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Surviving The Apocalypse... In A Lifeboat

Tyler Durden's picture


No, this has nothing to do with uber ultra-rehypothecation, fractional reserve banking gone terminally nuts, gold being allowed to rise above $2000, or a second tier Keynesian economist in charge of the Fed's plunge protection team. For the doomsday prepper who has everything, WIRED magazine introduces the water-ready modular bunker (called STATIM pods). Designed to make sure you get through the first wave when the next big Tsunami hits, the 'inland lifeboats' are eerily reminiscent of the Movie '2012' or perhaps 'Waterworld'.

As the seas rise and cities fall, imagine a community of these built and arranged in new flood zones, perhaps for scientists seeking to learn about new littoral urban ecosystems or salvagers prospecting for the remaining treasures of a lost civilization. Every night, the tribe would return to their STATIM homes, sleeping soundly with the confident knowledge that when the next flood happens, everyone will be all right.

Brace for the Apocalypse! Surviving the worst in an inland lifeboat


STATIM Shelter Section

Because the STATIM pods are modular, you can customize them for your particular nightmare scenario.

First things first. Before worrying about food storage or access to clean water during a major disaster, you need to make sure you get through the first wave safely. But never fear: When the next big tsunami hits, a water-ready modular bunker called the STATIM pod aims to float you above the flooding.

Invented by Miguel Serrano, President at Brahman Industries, the STATIM (Storm, Tornado And Tsunami Interconnected Modules) pods are designed to withstand the awesome power of tsunamis, while giving survivors a fighting chance in the aftermath.

Brahman Industries calls the pods “inland lifeboats.” The reason: they’re buoyant and self-righting, so when the floods come, they will bob to the surface. They’re also low-tech, easy to maintain, and easy to construct, which means there’s a possibility for wide deployment. The company’s plan is to install and anchor them in flood-prone areas so when the alarm bells ring, those most at risk can rush to the safety of the pods. Inside, up to 50 people can cling to secure seating arrangements.

Rendering depicting STATIM system in use

It's the end of the world, but this guy is feeling fine.

The biggest issue with rescue-shelter design is always cost. We already know how to make structures that can withstand natural disasters; it’s just incredibly expensive. The key to keeping costs down is using concrete, a cheap and well-understood building material. “We’re addressing a high-priority need with a low tech approach,” says Serrano. When STATIM reaches scale, Serrano aims to offer the 50-person pod at around $1,800 a head.

The tubular hull is made from a series of pre-cast concrete modules. The modules can be created at local factories, shipped separately, and then aligned and winched together on site to create a watertight seal. “Everyone knows how to do this,” says Serrano. According to the company, the assembly process for the pre-cast parts requires about the same amount of knowledge as installing a drain system.

A STATIM pod waits to be assembled

A STATIM pod waits to be assembled.

The pod continues to serve the people inside long after the first wave of disaster. “After Katrina, they spent three weeks just rescuing people with helicopters,” Serrano says. Because the pods are buoyant and equipped with communications devices, rescuers will be able to easily meet up with the pods to tow them away. A boat or helicopter can transport 50 people at a time to safety.

And because the parts are modular, the pods are customizable. By including different segments equipped with all kinds of survival gear, your personal STATIM pod can be modded to your anticipated needs.

The next step, says Serrano, is creating pods that house critical infrastructure. The company has proposed a variation on STATIM called the Genset, which houses working generators. Having survivable power sources would have prevented the Fukushima meltdown, Serrano says, by providing power to the nuclear plant’s critical systems after the tsunami. Other variations include pods with desalination facilities and a version of the pod that can withstand an EMP blast, ensuring that critical electronics would survive a nuclear strike.

Statim Floatation

The eerily calm diagrammatic disaster illustration. Not pictured: STATIM occupants bracing before nature's fury.

While the intention of the STATIM system is that they be temporary shelters, let’s indulge ourselves in a little bit of design fiction for a moment. What about the pod’s potential to facilitate long-term living in environmentally extreme places?

As the seas rise and cities fall, imagine a community of these built and arranged in new flood zones, perhaps for scientists seeking to learn about new littoral urban ecosystems or salvagers prospecting for the remaining treasures of a lost civilization. Every night, the tribe would return to their STATIM homes, sleeping soundly with the confident knowledge that when the next flood happens, everyone will be all right.


