibly diverse and seemingly ever-growing cornucopia of consuming and experiential options. Such riches are typically based, in turn, upon a highly interdependent series of foundational infrastructure elements. Examples of the latter include, but are certainly not limited to:

    • transportation infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railways, and so forth that facilitate the inexpensive and rapid movement of sometimes perishable goods from source to consumer;
    • communications infrastructure such as telephones, television, radio, and the Internet that facilitate the inexpensive and rapid sharing of news, advice, information, and entertainment; and
    • the totality of civil services such as police services, fire fighting services, medical services, and so forth that facilitate a sufficient degree of order and predictability to, in turn, permit the complex series of inter-related actions that modern society requires in order to operate.

As powerful as the machinery of modern life appears, however, modern citizens are today perhaps more at risk of experiencing a serious disruption in their ability to prosper or even to survive en mass than is generally perceived. Providing the necessities of life in general requires a lot of things to all operate, more or less, correctly. To put it another way, a serious disruption to any significant element of civilized infrastructure can produce catastrophic results for a broad swath of a given civil community. Any number of natural and/or non-naturally-caused events can greatly disrupt society's infrastructure and ability to provide one or more life-sustaining resources such as water, nutrition, shelter, and the like.

This situation exists in large measure due to the just-in-time nature of modern inventory and control schemes and practices. As but one example, studies have shown that a typical modern urban grocery store has but a few days worth of inventory on hand at any given time. Without a virtually constant re-supply stream, shelves would quickly go bare. A significant disruption to supply chains, then, can lead to a rapid depletion of available stock. This, in turn, can lead to critical shortages of necessary emergency supplies at the very moment when such supplies are most needed. The unpredictability with respect to what supplies may become limited in this regard can comprise a particularly troubling component of this problem.

Many people believe and trust that their government (local, regional, and/or national) will provide for them in the event of such a civilly-catastrophic event. And, indeed, in the long view such is clearly a legitimate responsibility owed by any government to its citizens. That such is a consummation devoutly to be wished, however, does not necessarily make it so. Hurricane Katrina provided some insight into just how unprepared a series of tiered modern governmental entities may actually be to respond to even basic survival needs when a catastrophic event occurs.

Such insights, of course, are not particularly new. Civil preparedness shortcomings occasionally attract public attention and niche marketing opportunities exist with respect to provisioning the needs of so-called survivalists. Indeed, there are those who spend a considerable amount of their time and monetary resources attempting to ready themselves to personally survive a civilly-catastrophic event. Therein, however, lies something of a conundrum.

On the one hand, modern governments typically do little to proactively ensure the bulk provisioning (let alone the comfort) of their citizens in the face of many or most catastrophic events. On the other hand, attempting to take responsible actions to reasonably ensure one's own safety and security can become, in and of itself, nearly a full-time avocation and leave little time to actually enjoy the conveniences and opportunities of modern life. Such individual actions may even be frowned upon by the greater part of society which has grown accustomed to and falsely secure with existing efficient just-in-time delivery systems that provide the illusion of plenty while undercutting the perception of risk.

As a result, many (if not most) individuals and their families are largely bereft of the supplies that they will need should a civilly-catastrophic event befall them. This shortcoming tends to be relatively comprehensive; most people have neither a sufficient selection of survival supplies nor a sufficient quantity. For people who do have a store of supplies set aside against such an eventuality, it can be a considerable burden to maintain and ensure the freshness, vitality, and usability of those supplies. At the same time, the same civilly-catastrophic event that occasions their need for supplies will also likely disrupt relevant supply chains enough to cause a partial or complete shortage of supplies at their local merchants. The unfortunate net result is a relatively near term severe need for a variety of survival supplies that will often go unmet for lengthy periods of time.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above needs are at least partially met through provision of the survival supplies container with an illumination apparatus described in the following detailed description, particularly when studied in conjunction with the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 comprises a flow diagram as configured in accordance with various embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 2 comprises a schematic diagram in accordance with various embodiments of the invention; and

FIG. 3 comprises a schematic diagram in accordance with various embodiments of the invention.

Skilled artisans will appreciate that elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity. For example, common but well-understood elements that are useful or necessary in a commercially feasible embodiment are often not described in order to facilitate a less obstructed understanding of these various embodiments of the present invention. It will further be appreciated that certain actions and/or steps may be described or depicted in a particular order of occurrence while those skilled in the art will understand that such specificity with respect to sequence is not actually required. It will also be understood that the terms and expressions used herein have the ordinary meaning as is accorded to such terms and expressions with respect to their corresponding respective areas of inquiry and study except where specific meanings have otherwise been set forth herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Generally speaking, pursuant to these various embodiments, a consideration-based private civil security subscription-based approach serves to facilitate the procurement and provision of survival supplies or life-sustaining resources for corresponding authorized beneficiaries and to further facilitate the organization, management, and selection of such supplies. Such supplies are stored in a container having at least one electrical light incorporated therein. In addition, various approaches are set forth with respect to the selection of the form and manner of providing, storing, and delivering the supplies.

