LONG BEACH, Wash. – The first tsunami Survival Capsule in North America has been deployed to Jeanne Johnson on the Long Beach peninsula.
Johnson has become an advocate for the Mukilteo-designed capsules, which grew out of an aerospace engineering firm.
Survival Capsule CEO Julian Sharpe saw the need as he watched the tsunami devastation from Japan in 2011. It killed more than 16,000 people and injured thousands more, with additional thousands listed as missing. This happened in a country that considered it well prepared after a long history of major earthquakes and tsunamis through its history. That quake followed the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that left more than 200,000 dead.
The concept behind the two-seat Survival Capsule is to “shelter in place.” After a major magnitude 9 earthquake off the Washington coast on a fault known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone, people at the coast may have as little as 20 minutes to get to higher ground. The Long Beach peninsula has been a concern as awareness of the state’s tsunami risk has grown. Long Beach is just that – long in miles and low in elevation. Strong tsunami waves could wash over it.
“I know the roads are going to be trouble, and people panic. I’ve seen that firsthand in both tornado alley, as well as hurricane areas in New Orleans,” said Johnson. “And I just think this is my highest likelihood of survival.”
Johnson and Sharpe would like to see Survival Capsules as common as cars parked outside, or even inside garages. Larger capsules that could seat six or more could be used at hotels and hospitals. HaTTiP