Tsunami-proof survival capsules to enter mainstream production

After a year like no other, many people are looking for more security and safety in 2021.

One Christmas gift could have ticked all of those boxes, while also offering the ultimate in disaster insurance.

The Survival Capsule is set to enter mainstream factory production in 2021 after a decade of testing – that includes hurling it off a waterfall – and development in the US.

Built to aerospace standards from aircraft-grade aluminium, the pods are designed to protect you and your family from tsunamis, earthquakes and cyclones.

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Aerospace engineer and Survival Capsule founder Julian Sharpe thought of the idea in 2010 while reminiscing about the Indonesian Boxing Day tsunami while on a beach camping trip.

Nine News

The Survival Capsule being tested on a waterfall.

“After the Indonesian earthquake, the complete coverage by the media really brought it home to everybody,” Sharpe said.

“It made us realise that the dangers of tsunamis were very real.”

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011 provided more evidence that something needed to be done, with Sharpe and a colleague then starting serious work on the concept.

Sharpe said that years of “testing, analysis and correlation has taken place” to design a pod that could withstand a natural disaster, as well as sharp object penetration, heat exposure, blunt object impact, and rapid deceleration.

The capsules consists of a tubular aluminium frame, that is welded to two aluminium hemispheres that coat the exterior.

High-strength Lexan glass is used for a window, and its silver interior lining is the same material used on space shuttles to stop it overheating during re-entry.

“It becomes very water tight and very durable,” design lead Anthony Figlioli said in an interview in 2013.

“From all of our analysis, general movement of waters from a tsunami at max are roughly around 23 to 25 miles an hour, which is how fast someone would be travelling in it.”

Nine News

Survival Capsule founder Julian Sharpe.

The capsules come in various sizes ranging from two-person to 10-person capacity and have been designed to be mounted inside or outside homes and businesses.

Standard features include safety seating, storage space (sufficient for five day’s supply per person), water storage and a GPS system.

For a little extra cash, survivors can enjoy a surround sound music system, a dry powder toilet seat or a solar panel for power.

The company describes the Survival Capsules as “personal safety systems”.

“This capsule gives people more control over their survival,” Mr Sharpe said.

“It gives them an option of having a security system on their own property that’s easily accessible day or night.”

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The company is based in Seattle.

Next year, the Seattle-based company will move into mainstream production and use robotic manufacturing processes to make construction quicker and more efficient.

As the business works with two potential manufactures, no price list for the pods is currently available.

Fourteen two-person capsules have been built and sold but thankfully none have had to be used so far.

– Nine News

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