So configured, the subscriber or corresponding authorized beneficiaries of such consideration-based private civil security subscriptions will have concrete, predictable access to electrically provided light and a container furnished with survival supplies upon the occurrence (and/or threat) of a civilly-catastrophic event. In this manner, before, during, or after the civilly catastrophic event, a container having an electrical light is available to store the supplies and also provides a number of benefits with respect to the provision of light. The selection and quantity of emergency survival items and lighting capabilities can be generally selected (and their maintenance governed) by experts and hence relieve the authorized beneficiary of responsibility in this regard.

These steps are readily facilitated without dependency upon governmental oversight, participation, or control. The particular supplies (and/or quantity of supplies) provided can vary with the needs and requirements of the authorized beneficiaries. Importantly, via these teachings, an individual can take important steps to bring a considerably improved measure of security into their lives, knowing that, should a civilly-catastrophic event indeed be visited upon them, they will have an extraordinary and reliable access to survival supplies.

These and other benefits may become clearer upon making a thorough review and study of the following detailed description. Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1, an illustrative process 100 provides for accepting 101 consideration-based private civil security subscriptions from corresponding subscribers with respect to providing civilly-catastrophic event-based access to a supplies container having an electrical light. This right of access can pertain, if desired, to a predetermined period of time. For example, a given subscription can relate to providing access to the survival supplies for a one-year period of time for one or more authorized beneficiaries as correspond to that subscription.

By one approach, these subscriptions may be accepted by, for example, a for-profit business. By another approach a not-for-profit business (such as a membership-based-entity) may be the appropriate entity to offer and accept such subscriptions.

As noted, these teachings provide for a subscription-based approach. As used herein, the term “subscription” shall be understood to refer to and encompass a variety of legal mechanisms. Some relevant examples include, but these teachings are not limited to, subscription mechanisms such as:

time-limited rights of access (as where a subscription provides access rights for a specific period of time, such as one year, in exchange for a corresponding series of payments);

event-limited rights of access (as where a subscription provides access rights during the life of a given subscriber based upon an up-front payment in full and where those access rights terminate upon the death of the subscriber or where, for example, a company purchases a subscription for a key employee and those corresponding rights of access terminate when and if that key employee leaves the employment of that company);

inheritable rights of access (as may occur when the subscription, by its own terms and conditions, provides a right of access that extend past the death of a named subscription beneficiary and further provides for testate and/or intestate transfer to an heir);

rights of access predicated upon a series of periodic payments (as where a subscription provides access rights during, for example, predetermined periods of time on a periodic basis as where a subscriber offers month-by-month payments to gain corresponding month-by-month access rights);

rights of access predicated upon a one-time payment (as may occur when a subscriber makes a single payment to obtain a time-based or event-based duration of access rights or, if desired, when a single payment serves to acquire a one-time-only right of access or a perpetual right of access that may be retained, transferred, inherited, or the like);

ownership-based rights of access (as may occur when the subscription provides for ownership rights with respect to the survival supplies, when the subscriber comprises a stockholder of an entity that serves, in turn, to control such survival supplies and/or such access, and so forth);

non-transferable rights of access (as may occur when the subscription, by its terms and conditions, prohibits transfer of the right of access to the survival supplies from a first named beneficiary to another);

transferable rights of access (as may occur when the subscription, by its terms and conditions, permits conditional or unconditional transfer of the right of access from a first named beneficiary to another);

membership-based rights of access (as may occur when the subscription, by its terms and conditions, establishes a membership interest with respect to the accorded right of access such as, for example, a club-based membership, a neighborhood or tenant association, or the like);

fractionally-based rights of access (as may occur when the subscription, by its terms and conditions, establishes a divided interest by and between multiple subscription beneficiaries with respect to a right to access the survival supplies);

non-ownership based rights of access (as may occur when the subscription, by its terms and conditions, establishes the aforementioned right of access via, for example, a lease, a rental, or borrowing construct);

option-based rights of access (as may occur when the subscription, by its terms and conditions, establishes a right for an authorized beneficiary to later obtain access to such resources upon, for example, paying an additional supplemental amount at that time).

