Could This Be the Lifesaving “Wave Of The Future?”

Survival Capsule
Survival Capsule | Photo by Survival

Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s some people were obsessed with surviving “the bomb” and made themselves feel safer by building underground bomb shelters. In today’s world of serious natural disasters we need to be prepared for just about anything.

Tsunami Wave
2004 Indonesian Tsunami | Photo by youtube

One of the most devastating of the natural disasters is a Tsunami. We all remember the physical destruction and loss of life caused by the Tsunami in Indonesia some years ago.

Tsunami Hazard Zone
Tsunami Hazard Zone Sign | Image by repeating

There have been drills at the coast testing Tsunami warning sirens and procedures to help save lives. When the alarm is sounded getting to higher ground is imperative, but how high is high enough and how quickly can you get there? In an emergency roadway traffic can be bumper-to-bumber trapping people in their cars.

Panic room
Panic Room | Image by

I stumbled onto a product that is now available that could be the solution to being safe during a Tsunami and even other disasters or emergencies.You may remember a movie called “Panic Room” which was about a mother and daughter who end up living in a fancy apartment that has a safe room which when occupied and locked can keep out the bad guys.

Survival Capsule
Survival Capsule | Photo by Survival

This new kind of survival room could be the wave of the future. Pun intended.The company is called Survival Capsule, LLC and the initial idea was spawned back in 2010 in of all places Cannon Beach, Oregon. Here are the details from their webpage: “The concept of a personalized safety system against the threat of a Tsunami was first envisioned by Julian Sharpe while spending the weekend at Cannon Beach, Oregon, with his family. The memory of the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami, which took the lives of approximately 225,000 people, was fresh in his mind. On returning to the office of IDEA International the following Monday, Julian shared the idea with with his colleague, Scott Hill, who happened to be quite impressed. The two of them proceeded to develop a fully working design concept, performed some initial structural analysis and converged on a functioning design.”

In 2011 they entered their capsule design into the NASA Tech Brief Innovation contest. Out of some 350 entries their design ranked in 9th place. That’s quite an accomplishment. When local  media got wind of this they became advocates of their endeavor.

Here is how they describe their product “The Survival Capsule is a patent-pending, personal safety system (PSS) designed as a spherical ball to protect against tsunami events, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and storm surges.” The idea sort of reminds me of the escape pods that have been shown in science fiction movies when people need to flea the larger space station or space ship.

Survivcal capsule Interior
Capsule Interior Showing Seats and Harnesses | Photo by Survival Capsule LLC

Just placing yourself inside a protective ball isn’t enough. It’s what is added both inside and out that makes survival more plausible. Here is a list of the standard features in the Survival Capsule: Safety seating with four-point harness straps, storage space (sufficient for five days supply per person), multiple counter sunk hoisting points, water storage (bladder or tank), basic internal light, GPS (Global Positioning System), air ventilation vents, capsule storage stand, basic, high-visibility unit color, air supply tanks (one for each occupant), hard restraint support, solid, watertight marine door (opens from inside and outside), and a marine standard window.

The capsules come in sizes ranging from a two-person capacity up to a 10-person capacity. The larger capacity would be used by businesses, hospitals, airports, etc. while the smaller one would be suitable for residential use.

Julian Sharpe & Jeanne Johnson
Julian Sharpe Outside With Jeanne Johnson Inside Survival Capsule | Photo by Survival Capsule LLC

What makes this even more exciting is that the first person to purchase a survival capsule is Jeanne Johnson from Oak Park, Washington. She was concerned that she would have a difficult time getting through the rush of people trying to flee to higher ground should a Tsunami warning be issued and this invention takes care of that concern. The cost of the two-person  Survival Capsule starts at $13,500.

For more details, price quotes and contact information you can go to the Survival webpage.

Let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].


Tim Chuey is a Member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association and has been Awarded Seals of Approval for television weathercasting from both organizations.

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