It lurks in the corner of our imagination, almost beyond our ability to see it: the possibility that a tear in the fabric of life could open up without warning, upending a house, a skyscraper, or a civilization. Today, nine out of ten Americans live in places at significant risk of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorism, or other disasters. Tomorrow, some of us will have to make split-second choices to save ourselves and our families. How will we react? What will it feel like? Will we be heroes or victims? Will our upbringing, our gender, our personality–anything we’ve ever learned, thought, or dreamed of–ultimately matter? Amanda Ripley, an award-winning journalist for Time magazine who has covered some of the most devastating disasters of our age, set out to discover what lies beyond fear and speculation. In this magnificent work of investigative journalism, Ripley retraces the human response to some of history’s epic disasters, from the explosion of the Mont Blanc munitions ship in 1917–one of the biggest explosions before the invention of the atomic bomb–to a plane crash in England in 1985 that mystified investigators for years, to the journeys of the 15,000 people who found their way out of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Then, to understand the science behind the stories, Ripley turns to leading brain scientists, trauma psychologists, and other disaster experts, formal and informal, from a Holocaust survivor who studies heroism to a master gunfighter who learned to overcome the effects of extreme fear. Finally, Ripley steps into the dark corners of her own imagination, having her brain examined by military researchers and experiencing through realistic simulations what it might be like to survive a plane crash into the ocean or to escape a raging fire. Ripley comes back with precious wisdom about the surprising humanity of crowds, the elegance of the brain’s fear circuits, and the stunning inadequacy of many of our evolutionary responses. Most unexpectedly, she discovers the brain’s ability to do much, much better, with just a little help. The Unthinkable escorts us into the bleakest regions of our nightmares, flicks on a flashlight, and takes a steady look around. Then it leads us home, smarter and stronger than we were before. From the Hardcover edition.
Offers a glimpse at disasters and their aftermath, describing the three stages of disaster response, how we react--or do not react--in moments of catastrophe, and how we can train ourselves and other victims to survive in the event of a disaster.
Author: Amanda Ripley
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2009-11-10
It was 8.46 a.m. on 9/11 when Elia Zedeño, who had worked in the World Trade Center for twenty-one years, heard a booming explosion and felt the building lurch violently to the south. She grabbed her desk, taking her feet off the floor, and screamed, 'What's happening?' How would you react to a disaster? Would you be paralysed with fear? Would you panic and lose control? Or might you suddenly discover hidden strengths in yourself? In The Unthinkable, award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley investigates some of the most harrowing catastrophes in history in order to piece together exactly how we react in a crisis. Through compelling interviews with survivors and experts she uncovers our instinctive reactions, shows how primitive parts of our brains take over when we're put under pressure, and demonstrates that we can, in fact, train ourselves to do better. We all have a 'disaster personality' that reveals itself at moments of crisis. In The Unthinkable you can become acquainted with yours.Who knows? One day, understanding how it works may save your life.
Author: Cade Courtley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-12-04
Think and act like a Navy SEAL and you can survive anything. You can live scared—or be prepared. “We never thought it would happen to us.” From random shootings to deadly wildfires to terrorist attacks, the reality is that modern life is unpredictable and dangerous. Don’t live in fear or rely on luck. Learn the SEAL mindset: Be prepared, feel confident, step up, and know exactly how to survive any life-threatening situation. Former Navy SEAL and preeminent American survivalist Cade Courtley delivers step-by-step instructions anyone can master in this illustrated, user-friendly guide. You’ll learn to think like a SEAL and how to: improvise weapons from everyday items * pack a go bag* escape mass-shootings * treat injuries at the scene* subdue a hijacker * survive extreme climates * travel safely abroad* defend against animal attacks * survive pandemic * and much more Don’t be taken by surprise. Don’t be a target. Fight back, protect yourself, and beat the odds with the essential manual no one in the twenty-first century should be without. BE A SURVIVOR, NOT A STATISTIC!
Author: Ben Sherwood
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: 2009-01-26
Which is the safest seat on an airplane? Where is the best place to have a heart attack? Why does religious observance add years to your life? How can birthdays be hazardous to your health? THE SURVIVORS CLUB Each second of the day, someone in America faces a crisis, whether it's a car accident, violent crime, serious illness, or financial trouble. Given the inevitability of adversity, we all wonder: Who beats the odds and who surrenders? Why do some people bound back and others give up? How can I become the kind of person who survives and thrives? The fascinating, hopeful answers to these questions are found in THE SURVIVORS CLUB. In the tradition of Freakonomics and The Tipping Point, this book reveals the hidden side of survival by combining astonishing true stories, gripping scientific research, and the author's adventures inside the U.S. military's elite survival schools and the government's airplane crash evacuation course. With THE SURVIVORS CLUB, you can also discover your own Survivor IQ through a powerful Internet-based test called the Survivor Profiler. Developed exclusively for this book, the test analyzes your personality and generates a customized report on your top survivor strengths. There is no escaping life's inevitable struggles. But THE SURVIVORS CLUB can give you an edge when adversity strikes.
