Discover how human beings react to danger–and what makes the difference between life and death.
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?
In her quest to answer these questions, award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley traces human responses to some of recent 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 the journeys of the 15,000 people who found their way out of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. To understand the science behind the stories, Ripley turns to leading brain scientists, trauma psychologists, and other disaster experts. She even has her own brain examined by military researchers and experiences, 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.
THOUGHTS: Amanda Ripley nails it to the wall with her book, THE UNTHINKABLE. Her approach to unpacking why people act or not in a variety of situations is an absolute must for anyone in the Emergency Services, Military or the like. What she provides is an amazing construct for understanding behavior in others as well as ourselves when things just don’t go as planned.
Appreciating her work, I added her breakdown of the Survival Arc into the OpMindset program years ago. I use it to demonstrate what we’re left with in an “untrained” mind. She explains the process and stages we move through when we experience a significant event that is far outside our zone of tolerance. As you moves you through a variety of interviews from plane crash survivors to those who survived the attacks on September 11, 2001, you get an insider look at how behavior occurs under extreme stress.
The Survival Arc will give you a deep understanding of the three stages: Denial, Deliberation and the Decisive Moment. I’ve added to it over the years in which we now discuss that you will enter the decisive moment or a state of total disruption.
This is a MUST READ for anyone who follows my blog! You will learn so much about yourself and it will give you critical insight into what is going on with those you are trying to help. Very few books hit the level and depth of quality as this one. If you haven’t yet, don’t go any future and BUY THE DAMN BOOK!