If desired, a plurality of differentiated subscription opportunities can be offered in this regard. This plurality of differentiated subscription opportunities can correspond, for example, to providing access to differing selections and/or quantities of survival supplies. As but one very simple illustration in this regard, such subscription opportunities can differ from one another at least with respect to cost. This, in turn, provides subscriber choice with respect to selecting a particular subscription that best meets their specific needs and/or budget limitation. Other differentiating parameters include: length of time benefits are provided, the volume of the resource, the quality of the resource, and/or the variety, to note but a few.

These teachings also readily encompass the notion of a given subscriber providing such a subscription for an authorized beneficiary other than themselves. Such might occur, for example, when one family member procures such a subscription for one or more other family members. Another example would be for a company to subscribe on behalf of named key employees, family members of such key employees, and so forth. Other examples no doubt exist.

As noted, these subscriptions relate to providing access to survival supplies in the event of a civilly-catastrophic event. Such access may be predicated, if desired, upon a requirement that the civilly-catastrophic event be one that persists in substantial form for more than a predetermined period of time (such as one hour, one day, one week, and so forth) or that causes at least a predetermined amount or degree of infrastructure impairment or other measurable impact of choice. In addition, or in lieu thereof, such access may be predicated, if desired, upon a requirement of a particular level of objectivity or subjectively ascertained likelihood that a particular category or kind of civilly-catastrophic event will occur within a particular period of time.

As used herein, “civilly-catastrophic event” will be understood to refer to an event that substantially and materially disrupts a society's local, regional, and/or national infrastructure and ability to provide in ordinary course for at least one life-sustaining resource. Such a civilly-catastrophic event can include both a precipitating event (which may occur over a relatively compressed period of time or which may draw out over an extended period of time) as well as the resultant aftermath of consequences wherein the precipitating event and/or the resultant aftermath include both the cause of the infrastructure interruption as well as the continuation (or worsening) of that interruption.

A civilly-catastrophic event can be occasioned by any of a wide variety of natural and/or non-naturally-caused disasters. Examples of natural disasters that are potentially capable of initiating a civilly-catastrophic event include, but are not limited to, severe weather-related events (such as hurricanes, tsunamis, extreme droughts, widespread or unfortunately-targeted tornadoes, extreme hail or rain, and the like, flooding, and so forth), severe geological events (such as earthquakes, volcanic activity, and so forth), severe astronomical events (such as collisions with comets, large asteroids, and so forth, extreme solar flares, and the like), severe environmental events (such as widespread uncontrolled fire or the like), severe agricultural events (such as a widespread crop failure, contamination, or famine) and global or regional pandemics, to note but a few.

Examples of non-naturally-caused disasters capable of initiating a civilly-catastrophic event include both unintended events as well as intentional acts of aggression such as war, terrorism, madness, or the like. Examples of non-naturally-caused disasters capable of such potential scale include, but are not limited to, nuclear-related events (including uncontrolled fission or fusion releases, radiation exposure, and so forth), acts of war, the release of deadly or otherwise disruptive biological or chemical agents or creations, exposure to dangerous mutagenic circumstances or influences and so forth.

This process 100 also provides for acquiring or procuring 103 the corresponding survival supplies for the authorized beneficiaries. Such procurement can be achieved through any of a variety of means. By one approach the items may be acquired on the open market. By another approach the items may be purchased or otherwise acquired from third parties via private negotiations. By yet another approach the entity that provides and accepts these subscriptions may itself create (through manufacturing, farming, or the like) the items of interest. In some cases, the acquired item may comprise a staple of ordinary commerce. In other cases, the acquired item may be unique and/or proprietary to the acquiring/storing entity.

This process 100 then provides for creating or procuring 105 a container having an electrical light. By one approach, the electrical light may provide predictable 24-hour visually-enhanced access to the supplies stored within the container. Visually-enhanced access may also be supplied to the area surrounding the outside of the container by the electrical light. Further, in addition to vision enhancement, such an electrical light may also facilitate plant growth, provide heat, and/or be used for its germicidal properties.

The container is configured to store the survival supplies or life-sustaining resources. The container may be a bin, a box, a case, a pallet, a drum, a frame, a chamber, a bucket, a basket, a crate, a trunk, a carton, a chest, a coffer, and/or a barrel, to note a few. The container may be any size or configuration including, but not limited to, rectangular, cylindrical, conical, and/or spherical shapes. The container may have walls or may be a flat pallet for holding a stack of survival supplies with tie-downs to further restrain the supplies. The container may be any of a variety of materials including, but not limited to, molded plastic (such as polypropylene, polyethylene, acrylonitrile, high impact polystyrene, and so forth), corrugated plastic, hard shell plastic, Teflon, corrugated cardboard, wood, metals such as steel or aluminum, various carbon-based materials, and/or composite material, to note a few. The container may be configured with openings, indentations, and/or additional structure employed for transportation or engagement with other containers or supplies.