As an area becomes picked over, helicopter scouts are dispatched to the horizon to find new fields of discovery. When a suitable destination is discovered, the helicopters return, towing the community to their coordinates. In this way, the group slowly makes their way along America’s flooded coastline, passing by long lost levies and through once thriving port towns. Thanks to an accompanying desalination pod, the group can remain operational away from freshwater for a long, long time.

Back in the present, Brahmin’s disaster-related design pulled in seed funding earlier this year. Serrano says that they anticipate the first demonstration units will be available in early 2014. In the meantime, keep watching the horizon.

STATIM pod exploded view

An exploded view shows how the modules of a STATIM pod are assembled.

Images courtesy of Brahman Industries.

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Thu, 06/21/2012 - 18:56 | 2549053 A_S
A_S's picture


Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:03 | 2549069 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

This is beyond stupid. There's not a single solvent municipality left these days, yet they're going to spend $1800 a person for a tsunami life-boat?

Only if Benron's buying.

And that's not even until the hit the economy of scale sweet-spot. Early adopters will require the services of GS in order to finance the damn things.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:10 | 2549097 sunaJ
sunaJ's picture

Nice, but not as cool as this Zombie Apocalypse House.



Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:12 | 2549107 Spirit Of Truth
Spirit Of Truth's picture

Need 2 feet of concrete between occupants and the outside world for two weeks to thwart radiation following a full scale global nuclear war:


Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:28 | 2549141 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



The tubular hull is made from a series of pre-cast concrete modules. 

Hey, baby, wanna check out my survival tube?  It is 7 modules long and several inches thick with a power module in the rear.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:33 | 2549163 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Looks like a giant suppository...Let's try it out on Ben "Dover" Bernanke and see if it fits. Then we can fill it with Banksters, insert, and send him up on the next rocket launch to deep space...

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 20:19 | 2549294 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Put all banksters in there with 1 scuba gear and sink that in the ocean.

call it "social darwinism"

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 20:42 | 2549347 Spirit Of Truth
Spirit Of Truth's picture

They'll all survive.  Scum floats to the top.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 20:46 | 2549364 Michael
Michael's picture

I like this one better;

Dome of a Home


Fri, 06/22/2012 - 09:22 | 2550522 N. B. Forrest
N. B. Forrest's picture

If this is an actual worry of yours, move to Leadville, Colorado.  Elevation 10,000+ feet. 

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 20:46 | 2549361 Jendrzejczyk
Jendrzejczyk's picture

Will we still be able to lose our gold in a "water ready modular bunker" accident?

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 22:44 | 2549695 Mr. Fix
Mr. Fix's picture

Why would you need both an anchor, and a GPS?

 There obviously counting on at least one of them not to work.

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 02:31 | 2550023 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

HAHAHAHA!!! +1000!!! :)

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 22:35 | 2549670 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

Its actually an anti-suppository - a giant pill and the asses are stuffed inside it.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:33 | 2549167 Precious
Precious's picture

... or when you hear the fucking tsunami sirens you can get off your fat ass and go to higher ground.  

Just say'n ...

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 20:21 | 2549299 The Disappointed
The Disappointed's picture

Will we believe them is they say that the bombers and coming?
If missiles were approaching, believe that it be on the news?

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 00:30 | 2549903 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

They wont tell you if the missiles are coming. A Major city choked in gridlock will simply become a messier place and harder to contain with everyone caught in the open.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:36 | 2549175 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I'm not sure what pornographic is but I'll know it when I read it. You're pretty close Horseman :->

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:49 | 2549214 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



When things get really wet the bilge pumps fluid from down underneath out the end.

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 03:12 | 2550047 prains
prains's picture

made in china

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:13 | 2549109 Marginal Call
Marginal Call's picture

How do they know how long to make the tether?  It works so perfect in the picture. 

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:28 | 2549145 michael_engineer
michael_engineer's picture

Suspect it would snap with incoming or outgoing debris adding load. A semi truck or warehouse section snagging on tether or on unit would add a lot of surface area to catch the rushing currents going by.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:36 | 2549174 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



My friend just built a surf camp on the beach in the Philippines.  He has some long chains anchored to bedrock with life preservers on the ends.  Clip in and roll the video.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:50 | 2549220 CPL
CPL's picture

How would an engineer even get the chance to test a working model of it? 


Seriously.  The design fault being the tether.   Surfers get creamed assuming the tether on their ankle holds.  Sometime the wave takes the foot.  Water is a powerful force.  Cuts mountains in half, sculpts landscapes and assigns where life starts.


