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.
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: 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: 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: 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: Henry W. Fischer
Publisher: University Press of America
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Social Science
This edition of Response to Disaster provides an updated and more thorough version of the well-received 1994 first edition. The author adds new research and expands on areas only briefly developed in the first edition, which disseminated the original research findings from several disaster research studies completed by the author. He provides the reader with a basic understanding of how people and organizations usually respond to a disaster in contrast to how they are usually perceived to respond, as well as a description of how and why the mass media helps provide both accurate and inaccurate information involving disasters. In addition, the author discusses organizational response to disasters and assesses future needs in research to improve the reaction to them so that mitigation, planning, and disaster response activity are more effective. Here, he greatly expands the areas of theory of approaches to disaster.
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: Lucien G. Canton
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2007-02-03
Genre: Technology & Engineering
This book propounds an all-hazards, multidisciplinary approach to emergency management. It discusses the emergency manager’s role, details how to establish an effective, integrated program, and explores the components, including: assessing risk; developing strategies; planning concepts; planning techniques and methods; coordinating response; and managing crisis. Complete with case studies, this is an excellent reference for professionals involved with emergency preparedness and response.
Author: John Leach
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 1994-10-01
Explodes the myth that the cause of death can be attributed to loss of moral fiber or lack of will to survive. Leach gives good practical advice on the psychological first aid needed to survive. -Chris Brooks, Chief Medical Officer, Canadian Air Force In circumstances of extreme stress and deprivation, why do some survive while others perish? In this primer on the psychological aspects of human survival, John leach draws on dramatic historical and contemporary incidents of disaster to provide an engaging look at survival psychology under the harshest physical and psychological conditions. Focusing on such factors as hunger, thirst, cold, heat, crowding, isolation, fatigue, and sleep deprivation, and on their psychological consequences, Survival Psychology reveals much about the short and long term effects of disaster on the human psyche.
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.
Author: Ben Sherwood
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2009-06-25
Do you believe in miracles? This collection of extraordinary tales of survival is guaranteed to astound and inspire you in equal measure. Meet ordinary people who have found extraordinary strengths facing seemingly impossible challenges - like the woman who fell from the sky, or the man who floated 300 miles out to sea after the Asian tsunami. What is it about some people that they seem born survivors, or how does someone find the incredible strength from within not to give up on hope against all odds? Are some people just lucky? These and many other true stories demonstrate the strength we all possess to come through our life's toughest challenges, and the precious wisdom that results from surviving. This book is based primarily on conversations with survivors and experts around the world - you too can take the Survivor Profiler to discover your Survivor IQ at: //www.survivorstrengths.com.
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...
Introduction to International Disaster Management, Third Edition, continues to serve as the leading comprehensive overview of global emergency management. This edition provides practitioners and students alike with a comprehensive understanding of the disaster management profession by utilizing a global perspective and including the different sources of risk and vulnerability, the systems that exist to manage hazard risk, and the many different stakeholders involved. This update examines the impact of many recent large-scale and catastrophic disaster events on countries and communities, as well as their influence on disaster risk reduction efforts worldwide. It also expands coverage of small-island developing states (SIDS) and explores the achievements of the United Nations Hyogo Framework for Action (2005–2015) and the priorities for action in the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction currently under development. This useful, relevant text includes many changes that have occurred since the last edition for a better understanding of the rapidly advancing field of international disaster management. Includes updated perspectives on recent events that have shaped the direction emergency management is taking today Examines outcomes of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) decade, such as insight into how disaster risk reduction has advanced globally, and how it differs among countries and regions Updated statistics on disaster frequency and impact provide a better understanding about how and why risk and vulnerability are changing Presents information on multilateral emergency management agreements as well as profiles of important NGOs and international organizations Key terms and summaries are provided at the beginning of each chapter to ease student comprehension Offers customized and updated instructor materials, including PowerPoint lecture slides, test banks, and a detailed instructor's guide