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Topic: The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why

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Subject: The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why
Date Posted: 4/14/2009 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I was so impressed by this book that I not only had to write a review, but also alert others as a "hidden gem".

The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why by Amanda Ripley

This was an amazing book, a word I don't use lightly.  It was not another book about gory details of various disasters and how sad they were.  Yes, various disasters were covered, from 9/11 to car accidents, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, floods, school shootings, airline crashes and others, but gory details were few. 

The main focus of this book is how human beings think during a time of disaster -- the phases their minds go through, how some people lose the ability to see temporarily under duress, the psychological processes that the human brain undertakes during an emergency.  Knowing those processes enables the reader to think about their own responses, and potentially enable their own survival during an emergency.  Both survivors and rescuers were interviewed for this book, to enable us to understand their thinking processes.

The most compelling information I gleaned from this book is that emergency procedures are set up for administrators, not victims, which is easy to see when you think about it, but leaves most of us out of the loop when it comes to safeguarding our own safety.  I am a former EMT and medical librarian, and I recommend this title very highly to anyone and everyone.

Date Posted: 4/20/2009 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 6/18/2006
Posts: 79
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You might also enjoy the book Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales.  The subject matter is the same and the stories and explanations are highly thought-provoking.  It makes you wonder how you would react in those situations.

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2007
Posts: 405
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Thanks so much for the recommendations.

  I'm just finishing the book One Second After by William R Forstchen.  It's a new and very good apocalyptic book about the U.S. being hit by high altitude nuclear bombs (EMPs).  This book is terrifying and I definitely want to read those books now.

I've read ALOT apoc and post-apoc books in my life (even started a thread somewhere here for recommendations), this one scares me the most by far.  It's very realistic and horrifying how fast everything and everyone would fall to pieces.