By one approach, the container is comprised of a base, a side wall, and a lid. By another approach, the container is comprised of a plurality of bases, sidewalls, and lids such that a container is compartmentalized or the container comprises a plurality of smaller discrete containers. If the container includes a base, side walls, and a lid, the container can be configured as a lockable container. By one approach, an enclosed container is sufficiently large enough such that the authorized beneficiary may comfortably fit within the containers walls. Such a configuration may or may not require removal of the survival supplies form the container. A container of such dimension provides additional benefits to the authorized beneficiary such as protection from environmental threats when the authorized beneficiary seeks refuge within the unit. Alternatively, the container may have an open top or one or more open sides instead of being a fully enclosed container. When the container is fully enclosed, however, the container may include either a moveable sidewall and/or a moveable lid.

The container provided is preferably transportable. This may include depressions or engagement mechanisms to be grasped or it may include wheels that can be employed to roll the container. It would also be possible to equip such a container with skids to further facilitate its movement over a given surface or pontoons or other buoyant bodies to facilitate moving the container while floating in a liquid such as water.

A number of electrical lights having different luminescence strengths and/or different light spectrums may be incorporated into the container. Accordingly, it is contemplated that the electrical light may comprise a plurality of electrical lights. In addition, as shown in FIG. 2, the electrical light 203 may be located within the container 205 or located outside of the container 207, 211, 213. The lights located both inside and outside of the container may provide lighting to an interior or exterior portion of the container. In addition, the electrical lights 203 can provide lighting to an area, other than the container itself, inside and outside of the container. An electrical light 203 located outside of the container may be attached to the outside of the container 207 or may not be fixedly attached to the outside of the container but may be responsively coupled or wired 211 to the container 209 such that the electrical light can be transported within a predetermined deployment zone around the container while retaining its power supply from the container. By another approach, the electrical light 203 can be readily detached from the container and can provide lighting to wherever the electrical light is transported 213. By one approach, the electric light incorporates a battery to power the light after detachment from the container. If desired, the electric lights, whether connected to the container for power or battery powered, may be strung together to provide a bank of lights to provide a bank of lights.

The variety of positions and locations of the electrical light may provide a number of types of illumination. For example, general illumination may be used both inside or outside of the container to illuminate the area, the surroundings, and the items within the area. General illumination is also used to providing lighting in the gaps between other types of lighting such as task or accent illumination. Task illumination will typically be more localized, concentrated, and generally more function-specific. Task illumination is typically used in work areas. For example, task illumination can be used for reading or inspecting supplies. Accent illumination may highlight or otherwise enhance certain elements or designs of the container, specific contents, and/or the surrounding area. While accent lighting may be mainly decorative, accent lighting may also provide illumination to landscaping or design elements to notify individuals of their location.

Other types of lighting include security lighting. Security lighting may include bright lights that blind intruders or otherwise disorient and deter intruders. Security lighting may also encompass a mode of operation where the electrical light may switch to a less detectable form (such as a color of light that is less obvious under certain viewing conditions). Another type of illumination provided by the container may be indicator illumination, which provides information to or from an authorized beneficiary. Such indicator illumination may include a flashing light, exit/entry signs, beacons, and other visually-enhanced lightened markers. For example, a beacon emitting an infrared strobe may alert a search party to the location of container. The indicator illumination may also provide a method of communication through the use of visual light signals.

To support the electrical light, by one approach the container includes infrastructure to power, control, and adjust the illumination. As shown in FIG. 3, the electrical light generally includes a lamp 303, a power supply 305, and wiring 307. In addition, the electrical light may include an activator 309 such as a sensor 311 and/or a switch 313. A number of related electrical components can be added to the container as appropriate and/or as desired to suit the needs of a given application setting. For example, an inverter, a converter, a controller, a display, a timer, fuses, or the like can be included to ensure desired operation.

The lamp 303 or bulb is the device that converts electrical energy into light. The lamp 303 is preferably replaceable and/or rechargeable. Further, the lamp 303 may be equipped to convert electrical energy to both visible and non-visible electromagnetic energy (including, for example, infrared light to provide corresponding heat). By one approach, the electrical light provides a plurality of different wavelengths across the light spectrum. The lamp 303 may be one of at least: a halogen lamp, a fluorescent lamp (including compact fluorescent, linear fluorescent, germicidal fluorescent, circleline fluorescent), a light-emitting diode (LED) lamp, a high press sodium (HPS) lamp, a laser lamp, a rope light, a neon lamp, an argon lamp, a high intensity discharge (HID) lamp, a zenon lamp, a heat lamp, a krypton lamp, a metal halide (MH) lamp, a mercury vapor lamp, and a grow lamp, to note a few.

