NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In cases of natural disasters like hurricanes, typhoons, and tsunamis, getting to safety fast can be the difference between life and death — it can also be impossible.

Now, some are relying on a new invention that could save lives.

“I’ve got first aid kits, trauma pack, light devices,” Jeanne Johnson explained.

As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, Johnson and others are preparing for the worst.

“I’ve got 40 days of food and water,” she said.

Johnson is stocking up her futuristic looking pod and counting on it to help her survive if a deadly tsunami hits.

“You cannot swim to survive a tsunami,” she said.

She lives on a peninsula in Washington state and said if disaster strikes she would not have time to get out of harm’s way.

“There’s no high ground here for twenty minutes for me. I can’t get to high ground,” she said.

She plans on waiting it out in a two person survival capsule with just enough room for her and her dog Trixie.

The capsule is the brain child of aerospace engineer Julian Sharpe.

His company began development after the 2011 tsunami that killed 20,000 people off the coast of Japan.

“That’s our fundamental goal. To protect people from this kind of horrific death,” Sharpe said.

Sharpe said the giant ball has undergone extensive testing, including being toppled off of a waterfall — it was safely recovered.

“The object of the exercise is to try and simulate a tsunami condition,” he explained.

Made of reinforced aluminum, the capsule floats and has air vents so you can breathe. It’s intended to keep occupants safe until they can be rescued.

“We’ve built this product to do the job,” Sharpe said.

He said our area, though not vulnerable to tsunamis has its own risks.

“The east coast is very exposed to hurricanes, tidal surge, flooding, and so on, which this capsule is designed for,” he said.

NYU sustainability professor Mitchell Jaochim has his doubts.

“It could easily be picked up, tossed around and be a great way to die. I would rather be in a basement or an underground shelter in the case of a hurricane,” he said.

Johnson admits survival in the capsule is not a sure thing, but she’s willing to take her chances if the worst should ever happen.

“I don’t know if this will save my life, but it gives me a sense of peace just in case,” she said.

The capsule costs $13,500 they have been ordered by more than 500 people so far, including ten in New York.


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