No one can stop natural disasters – but we can prevent and minimize them using science.
For some geoengineers, this includes reducing the number of typhoons that nature will make as less as possible by pumping billions of tons of sulfate gases into the Earth’s upper atmosphere, which should cool down the oceans enough and cut the number of big typhoons in half over the next 50 years.
While still this is still a work in progress, what we can do when natural disasters hit is to manage and mitigate them.
A solution has been developed by two aerospace engineers based in Seattle. Julian Sharpe and Scott Hill came up with a floating survival shelter which keeps two to 10 people for up to five days, an idea which was born after the 2004 tsunami that hit Indonesia and took the lives of more than 200,000 people.
Through a startup called Survival Capsule, the spherical watertight pods are made to be resilient during natural disasters like tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and storm surges. Made from aircraft-grade aluminum, it can also withstand sharp-object penetration, heat exposure, blunt-object impact, and rapid deceleration.
The survival pods come in five sizes, able to occupy 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 adults. Each one is equipped with seats and storage for five days’ worth of supplies and water person.
A marine door hatch is present for entry. According to Sharpe and Hill, there can be more features like a tether system, solar panel, dry powder seat toilet, internal lighting, and surround-sound music system upon the request of the customer.
As explained on the designers’ website, “The capsule is a variable disaster solution, which means it can vary position according to the water depth, so it will never be inundated by water levels rising too high.
“It also provides warmth, safety, and shelter during the initial post-disaster period before rescue crews and relief workers have arrived on the scene.”
The two engineers envision using the smaller capsules for private dwellings while the larger ones for government and public use.
Pre-orders are now available in the US and Japan, with the first sale by Survival Capsule made in Long Beach in Western Australia.
In 2011, the survival pod was submitted to NASA’s Create the Future contest where it got a spot in the top 10.