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Tornado Survival Pod

Single person floating padded survival pod
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(+4, -2)
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Sometimes taking shelter in a tornado is not practical -- I live in a non-brick house with no basement and no sheltered rooms, for example.

This pod is an enclosed egg-shaped single person pod padded with Styrofoam that you can strap yourself into. It's designed to shield the occupant from being tossed around at great velocities and absorbs impact the same way a bike helmet does. It floats and has locator beacons, an outside camera, a built-in megaphone which allows you to yell for help, and some food, water, etc. depending on how advanced the version is. It has enough structural integrity to avoid being crushed.

I'm not sure how this would work with children, pets, etc...shared pods would probably need to be designed

cowtamer, Jun 06 2011

http://4.bp.blogspo...ork+And+Mindy+2.jpg [spidermother, Jun 06 2011]

Zorb http://www.zorb.com/
Prior Art [8th of 7, Jun 06 2011]

I don't know where we've landed, but we're alive. http://www.mysevera...09/02/pod-hotel.jpg
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 06 2011]

Hobbit house http://www.insanetw...l-hobbit-house.html
[MisterQED, Jun 06 2011]

How them rednecks do it http://prvrt.net/wp...redneck-shelter.jpg
[Klaatu, Jun 06 2011]


       Could it somehow generate its own tornado of fire or electricity or something stronger than wind that could be used to fight the other tornado?
rcarty, Jun 06 2011

       High explosives perhaps.
FlyingToaster, Jun 06 2011

       Maybe shape it like a large spinning top with a weighted bottom tip, so any energy imparted to the capsule by the tornado can be dissipated when it lands through a spinning motion and not disintegration or implosion or something.
rcarty, Jun 06 2011

       // High explosives perhaps //   

       Reactive armour ...   

       // shield the occupant from being tossed around at great velocities //   

       Velocity per se isn't a problem, it's acceleration and deceleration.
8th of 7, Jun 06 2011

       //absorbs impact the same way a bike helmet does// i.e. not very well at all, and increasing rotational acceleration to cause a whole new type of nasty injuries.
pocmloc, Jun 06 2011

       ...upon invention, imagines tornado-zorbing as the next extreme sport...   

       In all seriousness though, I don't think you'd emerge from the centerfuge exactly the same way as you came in.
RayfordSteele, Jun 06 2011

       Mythbusters did it.
DIYMatt, Jun 06 2011

       ... but Jamie's beret was never the same afterwards ...
8th of 7, Jun 06 2011

       Seems like a lot of waste when all you really need is a hole or at least an artificial hollow hill.   

       I can't remember the exact quote, but as the say it is not the wind, but what is in the wind. Once you've seen a drinking straw driven into a 2x4, you have to start doubting the effectiveness of a Styrofoam padded egg for safety when the 2x4s themselves start flying around.   

       If I lived in tornado country, I'd be looking into building a Hobbit style house. That way I'd be behind 20' of dirt and inside a 12' concrete culvert looking out a periscope to see when it's safe to come out.   

MisterQED, Jun 06 2011

       Well, it need not necessarily be made out of Styrofoam -- but it should be possible to engineer a pod with a hard exterior and padding on the inside (or some composite combination thereof) such that a human occupant would survive being tossed around inside a tornado with the other debris. Nobody said it'd be comfortable!!!
cowtamer, Jun 07 2011


       1. Tornados occur in predictable areas.   

       2. These areas are generally good agricultural land.   

       3. Tornados can inflict massive damage on conventionally consturucted dwellings.   

       4. After receiving massive damage, such dwellings are typically recosntructed on the same location in the same style.   

       The obvious options are either:   

       (a) Live somewhere else, or   

       (b) If you have to live there, construct your dwelling or other premises to be proof against at least an F2 tornado.   

       Some non-occupied structures would be recognised as "sacrificial".   

       It would save money in the long term if insurance companies paid to have homes reconstructed and "hardened" before they are damaged or destroyed, and to insist that all new build is survivable.   

       Or are we missing something ?
8th of 7, Jun 07 2011

       I think that's called the "Pompeii Effect": living on the side of an active volcano, or Kansas flatland, or a trailer park anywhere, or California, etc. etc.
FlyingToaster, Jun 07 2011

       [8th of 7], I always wonder the same thing; surely a tornado-proof house wouldn't be that difficult or expensive to build. But the dopey locals watch their home get demolished, then rebuild an identical house.
In extreme cases, I reckon a 'bolt hole' would be the best/simplest method: a hole ~700mm diameter (or bigger if required) straight down 5m in the back yard, with a pole or something to descend into it and a large lid the can be locked in place from within the hole (rope and pulley or whatever).
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 07 2011

       //Sometimes taking shelter in a tornado is not practical// Correct. It's usually better to take shelter in something else.   

       //Nobody said it'd be comfortable!!!// [marked-for-tagline]
spidermother, Jun 08 2011

       [8th] tornadoes don't neccesarily occur in predictable areas-- we had one about twenty miles from my house in the western mountains of Maine just last week, BION. They just don't last very long in the mountains, so they don't get the press of thier big siblings on the plains. My point is, twisters are just like lightning- they can strike almost anywhere.
Alterother, Jun 08 2011


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