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The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by 8ball, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    Interesting looking book. Has anyone read it?

    Amazon.com: The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why (9780307352903): Amanda Ripley: Books

    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.
     
  2. Oakley1wa

    Oakley1wa Beaverton, Oregon, United States Member

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    Wonderful book! I know my disaster self... He is well armed and crafty ;)
     
  3. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    Haven't read the book. Sounds dead-on. In a macabre sort of way disasters give people exactly what they want. In a disaster situation the "average person" (sheeple) gets to fall in with the crowd, and gets to be told what to do by the "authority figures" at the scene. The "authority figures" get what they want/need the most; they get to boss/control LOTS of people. It is those darned independent folks who think for themselves that are the problem (don't they know they shouldn't do that?).

    "An announcement came over the speaker system that we were not in imminent danger and that we should return to our offices," Keeling said. "I continued down the stairs, and that's when the second plane hit. I could smell the jet fuel."
     
  4. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    Thanks. It's now on my wish list!

    I agree that people's behavior in a crisis is always odd. It's the milling sheep bit that gets me on 9/11. When the evac alarm sounds, I'm always first to hit the exits!
     
  5. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read the book. I do have food for thought though.

    I see people basically act in four different ways when something drastic happens.

    1. Goes towards the problem/situation to help out or do something.
    2. Takes defensive position at first then (1. above).
    3. Shock..doesnt know what to do. Froze...
    4. Run!!!!

    These four examples may be a reason why some survive and some dont. I think alot of it is chance.
     
  6. MrNatural

    MrNatural Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I've read the book from the public library. I then bought a copy for myself and plan to reread it about annually.

    It should be about the 2nd or 3rd book anyone interested in surviving should read. It lays the foundation for everything to come, mentally. Extremely well researched and full of hard science details.

    Yes it is that good a book.
     
  7. Mitchell

    Mitchell Washington County OR Member

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    MrNatural, which other books do you recommend?
     
  8. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    I have built and remodeled commercial buildings. When doing punch list and finishing up a job after occupancy. The fire alarm goes off and the people's first reaction is to ask if somebody can turn that thing off.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  9. isher

    isher Clallam County Member

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  10. pdx lefty

    pdx lefty portland Active Member

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    I get calls from people at work when the fire alarms go off and they go like this.

    My cell phone rings, i answer, "This is Steve." Caller says, "Hey Steve, It's ----, the fire alarm is going off! Are you working on it?" I respond with, "No! If i was i would have warned you!" Then i get, "Could you turn it off? It's annoying!"

    WTF!!! :confused:

    Lefty.
     
  11. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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