Author: Amanda Ripley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-07-29
Following three teenagers who chose to spend one school year living in Finland, South Korea, and Poland, a literary journalist recounts how attitudes, parenting, and rigorous teaching have revolutionized these countries' education results.
Author: Laurence Gonzales
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2017-01-10
“Unique among survival books . . . stunning . . . enthralling. Deep Survival makes compelling, and chilling, reading.”—Denver Post Over a decade since its original publication, Laurence Gonzales’s bestselling Deep Survival has helped save lives from the deepest wildernesses, just as it has improved readers’ everyday lives. Its mix of adventure narrative, survival science, and practical advice has inspired everyone from business leaders to military officers, educators, and psychiatric professionals on how to take control of stress, learn to assess risk, and make better decisions under pressure. Now with a new introduction on how this book can help readers overcome any of life’s obstacles, Gonzales’s gripping narrative is set to motivate and enlighten a new generation of readers.
This important book by one of our leading experts on disaster preparedness offers a compelling narrative about our nation’s inability to properly plan for large-scale disasters and proposes changes that can still be made to assure the safety of its citizens. Five years after 9/11 and one year after Hurricane Katrina, it is painfully clear that the government’s emergency response capacity is plagued by incompetence and a paralyzing bureaucracy. Irwin Redlener, who founded and directs the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, brings his years of experience with disasters and health care crises, national and international, to an incisive analysis of why our health care system, our infrastructure, and our overall approach to disaster readiness have left the nation vulnerable, virtually unable to respond effectively to catastrophic events. He has had frank, and sometimes shocking, conversations about the failure of systems during and after disasters with a broad spectrum of people—from hospital workers and FEMA officials to Washington policy makers and military leaders. And he also analyzes the role of nongovernmental organizations, such as the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Katrina. Redlener points out how a government with a track record of over-the-top cronyism and a stunning disregard for accountability has spent billions on “random acts of preparedness,” with very little to show for it—other than an ever-growing bureaucracy. As a doctor, Redlener is especially concerned about America’s increasingly dysfunctional and expensive health care system, incapable of handling a large-scale public health emergency, such as pandemic flu or widespread bioterrorism. And he also looks at the serious problem of a disengaged, uninformed citizenry—one of the most important obstacles to assuring optimal readiness for any major crisis. Redlener describes five natural and man-made disaster scenarios as a way to imagine what we might face, what our current systems would and would not prepare us for, and what would constitute optimal planning—for government and the public—in each situation. To see what could be learned from others, he points up some of the more effective ways countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have dealt with various disasters. And he concludes with a real prescription: a nine-point proposal for how America can be better prepared as well as an addendum of what citizens themselves can do. An essential book for our time, Americans at Risk is a devastating and realistic account of where we stand today. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Richard Sylves
Publisher: CQ Press
Release Date: 2014-07-23
Genre: Political Science
In the Second Edition of Disaster Policy and Politics, author Richard Sylves covers the hottest and most controversial issues in the fields of disaster management and homeland security. The work provides a careful and balanced analysis of U.S. disaster politics and policy, paying special attention to the role of key actors—decision makers at the federal, state, and local levels. The book’s comprehensive “all-hazards” approach introduces readers to important public policy, organizational management, and leadership issues whether they aspire to be emergency managers or not. Crafted to be more instructor- and student-friendly, the 10-chapter volume includes boxed mini–case studies depicting disasters large and small. Among its aims are to provide illuminating examples, context, and humanitarian relevance.
Author: Laurence Gonzales
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2009-10-05
“Well-written and fascinating . . . this is the kind of book you want everyone to read.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer “Curiosity, awareness, attention,” Laurence Gonzales writes. “Those are the tools of our everyday survival. . . . We all must be scientists at heart or be victims of forces that we don’t understand.” In this fascinating account, Gonzales turns his talent for gripping narrative, knowledge of the way our minds and bodies work, and bottomless curiosity about the world to the topic of how we can best use the blessings of evolution to overcome the hazards of everyday life. Everyday Survival will teach you to make the right choices for our complex, dangerous, and quickly changing world—whether you are climbing a mountain or the corporate ladder.
On average, 9/11 Trade Center survivors waited for 6 minutes after the alarm was sounded before heading downstairs. Some made phone calls, some gathered their stuff together. At least 1,000 took the time to shut down their computer. Why were their reactions so delayed? Residents of New Orleans were advised to evacuate the city at least 48 hours before Hurricane Katrina's landfall. The majority of people who stayed behind could afford to go, they simply chose to stay. Why did they not understand how much peril they were in? On the evening of 29 December, 1972, an Eastern Air Lines jet began its final approach to Miami International Airport. When the pilot tried to lower the landing gear, the green light that showed the wheels were fully engaged did not come on. Concerned, the crew began to investigate this fault. They became so preoccupied, however, that they didn't notice when the plane changed altitude. A few minutes later, they crashed. Reports from the scene of the accident showed that the only thing wrong with the plane was a broken green lightbulb. How could the pilot become so obsessed with a tiny detail that he forgot about flying the plane? In extreme circumstances, the mind does peculiar things, and in The Unthinkable award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley has interviewed 9/11 and plane crash survivors, risk analysts and psychologists to get to the bottom of how people behave when disaster strikes. Vividly describing some of the most harrowing catastrophes and breath-taking escapes, Amanda draws out the three stages of disaster response: Denial, Deliberation and Decision, explaining why many of us slow down just when we should be running for our lives and identifying the habits that may help disaster victims to save themselves. If you've ever wondered how you would react in a crisis, if you would crumble with fear or discover superhuman strengths, The Unthinkable will prove compelling reading.
