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Quickly Noted: The Unthinkable

January 6, 2009

ripleyI just finished reading one of my Christmas presents from my mother-in-law (Thanks, Karole!), The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why by Amanda Ripley, and I have to say that I enjoyed it. It was a breezy read (especially when compared to the impenetrable stuff I read for this blog), and went down quickly.

I enjoyed the read from a couple of different angles. As a potential victim, I enjoyed the tips on what to consider when faced with a disaster situation (or ideally, how to prepare for one). I promise I’ll read the seat-back instructions the next time I fly and look for the exit signs.

As a planner, though, I enjoyed Ms. Ripley’s pointing out that planners don’t usually trust people in emergencies. We withhold information (to prevent panic, we say) and don’t work with people who don’t think like us when writing plans. My thought process when reading these little jabs was like this: “Hey, we don’t do that, our plans totally… erm, well, actually…” It’s something I’ll try to be mindful of going forward.

Also, Ms. Ripley is a Featured Speaker this year’s Public Health Preparedness Summit in San Diego. I’m really looking foward to hearing her speak there.

Image credit: The Unthinkable site


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