Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Disaster coffee table

What I thought "Hurricane coffee table" was going to be
  [vote for,

A steel reinforced, crush-resistant survival pod, sized to fit two or more humans.

During normal times, it sits in the living room, in either the industrial, polished steel raw look, or with a nice throw rug. You can use it to rest your feet, coffee, magazines, Cheetos and TV remotes as per normal.

If disaster approaches, you pull the drawers out from underneath it, and dive in to seek shelter from wind- or gravity-accelerated pieces of your own dwelling, or those of others.

The drawers are mounted directly on their own rollers, so no tracks are present to scratch you. They are full-width, so can be pushed out the other side as you dive in the nearest side. In the event of flood, fire or NBC attack, pontoons along the sides inflate to seal off the sides and provide bouyancy.

A closed-cell foam mat with integrated pillow provides a modicum of comfort. The head and foot panels comprise storage lockers doubling as full-width support pillars, with two additional pillars halfway up each long side, connecting the roof and floor. Proposed construction of pillars and panels: titanium steel tubing, spaceframe reinforcing, filled with bouyancy foam (or air, or structural lumber), finished either face with ti.steel sheet.

Being plugged into your home power, the pod provides a convenient place to charge your mobile phone, laptop and media remotes, while simultaneously keeping the batteries for its emergency power system on a float charge. These batteries power a couple of small internal LEDs, an external location indicating beacon (pulsing in audio, RF, IR and visible light every 30 seconds or so), CO2 scrubber, (bottled water and oxygen are laid on), multi-channel radio scanner/broadcaster, and an internal mobile phone charge station. Both of the latter are wired to integrated external antennae.

Locking pins accessible to the occupants allow the roof to be opened from the inside, as four to eight (interchangeable, identical and square) panels or as one assembly, to facilitate egress in the event of overlying debris. Rods, pins, panels and fabric also interlock to create paddles, oars, rudder, sunshade or sail.

Instructions for use are stamped or etched permanently into both Ti.steel faces of the upper panel, so you can idly peruse first-aid procedures or emergency drills while half-watching "Everybody Loves Raymond". And it's a great conversation starter.

Cost: about the same as a high-end designer coffee table, with a certain brut, functional, military/industrial aesthetic all its own.

Alternative use: bed base.

BunsenHoneydew, Sep 10 2011

Hurricane coffee table Hurricane_20coffee_20table
The inspiration. [BunsenHoneydew, Sep 10 2011]

One person tornado shelter. http://fandomania.c...torm-chasing-myths/
Why do we even need a halfbakery when the Mythbusters exist? [DIYMatt, Sep 10 2011]

Quantum leap. http://www.qsleeper.com/
I mean sleep... quantum Sleep. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Sep 10 2011]

The Maxim Coffee Table http://www.casketfu...prod/the_maxim.html
[Klaatu, Sep 11 2011]

Armored Fridge http://www.netrunne...rds/armored-fridge/
[DrBob, Sep 12 2011]

Similar.... Panic_20Bed
[senatorjam, Sep 12 2011]

The ultimate home disaster shelter http://mocra.files..../refrigerator-2.jpg
Who knows why I linked this here? [DIYMatt, Sep 13 2011]

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       coffee table - funny name for a hurricane.
po, Sep 10 2011

       I looked at the Morrison shelter link, and to be honest it looks pretty useless.   

       The basic concept here is a bit like "panic rooms" that are mean to look and function like a regular guest bedroom most of the time, but have reinforced walls and steel doors.
DIYMatt, Sep 10 2011

       If these are available in a cubic form factor, we might be interested ...
8th of 7, Sep 10 2011

       //Alternative use: bed base.//   

       Sort of baked. [link]...
Could be cubic I suppose.

       Also functions as a deluxe sarcophagus if you're buried under so much crap you can't "egress" and rescue workers miss your beacons or need weeks to dig you up. Could keep nitrous and cyanide gas on board just in case.
Whistlebritches, Sep 10 2011

       Great idea, [BH]. After disaster takes away all that is dear to you, at least you can sit down at the table and properly have some coffee.
swimswim, Sep 11 2011

       Baked, says [bigsleep]'s linky - and begorrah, it is. Worse, I have a niggling recollection of having read of them before, sometimeplace. I'm not sure the 21st century embellishments help my case much, being more in the way of to-be-expected product improvements than actual invention.   