Weird yet.  Why did OracleBoy just buy a Hawaiian island?  Seemed a slightly odd thing to do, like Goldfinger weird.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 20:54 | 2549388 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Seriously.  The design fault being the tether."

Thats the first thing I noticed. The last thing one wants is to suspended underwater, with hysterical screaming people bouncing off the walls (and you) as the oxygen level depletes, underwater debris crashes into (or through) the hull.

Apparently this is meant to keep you in one place (instead of wisking you away and dropping you at highwater mark) so when (or if) you emerge unscathed you can be the first to step over the dead bodies and begin cleanup operations?...lol.

Pretty weird.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 21:19 | 2549465 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

This too:

"rescuers will be able to easily meet up with the pods to tow them away. A boat or helicopter can transport 50 people at a time to safety."


Not sure that's gonna work with these pilots...

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 21:43 | 2549550 nmewn
nmewn's picture

So in the end, its about gathering up the bodies in the most efficient manner...fifty at a time...lol.

I dunno, I think I'll take my chances clinging to the downstream side of a palm tree if ever get caught in a tsunami before I'll hop in one of these puppies and have little to no control.

Better yet, I'll stay here in Fla where they don't have them ;-)

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 07:50 | 2550244 Overflow-admin
Overflow-admin's picture

Once the hull is breached, with chance you dont ever need to gather the bodies... The safety pod becomes the grave pod.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 22:39 | 2549639 Element
Element's picture

put it in your swimming pool then!  ... 'solved!' ...



Thu, 06/21/2012 - 23:02 | 2549746 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

With my luck the water would recede and I'd find myself standing atop the Staten Island garbage dump.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 21:50 | 2549578 Squid-puppets a...
Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

I thought that, too. Also wondered 'where the f*** are the helicopters going to refuel for their scouting missions'

beyond ridicuous. even us taking the time to flamie this preposterous project is a chronological malinvestment

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:16 | 2549118 NewThor
NewThor's picture

I write movies. So...

I read a lot of stuff based on prophecy...


I see two things: Hyperinflation/economic collapse  and a BIG FUCKING COMET / PLANET in our future.

this is not a joke.


Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:34 | 2549170 westboundnup
westboundnup's picture

Yes to the first.  No to the second.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 22:23 | 2549655 IrritableBowels
IrritableBowels's picture


Fri, 06/22/2012 - 03:09 | 2550046 imaginalis
imaginalis's picture

Planet X?

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:50 | 2549202 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

That zombie apocalypse house looks sturdy enough for the apocalypse... until Komrade Samov drops a bunker buster bomb on it and confiscates the gold and silver stored in the basement...


Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:52 | 2549221 IndicaTive
IndicaTive's picture

Drone bait. Anchored.

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 04:39 | 2550093 Reptil
Reptil's picture

mmm stands out like a bunker but is actiually made of trusses and plywood.

"inconspicuous" is a good idea, but mobillity even better.

All of these apocalypse "solutions" are nice, but what happens when you step out after the event is "over"?

You're fucked alongside the rest of the environment.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 21:04 | 2549423 surf0766
surf0766's picture

Some lib politician will say it is a civil right to have it.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 21:19 | 2549466 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Your correct, all the municipalities are insolvent and there is no way they will buy these things. 

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:19 | 2549125 Cortez the Killer
Cortez the Killer's picture

Make mine Whites Only

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:38 | 2549183 RobertC
RobertC's picture

...silly fool...

Fri, 06/22/2012 - 01:50 | 2549992 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

Then who will do the actual work of repairing the world after the tsunami?

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:35 | 2549172 Gene8696
Gene8696's picture

I'll take two. Can I finance it?

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 18:56 | 2549054 adyaner
adyaner's picture

Tyler knows something we don´t???

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:04 | 2549080 Bizaro World
Bizaro World's picture

Man enters cage.....Cage enters salsa......Sharks in the salsa.....Our shark.....Gonna need a bigger boat...

~ Clerks

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 18:58 | 2549058 runlevel
runlevel's picture

um.. what

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 19:05 | 2549088 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Did you see the GPS items in their diagrams?

As if global Apocalypse is going to spare the satellite controllers.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 20:01 | 2549245 Bunga Bunga
Bunga Bunga's picture

And don't forget your 4G iPad, when you go to get saved from the apocalypse.

Thu, 06/21/2012 - 20:48 | 2549369 Race Car Driver
Race Car Driver's picture

That's what the helicopters are for... "... scouts are dispatched to the horizon to find new fields of discovery."

They'll run on water, of course.

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