The electrical light can be programmed or otherwise configured and arranged to automatically turn on or off in response the occurrence of a predetermined event. The electrical light may be configured to flash or provide a variety of luminescence levels. The infrastructure can be altered to change what causes the automatic response from the electrical light. Further, the specific rate at which the light is flashed can be changed as can the length of time the light flashes. Thus, the switch 313 may be a basic on/off switch, a dimmer style switch, or a changeover switch. Switches might be used to respond to certain stimulus such as shock, vibration, tilt, linear or rotary movement, air pressure, a sonic event, a magnetic field, a fluid level, ambient lighting levels, turning of a key, current, and/or voltage, to note but a few examples in this regard. The switch 313 may also couple along with the sensor 311 to track various environmental factors.

Providing a number of different lamps and infrastructure provides the container the ability to provide brighter or dimmer lights. Such a change in luminescence can be manually or automatically controlled as mentioned above as desired. In addition, providing a variety of lamps allows the electric light to change depending on the time of day. For example, the container may have a night-use mode such that the container is less detectable and/or does not interfere with the authorized beneficiary's night vision.

The power supply 305 may be any of a number of sources of electricity. The power source may provide direct current (“DC), alternating current (“AC”), or both types of current. The infrastructure of the electrical light may include an inverter that inverts DC power to AC power and/or a converter that converts AC power to DC power. In addition, sources of electricity can be provided to supply any known range of watts, volts, and/or amperes that is needed to fulfill the electrical light requirements. Further, if desired, a portion of the electricity can be diverted to other electrically powered items. The power source may be rechargeable, permanent, and/or replaceable. The power supply 305 may be any one of a fuel-consumptive based source (such as a generator, turbine, or micro-turbine that runs on a liquid fuel, gas fuel, fossil fuel, and/or alcohol based fuel such as gasoline, diesel, propane, and/or natural gas, in addition to alternative fuel-based sources), stored-energy based source (such as batteries, or fuel cells), photonically-based power source (such as solar panels, photo cells, or similar arrays), wind-based power source (such as a windmill), human or animal powered generator (such as generators including a hand crank, wheel, or treadmill), a water flow-based source (such as a paddle wheel), and a thermoelectric power source (such as devices employing steam-power, radiant heat power, thermoelectric materials that convert a temperature gradient directly into electricity, and so forth).

A number of the electrical components, such as wiring, switches, and fuses, may be embedded within the containers walls or pallet, laminated onto the walls, positioned within grooves or other spacers in the wall, or otherwise incorporated into the container. For example, by one approach, the wiring is embedded within the walls and the lamps are position within lighting fixtures attached to the walls. The fixtures may be at least one of: a recessed lighting fixture, a track lighting fixture, a flood lighting fixture, a spotlight fixture, rope lighting, an alcove lighting fixture, a cable lighting fixture, a sconce lighting fixture, a freestanding lighting fixture, a table or surface lighting fixture, a panel lighting fixture, a chandelier lighting fixture, a wall mount lighting fixture, a torchiere lighting fixture, a display lighting fixture, an exterior lighting fixture (such as an exterior ceiling fixture, an exterior pendant fixture, an exterior sconce fixture, a step lighting fixture, a ground lighting fixture, a pathway lighting fixture, a landscape lighting fixture, an exterior spotlighting fixture, and so forth), an exit lighting fixture, and a fluorescent troffer fixture, to note a few.

In addition to providing electrical light to visually illuminate the container and the surrounding area, an electric light may be used to grow plants, even in an area without sufficient natural sunlight. For example, artificial light may be used to grow plants in an underground location or in other areas without sufficient sunlight. Photosynthesis, the process plants employ to convert energy in sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into sugar, glucose, and oxygen, can be artificially accomplished through the use of electric lights. For example, fluorescent bulbs, incandescent bulbs such as high intensity discharge bulbs, metal halide, and high press sodium, among others can be used to promote plant growth. Thus, if such lamps are incorporated into the electric light of the container, the containers can be used to grow plants such as vegetables plants and other edible plants, medicinal plants, building material plants, and so forth. By one approach, at least a portion of the survival supplies are removed from the container and then the container can be converted to a garden. Alternatively, the container may have a portion dedicated to plant growth such that no supplies need to be removed from the container to produce crops.