       Erm, that is a bed that doubles as a table, whereas this is a table that doubles as a bed? It floats?   


       I throw myself upon the steel-reinforced mercy of the court.   

       // I looked at the Morrison shelter link, and to be honest it looks pretty useless. //   

       How hard did you look? Those steel uprights look as substantial as those we pulled out of the WWII era shelter in my parent's basement, and that was rated for a two storey brick and concrete building to fall on it. Only the enclosed space differs.   

       It was also *tested* - and Ministry rated - for its purpose. Industrial standards testing was well established in Britain by WWII, and the test themselves needed no more complexity than "1: drop heavy things. 2: observe."   

       Those chickenwire walls make me a tad twitchy though.   

       //The basic concept here is a bit like "panic rooms"//   


       //Also functions as a deluxe sarcophagus if you're buried under so much crap you can't "egress"//   

       The great majority of people rescued alive from building collapses are a/ found within 48 hours b/ found in a fortuitious void created amongst the rubble c/ found. The BunsenLabs DCT provides a deliberately created void, and attempts to maximize findage.   

       I suppose you'd prefer to be found in the exact same spot, weeks later, buried under the exact same crap, and without the DCT?   

       And why the scare quotes? Egress is a perfectly cromulent word.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 11 2011

       There's not much chance of encountering "Morrison shelter" and "aesthetic" in the same sentence though, is there?   

       I mean come on! Clean geometric lines! Polished ti.steel! Mysterious etchings! We'll even powdercoat it on request, or electroplate the bastard in the precious metal of your choice. First 50 callers receive a free EPIRB and satphone - yours to keep! Call this number now!
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 11 2011

       Ah. Yes. The, er, Quantum Sleep, [2 fries]. As you say. And I'm glad you brought that up, as I will be happy to address that issue to the er, best of my /shuffles papers/ knowledge, at er, as it were, this, or indeed any other time.   

       Which, of course, in no way resembles DCT. At all. Nor have I ever seen it before, that I can recall, nor have my employees. That is to say, as far as I recall, or not, them informing myself, or the board of BunsCorp, of their recollections, or lack thereof, or those of my father, who barely recollects his trousers without his personal assistant, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.   

       You see, *that* is a bed, whereas *this* ...   

       Yeah, I got nothing.
BunsenHoneydew, Sep 11 2011

       You could skip a few steps and go right to the Maxin <link> if you wanted to stay in your home during a hurricame.
Klaatu, Sep 11 2011

       The Morrison shelter would <i>only</i> be helpful if a building collapsed on it. But it was designed to protect from bombs, and bombs tend to be a little too explod-y and shrapnel-y for chicken wire to offer any protection.
DIYMatt, Sep 11 2011

       //I suppose you'd prefer to be found in the exact same spot, weeks later, buried under the exact same crap, and without the DCT?//   

       Well, you have a point there. DCT mitigates death by crushing and gives one some time to ponder the situation while presumably being rescued. Even the remote possibility of premature burial in a tastefully appointed container should be considered a selling point, at least for some folks.   

       //DCT provides a deliberately created void// May not be the best way to describe a device you dive into in the event of catastrophe.   

       //Egress is a perfectly cromulent word.// Of course the use of egress is "cromulent", my quotes were only meant to embiggen the term.
Whistlebritches, Sep 11 2011

       If this were to look a little less like an industrial caisson and a little more like a smart car ...
reensure, Sep 11 2011

       [+] hehe! (sorry I missed this- I was away...)
xandram, Sep 13 2011

       maybe a Morrison (no relation) shelter which can tesselate, so if you aren't discovered within the appropriate time, it morphs into a small metal pyramid as a memorial.   

       I was also thinking about hydrogen and oxygen tanks, so you could either make a nice cup of coffee while waiting out the disaster, or it could be used with function 1 above as a no motion/screaming within 48 hours-> goto crematorium mode.
not_morrison_rm, Sep 13 2011


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