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

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

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

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

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

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