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HoverHome (TM)

Natural Disaster threatening your home? Move it to safety.
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(+2, -3)
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It is difficult to watch homes and businesses be destroyed year after year by floods, hurricanes, and forest fires. These are natural disasters that WILL occur every year. In the aftermath we rebuild our structures in the same vulnerable zones. It is only a matter of time before another catastophic event strikes again.

Let's learn from our mistakes. The one advantage we have over floods, hurricanes, and forest fires is that these are events that typically happen with some warning. Yes, even floods (hour after hour after hour of heavy rain should be your first clue). With improved weather forcasting and means of communication we can save lives; people are less vulnerable than ever before. But what about our homes and businesses?

With my new invention, the HoverHome (TM), all new structures in danger zones would be mobile within minutes.

This is the concept:

How hovercraft work... from Wikipedia: "A hovercraft, or air-cushion vehicle, is a vehicle or craft that can be supported by a cushion of air ejected downwards against a surface close below it, and can in principle travel over any relatively smooth surface, such as gently sloping land, water, or marshland, while having no substantial contact with it."

Between the foundation and the home a heavy rubber "skirt" rests. This skirt is inflatible. When news of an impending disaster in the region is known the skirt is inflated. The structure can then be moved to a safe location until the danger passes.

This is how it works:

Installation... in all practicality, the HoverHome (TM) skirt is for new homes. I can not conceive of a way in which it can be applied to already existing structures. New homes will be built with the flooring level solid enough so that it can support the home as it rides on the inflated HoverHome (TM) skirt. All plumbing and electrical connections will have easily disconnectible ( <---if it isn't a word it should be) junction points that are accessible. These are to be engineered so that they do not require plumbers or electricians to disconnect (they will be readying their own homes). The flooring of the home is secured to the foundation with a series of bolts. The skirt is engineered with these "securing bolts" in mind allowing for the bolts to connect the home foundation directly to the floor with "pass throuh points" in the skirt (like the holes of a donut). The skirt is secured to the flooring of the home but is not connected to the foundation. Large Fans are affixed to the roof of the home. These will provide propulsion when needed and could provide air conditioning when not in peril. Architects will find ways to make these fans beautiful.

In the event of a disaster... the homeowner removes the "securing bolts" and disconnects the plumbing and power junctions. The homeowner then fires up the generator (included with installation) and switches the air pump on. The skirt fills with air. Powerful engines force air down below the skirt and enable it to float over the variety of terrain it will pass through to get to safe ground.

When danger has passed... homes can be piloted back to their foundation and resecured.

You are thinking, "This sounds expensive." Yes, it will be fairly expensive, initially. Perhaps the costs can fronted by insurance companies or the government. The billions of dollars required to clean up and rebuild in the wake of Katrina would be significantly lower had the homes been removed from the path of destruction. The insurance claims will undoubtedly force insurance companies to bankruptcy.

Homeowners will have to be certified as HoverHome (TM) operators. There will be all sorts of issues involved... homeowners crashing into buildings, powerlines restricting movement, homeowners piloting their homes over pets or people or cars, homeowners getting their homes stuck in unpassable terrain such as rivers or steep grades. All of these things are avoidable with forethought and civic planning. Evacuation routes can be preplanned, power lines can be equipped with easily removeable junctions through these planned evacuation routes.

Doubting the ability of hovercrafts to carry the weight of a home? Check out this info:


Ok, so, enough out of me. I'm interested in your buns or bones. I'd love to hear your input.

Gusbus, Sep 14 2005


       Mobile homes are not only Widely Baked (albeit not the hovercraft kind), but are *more* prone to disaster damage than regular homes. You are moving in the wrong direction.   

       Another quibble: flash floods often hit people downstream of the original rainstorm (that was certainly the case with a couple of hurricanes last year).
DrCurry, Sep 14 2005

       I'm reading Isaac's Storm, a book about Galveston's hurricane disaster a century ago. It turns out that moving objects (torn off roofs, hoverhomes, etc.) can do quite a bit more damage than just strong wind and waves.
Worldgineer, Sep 14 2005

wagster, Sep 14 2005

       DrCurry: The home is secured to the foundation and will be stable enough to withstand any normal storm.   

       Worldgineer: Your HoverHome will not be in the vacinity of the storm when it strikes land. It will, therefore, not be tossed into other homes, barns, and the like. Your neighbor, the procrastinator who also owns a HoverHome but failed to evacuate in a timely manner, will be strung up by his toenails. His house, assisted by high winds, will sail at tremendous speeds through everything in its path. When the storm subsides, the destruction caused by this jerk will be condemned. Cooler heads will remind the public of the property SAVED by the widespread mobilization. THANKS HoverHome (TM)!! You saved my home!! Sales go through the roof. Evacuation techniques are improved. Life, for the most part, continues.
Gusbus, Sep 14 2005

       Not recommended for those living on the slopes of active volcanoes Or any kind of disaster-prone slope
coprocephalous, Sep 14 2005

       Or make a new plan, Stan.
zeno, Sep 14 2005

       Or give back the key, Lee.
zeno, Sep 14 2005

       It'll never fly. Too Heavy.
gnomethang, Sep 14 2005


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