Vertical Tsunami Shelters Will Help People Get to Higher Ground, Fast

The threat of a tsunami is a very real thing for much of the Pacific coastline, yet many cities in the U.S. haven't taken specific infrastructural measures to ensure their residents are safe when they happen. A new building in Washington will have the first purpose-built tsunami shelter in the country, offering… » 10/23/14 1:46pm 10/23/14 1:46pm

Facebook Now Lets You Log Your Safety After Natural Disasters

There's a growing trend of social media being used in the aftermath of natural disasters for information sharing—but Facebook is now working to formalize it. It's launched a service which allows people to register themselves as safe when large-scale disasters occur. » 10/16/14 3:45am 10/16/14 3:45am

Using goTenna's Pocket Antenna to Send Texts Without Cell Service

Inspired by the downed cell towers and utility outages of Hurricane Sandy, the folks at goTenna wanted a way to keep smartphones connected even when the grid fails. What they came up with is a pocket-sized handheld antenna that lets users send texts and location info without cell service. And we got to see a prototype… » 7/24/14 1:50pm 7/24/14 1:50pm

These giant pipes help keep an entire city safe

You may think this is some real life level of Mario Bros. Or that it's an organ pipe made for a robot giant but it's actually one of the pump stations that keep beautiful New Orleans safe from flooding. It sucks in water from one side and spits it out on the other. » 7/15/14 9:20pm 7/15/14 9:20pm

Watch a tornado destroy a children's playground

This is sad. Security camera footage shows a children's playground in Tupelo, Mississippi being destroyed by a tornado. It's not like the playground is some sort of impenetrable fortress but the winds of the twister monster pretty much levels it in minutes. » 5/08/14 9:04pm 5/08/14 9:04pm

This drone footage showing the aftermath of a fire is so heartbreaking

A fire in Valparaíso, Chile has destroyed more than 2,500 homes, left 11,000 people homeless and killed at least 15 people. It's an unfathomable tragedy that has destroyed an entire community. This drone footage from Skyfilms attempts to show the extent of the damage caused by the fire's wrath. It looks like a set of… » 4/17/14 2:43am 4/17/14 2:43am

The Largest Earthquake In U.S. History Happened 50 Years Ago Today

At 5:36 p.m. on March 27, 1964, a 9.2-magnitude earthquake erupted 78 miles east of Anchorage, Alaska. The earthquake remains the most powerful earthquake to strike North America, and the second-largest earthquake ever measured. » 3/27/14 12:00pm 3/27/14 12:00pm

Offshore Wind Farms Might Save Us From Hurricanes

In the matchup of wind turbine v. hurricane, our bets have traditionally been with the hurricane. But think about it this way: wind turbines are designed to suck energy out of wind. What if they could suck out so much energy that hurricanes like Katrina or Sandy never form in the first place—with the potentially… » 2/26/14 6:20pm 2/26/14 6:20pm

Supervolcanoes Are Even Scarier Than We Thought

Do you have a cute and cuddly stuffed animal near you? If not, you might want to find one because what you're about to read will scare you silly. And not the good kind of silly either. We're talking The-End-Is-Coming sort of silly. » 1/07/14 11:20am 1/07/14 11:20am

What Happens When Natural Disasters Instantly Change Our Maps?

Pakistan's devastating earthquake this week killed hundreds, with a death toll that's certain to rise. While the country recovers, the world has become fascinated by a geographic side-effect of the disaster: the quake was so powerful that it created a new island in the Arabian Sea. And as of Wednesday morning, people… » 9/26/13 11:40am 9/26/13 11:40am

A Flood-Powered Gate That Automatically Raises As the Waters Rise

Deploying the improved infrastructure that will hopefully help prevent future tsunamis from devastating Japan is an expensive endeavour. So researchers across the country are developing new and cheaper ways to protect Japan, like this innovative floodgate that deploys automatically when waters come rushing in—no… » 5/28/13 11:33am 5/28/13 11:33am

This Emergency Bear Will Provide More Than Comfort in a Natural Disaster

The second anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami is quickly approaching, and the country—public and private sectors alike—is doing everything it can to be prepared for the next disaster. Simply being prepared for the worst is vitally important, and, while stuffed animals are often handed out as a way to… » 2/28/13 9:34am 2/28/13 9:34am

This Earthquake Sensor Is Powered By the Very Earthquakes It Senses

There's no doubt that earthquakes can be powerful, and usually the bulk of that power goes to destroying things. While you can't stop an earthquake from quaking earth, a Victoria University student has found a way to divert some of that energy to monitoring the quake it came from. » 11/24/12 10:00am 11/24/12 10:00am

A Bad Earthquake Prediction Earns Italian Scientists Six Years in Jail

An Italian court has sentenced six scientists and a former government official to six years in prison for a faulty prediction of the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila. What is this, the Salem witch trials? This is a dangerously anti-science precedent, even if it's just in Italy. » 10/22/12 12:11pm 10/22/12 12:11pm

56 Years of Deadly Tornados On One Gorgeous Map

If you've ever wondered if people in tornado alley are cursed, here's your answer: Yes. Assembled from 56 years of NOAA data, this map shows every single (known) tornado that has touched down in the United States in the last 56 years. Each line represents an individual tornado, while the brightness of the line… » 5/30/12 5:00pm 5/30/12 5:00pm

Japan's Softbank Carrier Unveils Earthquake-Proof Floating Cell Towers

Even as Japan begins to emerge from the devastation from the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami, seismologists are predicting another 9.0 within the next four years. To protect its invaluable telecommunications network the next time around, Japanese carrier Softbank will deploy an emergency balloon network. » 5/10/12 6:40pm 5/10/12 6:40pm

What Being Inside a Tornado Looks Like

If you've ever wondered what being inside the swirling terror of a tornado looks like, watch this video. It's footage from a school bus that got trapped inside the destructive spin of the grey cyclone. It's utterly terrifying. » 3/30/12 2:20pm 3/30/12 2:20pm

What Is an Earthquake?

Who isn't afraid of being waken abruptly by a shaking building whose roof is caving in? Or a huge tsunami sweeping though your town? Earthquakes are terrifying. But what exactly are they? Why do earthquakes happen? » 3/05/12 10:31am 3/05/12 10:31am

7 Tools for a Post-Hurricane Cleanup

Thankfully, Hurricane Irene wasn't as bad as it could have been in some places. But there were still plenty of people affected by the Hurricane in significant ways. What do they do next? Well, they clean up. Here are seven tools to help. » 8/29/11 6:30pm 8/29/11 6:30pm