Prove the prep: inland lifeboats
Welcome to our new series, where Wren and I evaluate the latest in survival techniques and gear. We’re starting with the STATIM pod, a “lifeboat” of sorts, made out of concrete, and designed for helping you survive a tsunami/flood/other giant water event.
STATIM are constructed from concrete modules that are fitted together onsite. Inside, you’re find seating for 50 people, a ventilation system, storage space for emergency supplies, and a sanitation system (toilet). Self-righting and buoyant, the pods are designed to help you survive the first wave of the apocalypse-by-water and get through the following couple of days.
What we like: Clearly an effective way to survive a tsunami or other large water event. The pods hold a relatively large number of people and could be outfitted with enough emergency supplies to get you through the short-term.
The simple construction is another attractive feature. By assembling the pre-made modules onsite, costs will be reduced and the pods can be mass-produced to reach the largest possible number of people.
The company’s idea to anchor pods in flood-prone areas is also quite intriguing. While they do not provide any details on how one would anchor a pod, it is reassuring to know that they’ve come up with a way to keep you from floating off into the ocean when the next tsunami hits.
What we dislike: Firstly, the pod’s interior. The design is Spartan and it appears that 50 people would be a tight fit, especially if you end up being stuck on the pod for several days. I would be interested to see an alternative design with a reduced capacity but greater functionality (e.g. seats collapse into beds, “room” dividers, etc.).
Then there’s the size. I’m not entirely sure where you would store one of these things, unless you happen to have a lot of land available. In my experience, most people who live in coastal areas and those most at risk of a tsunami or hurricane floodwaters do not have the luxury of space. Neither do those of us in the city.
Thirdly, the cost. $1800 isn’t completely outrageous, but it’s also a lot to spend on a single survival item that still needs to be outfitted (although on the plus side, you could convert it into a bunker if you live in, say, Arizona). In my view, the pods weren’t designed for individual/family use, but could be sold to local governments or communities looking to invest in their survival.
Fourthly, there’s the aspect of transport to be considered. What happens if the floodwaters don’t recede in the first few days and supplies begin to run low? The company suggests towing using a helicopter to tow the pod to dry land, which seems a lot more complicated than owning something you can transport yourself (i.e. a boat). The helicopter assumes that either you own one (in which case, why weren’t you on that during the apocalypse) or that the government is fully functional and willing to rescue you in a reasonable amount of time. I’m not willing to commit to either of those things.
Finally, if you tend towards the claustrophobic side like me, the thought of spending at time in a confined space that small with 49 other people is enough to send shivers down your spine.
Verdict: Points for the interesting concept and it could potentially have some use, however this is limited to governments and a very specific subset of individuals. Overall, we’ll skip this one.