The survival supplies included in the containers may also include soil, water, seed, seedlings, and/or fertilizer to facilitate plant growth. In addition, depending on the availability of air quality following a civilly-catastrophic event, the survival supplies may include plant-friendly air supplies that include carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and/or other gases that may also be needed or useful for plant growth.

By one approach, the containers are sufficiently sized to grow enough plants to produce a crop of food to feed a number of authorized beneficiaries. A sufficient number of containers or a sufficiently large container may be used to increase the self-sufficiency of the authorized beneficiary. In addition to raising one's own crops to provide food for authorized beneficiaries such food production may be used to feed animals, livestock, and/or fish-stocked water sources. Providing the authorized beneficiary with the ability to grow food allows them to continue to meet their basic needs after their initial stock of survival supplies have been exhausted or to extend the stock of survival supplies such that the supplies provide nourishment for a period of time much longer than originally anticipated. Such renewable resources provide the authorized beneficiary with an increased level of security after a civilly-catastrophic event.

Depending on the type of civilly-catastrophic event, the environment and climate may be dramatically changed. Even if the climate changes only slightly towards colder average temperatures, or when authorized beneficiaries are located in a cold weather climate, authorized beneficiaries may need a way to provide heat. The environment may be controlled through the use of heat lamps. In dire situations, the provision of such heat may stave off hypothermia. Such heat may be used to warm the authorized beneficiaries' survival supplies, thaw food, and/or heat water among other tasks. As suggested above, the inside of the container may be large enough to accommodate the authorized beneficiaries. By one approach, the container includes a heat lamp to provide the authorized beneficiaries with heat inside the container. In another embodiment, the heat lamps may be provided on the outside of the container such that authorized beneficiaries are provided warmth when located outside of the container.

Other applications of the electric light include sterilization. For example, certain lamps provide germicidal ultraviolet (UV) light to kill bacteria, viruses, and other micro-organisms. Such UV light can also disinfect drinking water or other surfaces. In addition, the UV light can be used to treat certain microorganisms from food. Such UV light food processing allows the food to retain its fresh food qualities and certain nutrients.

The electrical light may also be used for security purposes. The security lighting system may include lighting as pertains to the exterior or interior of the container to notify people of the location of the container or to notify potential intruders that the container is not abandoned or is otherwise under observation and surveillance. In addition, security devices may include blinding lights that are preferably directed to the eye level of intruders. These blinding lights may provide a sudden increase in the amount of illumination to shock the eye before the pupil has time to adjust to an abrupt change. The sharp increase in illumination may also be accompanied by flashing lights. Such a security device may also provide an audible alarm to further disorient and surprise intruders and/or to alert others regarding the presence of the intruders. The blinding light can deter intruders or provide authorized beneficiaries with sufficient time to react and prevent further intrusion.

In one form, the container may further include alternative lighting devices. Such alternative lighting devices may include: combustion-based lighting (such as a carbide lamp, a candle, a gas lamp, a kerosene lamp, and a torch, to note a few), a chemoluminescence lightstick to provide light without producing heat through a chemical reaction, electroluminescence lighting, self-powered lighting such as tritium lighting, and radium lighting, among others. If the alternative lighting included is a carbide lamp, then the additional provisions of calcium carbide and water may be included in the survival supplies. In other combustion-based lamps, additional survival supplies may include various types of oil, wicks, coal, and/or gas. In addition to the light such alternative sources provide, these devices may also provide heat. For example, the reaction of calcium carbide with water produces a significant amount of heat independent of the flame.

Other alternative lighting devices include self-powered lighting such that no external power source required. Such self-powered lighting may incorporate tritium or radium. By one approach, a gaseous tritium light source or device (also called a betalight) employs a glass tube, gaseous tritium, and phosphorescent powder. Such self-powered lighting devices are reliable and can often provide continuous service in adverse environmental conditions, even during and after submersion into water. Depending on the phosphorous compound, the light produced can be different colors, such as green, red, blue, yellow, purpose, and orange. These devices are often considered ideal for hazardous situations and thus may prove useful for certain post-catastrophe situations.

These teachings will also accommodate the use of bioluminescent light. Bioluminescent light occurs when certain living organisms convert chemical energy into light. One or more such organisms could be maintained in order to harvest its light as per these teachings.

