jen in takoma park, October 1, 2008 (view all comments by jen in takoma park)
Everyone should read this book. Ripley does an excellent job of demonstrating how individuals and institutions need to think about "the unthinkable" rather than living in blind fear or naively accepting "conventional wisdom." It's a fascinating read, and it could save lives.
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The book is highly readable and informative from a practical standpoint as well as helpful in understanding human response to disaster and how to counter the natural reactions which could cost you time (and time is life) in an emergency.
Read this, then instruct your family in disaster preparedness. Pressure your workplace to implement emergency planning and drills.
Use this book as a stepping stone for further personal development. Someday, you'll be very glad you did.
Stay safe out there!
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Madam Pince, July 12, 2008 (view all comments by Madam Pince)
An excellent summary of natural & man-made disasters and the behaviors that prompted some to survive and others to perish. Amanda Ripley proves the Boy Scouts are right: be prepared! Should be required reading for everyone.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Ripley, an award-winning writer on homeland security for Time, offers a compelling look at instinct and disaster response as she explores the psychology of fear and how it can save or destroy us. Surprisingly, she reports, mass panic is rare, and an understanding of the dynamics of crowds can help prevent a stampede, while a well-trained crew can get passengers quickly but calmly off a crashed plane. Using interviews with survivors of hotel fires, hostage situations, plane crashes and, 9/11, Ripley takes readers through the three stages of reaction to calamity: disbelief, deliberation and action. The average person slows down, spending valuable minutes to gather belongings and check in with others. The human tendency to stay in groups can make evacuation take much longer than experts estimate. Official policy based on inaccurate assumptions can also put people in danger; even after 9/11, Ripley says, the requirement for evacuation drills on office buildings is inadequate. Ripley's in-depth look at the psychology of disaster response, alongside survivors' accounts, makes for gripping reading, sure to raise debate as well as our awareness of a life-and-death issue. 8 pages of color photos. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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