Author: Kathleen Tierney
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Release Date: 2014-07-23
Genre: Social Science
The first decade of the 21st century saw a remarkable number of large-scale disasters. Earthquakes in Haiti and Sumatra underscored the serious economic consequences that catastrophic events can have on developing countries, while 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina showed that first world nations remain vulnerable. The Social Roots of Risk argues against the widespread notion that cataclysmic occurrences are singular events, driven by forces beyond our control. Instead, Kathleen Tierney contends that disasters of all types—be they natural, technological, or economic—are rooted in common social and institutional sources. Put another way, risks and disasters are produced by the social order itself—by governing bodies, organizations, and groups that push for economic growth, oppose risk-reducing regulation, and escape responsibility for tremendous losses when they occur. Considering a wide range of historical and looming events—from a potential mega-earthquake in Tokyo that would cause devastation far greater than what we saw in 2011, to BP's accident history prior to the 2010 blowout—Tierney illustrates trends in our behavior, connecting what seem like one-off events to illuminate historical patterns. Like risk, human resilience also emerges from the social order, and this book makes a powerful case that we already have a significant capacity to reduce the losses that disasters produce. A provocative rethinking of the way that we approach and remedy disasters, The Social Roots of Risk leaves readers with a better understanding of how our own actions make us vulnerable to the next big crisis—and what we can do to prevent it.
Author: Thomas E. Drabek
Publisher: CRC Press
Release Date: 2016-04-24
Genre: Political Science
Since the first edition of The Human Side of Disaster was published in 2009, new catastrophes have plagued the globe, including earthquakes in Haiti and New Zealand, tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri, floods in numerous locations, Hurricane Sandy, and the infamous BP oil spill. Enhanced with new cases and real-world examples, The Human Side of Disaster, Second Edition presents an updated summary of the social science knowledge base of human responses to disaster. Dr. Drabek draws upon his 40-plus years of conducting research on individual, group, and organizational responses to disaster to illustrate and integrate key insights from the social sciences to teach us how to anticipate human behaviors in crisis. The book begins with a series of original short stories rooted within actual disaster events. These stories are woven into the entire text to demonstrate essential findings from the research literature. Dr. Drabek provides an overview of the range of disasters and hazards confronting the public and an explanation of why these are increasing each year, both in number and scope of impact. The core of the book is a summary of key findings regarding disaster warning responses, evacuation behavior, initial post-impact survival behavior, traditional and emergent roles of volunteers, and both short-term and longer-term disaster impacts. The theme of "organized-disorganization" is used to illustrate multiorganizational response networks that form the key managerial task for local emergency managers. The final chapter provides a new vision for the emergency management profession—one that reflects a more strategic approach wherein disasters are viewed as non-routine social problems. This book will continue to be an invaluable reference for professionals and students in emergency management and public policy and aid organizations who need to understand human behavior and how best to communicate and work with the public in disaster situations.
Despite an arsenal of survival skills that puts many to shame, when Sam Sheridan became a father he was beset with nightmares about being unable to protect his son. If the power grid went down, how much food and water would you need? If you were forced outside the city limits, could you survive in the wilderness? And let's not even talk about plagues and attacking aliens. The problem is, each scenario requires a different skill set--so Sam decides to gain as many skills as possible.--From publisher description.
Author: Ryan P. Kilmer
Publisher: Amer Psychological Assn
Release Date: 2010-01
"On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Central Gulf Coast region of the United States. The storm and its aftermath resulted in the most severe, damaging, and costly natural and unnatural disaster in the nation's history--as evidenced by the size of the region affected, the loss of life, the extensive destruction of property, and the thousands displaced. More than 2 years postdisaster, many families still lived in temporary housing and had limited access to basic services; in fact, many continue to struggle to meet basic needs. Furthermore, the mental health needs of many survivors remain largely unmet--and disproportionately so for marginalized, disenfranchised segments of the affected population. The magnitude of Hurricane Katrina and the associated shortcomings in disaster planning and relief interventions have provided mental health and social service professionals, as well as policymakers, with critical information for the improved handling of future disasters. The present volume examines key lessons learned and offers a blueprint for better meeting the needs of children, families, and communities postdisaster through well-timed, targeted responses and interventions. Broadly guided by a bioecological framework, it highlights significant issues in postdisaster work; considers the range of risks, resources, and factors related to postdisaster adaptation; emphasizes community-level provision of resources, services, and supports; and provides actionable recommendations and practical applications for future disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. The editors' and contributors' experiences with children, caregivers, educators, and practitioners in Louisiana and Mississippi lend a compassionate perspective to the analysis of research and further underscore the significance of the recommendations put forth"--Jacket. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).