Futuristic Survival Capsule Aims to Provide Shelter During Tsunamis

By: Kate Kershner
The survival capsule is made to weather huge waves and float in a flood. jcrosemann/E+/Getty Images

If you're in an earthquake, drop, cover yourself and hold on. If you're in a tornado, seek shelter in a basement or cellar. In a tsunami? Evacuate to high ground. But what if you live on a beach without high buildings or ground nearby?

Well, just hop in your handy, space-age survival capsule and ride the wave.


Although most tsunamis occur due to earthquakes, that doesn't mean you'd always have plenty of warning to hightail it to the nearest hill. Tsunami waves can travel 500 miles per hour (800 kilometers per hour), and finding a quick route out is not always easy, or even viable for those who are elderly or have disabilities.

One company, based in Washington state and aptly named Survival Capsule, argues that a survival capsule might be the best bet for people on the sprawling coasts during a tsunami. The futuristic pod was created by aeronautical engineers and designers who believe that its aircraft-grade aluminum body, bulletproof glass windows and ceramic thermal lining will be able to navigate the roughest waves.

The pod is neon orange and spherical. Harnesses keep passengers — the company can manufacture designs for up to 10 people — in place during the whirly ride. There's room for food and water storage, air supply tanks and optional features like a surround sound music system and a toilet.

Some people are skeptical that the pods might be hard to spot in rescue efforts or are likely to be pinned under debris. Nevertheless, the company just delivered a pod to its first U.S. customer, Washington resident Jeanne Johnson, in January.