Tsunamis

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TENS OF MIL­LIONS OF COASTAL res­i­dents face ris­ing tides from earth­quakes and tsunamis. Pre­pared­ness ex­perts sug­gest in­fra­struc­ture like evac­u­a­tion cen­ters and sea­walls for pro­tec­tion, but proac­tive res­i­dents can also turn to the two-seater Sur­vival Cap­sule, a 4.5-foot spher­i­cal es­cape pod.

The orb is built to bob. Its avi­a­tion-grade alu­minum shell should hold its shape, even when mas­sive waves and de­bris pum­mel houses and cars. Wa­ter tanks and built-in seats (there are mod­els to ac­com­mo­date up to 16 pas­sen­gers) con­cen­trate the craft’s weight at the bot­tom, so, like a pon­toon boat, the sphere stays up­right. Evac­uees seal them­selves in­side be­hind a sub­ma­rine-style door—turn­ing a wheel to en­gage lock­ing arms that hold the hatch in place. And though the pod comes with a coated steel tether, Coast Guard–ap­proved “ma­rine or­ange” paint makes the bub­ble easy to spot if it floats out to sea.

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