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: Amanda Ripley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013-08-13
How do other countries create “smarter” kids? What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers? The Smartest Kids in the World “gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign cultures and manages to make our own culture look newly strange....The question is whether the startling perspective provided by this masterly book can also generate the will to make changes” (The New York Times Book Review). In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems they’ve never seen before. They are learning to think, in other words, and to thrive in the modern economy. Inspired to find answers for our own children, author and Time magazine journalist Amanda Ripley follows three Americans embedded in these countries for one year. Kim, fifteen, raises $10,000 so she can move from Oklahoma to Finland; Eric, eighteen, trades his high-achieving Minnesota suburb for a booming city in South Korea; and Tom, seventeen, leaves a historic Pennsylvania village for Poland. Through these young informants, Ripley meets battle-scarred reformers, sleep-deprived zombie students, and a teacher who earns $4 million a year. Their stories, along with groundbreaking research into learning in other cultures, reveal a pattern of startling transformation: none of these countries had many “smart” kids a few decades ago. Things had changed. Teaching had become more rigorous; parents had focused on things that mattered; and children had bought into the promise of education.
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: 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: 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.
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: 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: Matthew Stein
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: 2011-11-16
Disasters often strike without warning and leave a trail of destruction in their wake. Yet armed with the right tools and information, survivors can fend for themselves and get through even the toughest circumstances. Matthew Stein's When Disaster Strikes provides a thorough, practical guide for how to prepare for and react in many of life's most unpredictable scenarios. In this disaster-preparedness manual, he outlines the materials you'll need-from food and water, to shelter and energy, to first-aid and survival skills-to help you safely live through the worst. When Disaster Strikes covers how to find and store food, water, and clothing, as well as the basics of installing back-up power and lights. You'll learn how to gather and sterilize water, build a fire, treat injuries in an emergency, and use alternative medical sources when conventional ones are unavailable. Stein instructs you on the smartest responses to natural disasters-such as fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and floods-how to keep warm during winter storms, even how to protect yourself from attack or other dangerous situations. With this comprehensive guide in hand, you can be sure to respond quickly, correctly, and confidently when a crisis threatens.
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.
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.
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).
Featuring all new material not included in the print edition, including: two deleted chapters, the contents of Neil’s Bugout Bag, a disaster survival cheat sheet on how to survive 35 catastrophic events, and ten emergency-preparedness myths that can kill you. Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Domestic crackdowns. Economic collapse. Riots. Wars. Disease. Starvation. What can you do when it all hits the fan? You can learn to be self-sufficient and survive without the system. **I've started to look at the world through apocalypse eyes.** So begins Neil Strauss's harrowing new book: his first full-length worksince the international bestseller The Game, and one of the most original-and provocative-narratives of the year. After the last few years of violence and terror, of ethnic and religious hatred, of tsunamis and hurricanes–and now of world financial meltdown–Strauss, like most of his generation, came to the sobering realization that, even in America, anything can happen. But rather than watch helplessly, he decided to do something about it. And so he spent three years traveling through a country that's lost its sense of safety, equipping himself with the tools necessary to save himself and his loved ones from an uncertain future. With the same quick wit and eye for cultural trends that marked The Game, The Dirt, and How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Emergency traces Neil's white-knuckled journey through today's heart of darkness, as he sets out to move his life offshore, test his skills in the wild, and remake himself as a gun-toting, plane-flying, government-defying survivor. It's a tale of paranoid fantasies and crippling doubts, of shady lawyers and dangerous cult leaders, of billionaire gun nuts and survivalist superheroes, of weirdos, heroes, and ordinary citizens going off the grid. It's one man's story of a dangerous world–and how to stay alive in it. Before the next disaster strikes, you're going to want to read this book. And you'll want to do everything it suggests. Because tomorrow doesn't come with a guarantee...
A startling investigation of what people do in disasters and why it matters Why is it that in the aftermath of a disaster? whether manmade or natural?people suddenly become altruistic, resourceful, and brave? What makes the newfound communities and purpose many find in the ruins and crises after disaster so joyous? And what does this joy reveal about ordinarily unmet social desires and possibilities? In A Paradise Built in Hell, award-winning author Rebecca Solnit explores these phenomena, looking at major calamities from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco through the 1917 explosion that tore up Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She examines how disaster throws people into a temporary utopia of changed states of mind and social possibilities, as well as looking at the cost of the widespread myths and rarer real cases of social deterioration during crisis. This is a timely and important book from an acclaimed author whose work consistently locates unseen patterns and meanings in broad cultural histories.