After the container is created 105, the process 100 will accommodate segregating or bundling 107 the resources. By one approach, bundling the survival supplies is accomplished by segregating or removing the resources, such as by partitioning off the supplies for one authorized beneficiary from a larger aggregation of supplies. For example, bundling can include removing a carton or small box of supplies from a larger bin or larger pallet of aggregated supplies. In another form, the bundling can occur by gathering different supplies, possibly procured from different sources. Bundling supplies occurs, for example, when a flashlight, a tent, a lantern, fire starter, walkie-talkies, and matches are acquired and then are combined to create survival supplies provisions for one authorized beneficiary. In yet another form, bundling 107 the sub-unit may comprise both partitioning off a portion of supplies and combining supplies from different sources. In addition, bundling 107 the supplies may include loading at least a portion of the survival supplies into an authorized beneficiary's container.

The survival supplies bundled 107 may comprise additional parts of choice, including, but not limited to, spare electrical components (wire, switches, sensors, fuses), spare lamps, extra fuel, and so forth. As suggested above, the survival supplies may include provisions that allow for plant growth and other supplies that can make the authorized beneficiaries increasingly self-sufficient. Thus, when bundling 107 resources such additional items can be included. By providing such redundancy in the survival supplies, the authorized beneficiaries are more fully prepared for a civilly-catastrophic event and the resulting circumstances.

This process 100 also provides for maintaining 109 the container and maintaining 111 the survival supplies. The specifics of the maintenance 109, 111 will vary with respect to the nature of the supplies and the container, along with the preferences of the authorized beneficiary. Maintaining 109, 111 may comprise ensuring the utility of the stored supplies and the container, which may need to be updated or tested on a periodic basis to ensure, for example, freshness, usability, functionality, and efficacy. In one form, this can comprise monitoring the usability of perishable items and replacing such items on a corresponding schedule. As another simple illustration this step can comprise holding certain items in deep refrigeration or in other special storage conditions as may suit the proper maintenance of such items. As another simple example this can comprise inspecting and/or replacing batteries as are used for the aforementioned lighting to ensure their readiness.

Such maintenance 109, 111 can also optionally comprise making adjustments to such supplies and the container to reflect dynamically changing circumstances as occur during the consideration-based private civil security subscription period. Advancements in technology will often produce more efficient and effective resources, such that previous items will need to be substituted. As one illustration, a new item may become available that is particularly useful in dealing with or otherwise surmounting some condition that may likely arise upon the occurrence of a particular kind of civilly-catastrophic event. In such a case, maintaining such supplies can readily accommodate updating the acquired and stored items to include a supply of this new item.

Accordingly, such maintenance 109, 111 can readily comprise one or more of removing a particular one of the items such as the aforementioned electrical lighting (as when a better substitute becomes available, when the item itself is shown to be less effective for its intended purpose than was originally thought, when the authorized beneficiary has chosen to receive another item, and so forth), adding additional ones of the stored supply (as when it becomes subsequently understood that more of a particular item is desired to achieve a particular survival related goal or purpose, or an authorized beneficiary has changed preference), adding at least one new supply that is not already stored (as in the example provided above) and so forth. Whether removing, adding, or exchanging stored items, the releasable interlocking sub-units allow for easier access to the supplies since the sub-units can be conveniently locked and unlocked.

So configured and arranged, these teachings provide for a highly flexible yet powerfully effective way by which a modern citizen can greatly improve their likelihood of surviving a civilly-catastrophic event. These teachings are sufficiently flexible so as to accommodate the needs and desires of a wide-ranging set of potential beneficiaries while nevertheless still tending to ensure adequate access to the basic necessities of life. Further, the teachings provide a manner to accommodate the individual beneficiary while creating a viable manner to implement such a large-scale provision of survival supplies. The provision of electrical light also may provide other benefits that allow authorized beneficiaries with the ability to become more self-sufficient after a civilly-catastrophic event. In addition, the authorized beneficiary can obtain predictable access to electrical light and thus, round-the-clock visual capabilities.

Those skilled in the art will recognize that a wide variety of modifications, alterations, and combinations can be made with respect to the above described embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, and that such modifications, alterations, and combinations are to be viewed as being within the ambit of the inventive concept.

Claims

1. A method comprising:

accepting pre-catastrophe consideration-based private civil security subscriptions from subscribers with respect to providing civilly-catastrophic event-based access to survival supplies for authorized beneficiaries; and
providing the survival supplies in a container having an electrical light incorporated therein.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein the electrical light comprises a plurality of electric lights.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light comprises a lamp, electrical wiring, and a power source.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the electrical light provides at least one of:

general illumination;
task illumination;
accent illumination;
security illumination;
indicator illumination.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the container comprises a structure having a base, a sidewall, and a lid.

6. The method of claim 1 wherein the container comprises a plurality of discrete structures each having a base, a sidewall, and a lid.

7. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light provides illumination for an interior portion of the container.

8. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light provides illumination for an exterior portion of the container.

9. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light is movable such that the light can be positioned distal from the container.

10. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light is configured and arranged to be readily detached from the container and used independent of the container.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the electric light may be powered by a battery after detachment from the container.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein the electric light may further comprise a power cord connecting the electric light to the container after detachment.

13. The method of claim 1 wherein the container is transportable such that the container can be readily moved at least a predetermined distance.

14. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light is responsively coupled to a manual-operated switch.

15. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light is responsively coupled to a dimmer-style switch such that the electric light can be readily selectively adjusted to any of a variety of luminescence levels.

16. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light is responsively coupled to a sensor such that the electric light is automatically illuminated upon an occurrence of a predetermined event.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein the electric light is responsively coupled to a sensor such that the electric light is automatically flashed at a specific rate and for a specific period of time.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the specific rate at which the electric light is flashed can be altered.

19. The method of claim 17 wherein the period of time for which the electric light is flashed can be altered.

20. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light is responsively coupled to a sensor such that the electric light is automatically extinguished upon an occurrence of a predetermined event.

21. The method of claim 1 wherein the electric light is comprised of at least one of:

a halogen lamp;
a fluorescent lamp (define in spec to include compact fluorescent, linear fluorescent, germicidal, circleline);
a light-emitting diode (LED) lamp;
a high press sodium (HPS) lamp;
an incandescent lamp;
a laser lamp;
a rope light;
a neon lamp;
an argon lamp;
a projector lamp;
a high intensity discharge (HID) lamp;
a xenon lamp;
a heat lamp;
a krypton lamp;
a metal halide (MH) lamp;
a mercury vapor lamp
a grow lamp.

22. The method of claim 1, wherein the container further includes supplies sufficient for producing plant growth from light energy emitted from the electrical light wherein the supplies for producing plant growth from light energy emitted from the electrical light comprise soil and seed.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the supplies sufficient for producing plant growth from light energy emitted from the electrical light further include water.

24. The method of claim 1 wherein the electrical light provides a plurality of light spectrum.

25. The method of claim 1, wherein the electrical light further includes a lighting fixture.

26. The method of claim 25 wherein the lighting fixture comprises at least one of:

a recessed lighting fixture;
a track lighting fixture;
a flood lighting fixture;
a spotlight fixture;
rope light;
an alcove lighting fixture;
a reflector lighting fixture;
a cable lighting fixture;
a sconce lighting fixture;
a freestanding lighting fixture;
a table or surface lighting fixture;
a panel lighting fixture;
a chandelier lighting fixture;
a wall mount lighting fixture;
a torchiere lighting fixture;
a display lighting fixture;
an exterior lighting fixture;
an exit lighting fixture;
a fluorescent troffer fixture.

27. The method of claim 26 wherein the exterior lighting fixture comprises at least one of:

an exterior ceiling fixture;
an exterior pendant fixture;
an exterior sconce fixture;
a step lighting fixture;
a ground lighting fixture;
a pathway lighting fixture;
a landscape lighting fixture;
an exterior spotlighting fixture.

28. The method of claim 1, further comprising maintaining the survival supplies and the container having the electric light incorporated therein pending a need to provide civilly-catastrophic event-based access to the container of supplies.

29. The method of claim 28 wherein maintaining the survival supplies and the container comprises at least in part, updating the survival supplies and the container to incorporate technological improvements therein.

30. The method of claim 1 wherein the container further includes a form of alternative lighting.

31. The method of claim 30 wherein the alternative lighting is comprised of at least one of:

a combustion-based light;
a chemoluminescence lightstick;
electroluminescence lighting;
tritium lighting;
radium lighting.

32. The method of claim 31 wherein the combustion-based light is comprised of at least one of:

a carbide lamp;
a candle;
a gas lamp;
a kerosene lamp;
a torch.

33. The method of claim 1 wherein the container includes at least one reflective surface such that the luminescence from the electrical light is reflected.

34. A method comprising

providing a plurality of private civil security resources comprising, at lest in part: civil security provisions; civil security facilities; and civil security services;
providing authorized beneficiaries with consideration-based access to the plurality of private civil security resources;
wherein at least a portion of the civil security provisions are provided in a container having a lamp providing light inside of the container.

Patent History

Publication number: 20070228090
Type: Application
Filed: Nov 13, 2006
Publication Date: Oct 4, 2007
Inventors: Gregory E. Seidel (Tecumseh, MI), Matthew J. Botos (Chicago, IL), Barrett H. Moore (Winnetka, IL)
Application Number: 11/559,278

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Carried By Animate Bearer (224/101)
International Classification: A45F 5/00 (20060101);