Risingbd Desk: It may look like a giant snooker ball, but this spherical capsule could save your life if bad weather strikes.
The Survival Capsule is a personal safety system in the form of a giant ball that has been designed to provide shelter from tsunamis or earthquakes.
A woman in Washington state's Long Beach Peninsula has now become the first person to invest in the $13,500 contraption, although she has admitted she's dreading testing it out.
The Survival Capsule is a personal safety system (PSS), designed to protect against tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and storm surges.
Ms Jeanne Johnson, a Microsoft employee from New Orleans is the first person to buy one of the pods, and has been experimenting with the quickest way to get into the capsule for a ride she's admitted she's not keen to take.
Speaking to The Seattle Times, Ms Johnson said: 'It's going to be terrible.
'But it's better than the alternative.'
'I bought that capsule to give me peace of mind, so I can sleep at night and not worry.'
But the Survival Capsules aren't cheap - the two person version retails at $13,500, while the four person version will cost you $17,500.
The capsule, which features two small porthole windows so the occupants can see what is going on around them, was created to give individual groups and families more control of their survival in emergency situation than traditional 'safe houses.'
Julian Sharpe, founder of The Survival Capsule, said: 'It gives [people] an option of having a security system on their own property which is easily accessible day or night and really gives the family a safe security they wouldn't otherwise have.'
The capsule is designed as a 'variable disaster solution', according to the designers.
It floats, so it will never be inundated by water levels rising too high, as they do in tsunami situations.
A self-righting system, using water bladders in the bottom, prevents it from rolling upside down.
It can also be tethered to prevent it being washed away with the occupants inside.
The capsule, which is made from a hardened aluminium shell and frame, is also insulated to keep the occupants warm.
It is intended to keep those inside safe during the initial post-disaster period before rescue crews and relief workers have arrived on the scene.
The capsule was designed by a team of aerospace engineers, whose main aim was to make the pod as strong and durable as possible.
In its initial testing, the designers used a test programme similar to those used in the aerospace industry to examine the strength and survivability of the capsule.
Mr Sharpe said: 'The object of this exercise is to really instill in to the general public a level of confidence that this capsule can offer security in a very hostile environment, which is exactly what the tsunami was.'
The sphere is designed to withstand the initial impact of a natural disaster, as well as sharp object penetration, heat exposure, blunt object impact, and rapid deceleration.
The capsules come in various sizes ranging from two-person capacity, for family homes, all the way up to a ten-person capacity, which could be used for businesses and schools.
Additionally, there are a number of customisable options, including a surround sound music system and toilet.
The concept was first envisioned by Julian Sharpe after the 2004 Indonesian Tsunami, which took the lives of approximately 225,000 people.
He said: 'Modern day early warning systems can save anywhere up to 90% of a population, but that final 10 per cent are most likely going to perish.
'In a tsunami which is exposing 2.5 million people, then that 10 per cent becomes a quarter of a million, and that's a large number. To get that down to only one or two per cent, this is an option.'
Source: Daily Mail
risingbd/DHAKA/May 10, 2017/Amirul