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1.Amanda Ripley “Who Survives Disasters – and Why”

Amanda Ripley shares her insights from the research she has conducted into how and why people behave the way they do in a disaster in this NPR radio interview and excerpt “Life Becomes Like Molten Metal” (below the interview) – the introduction to her book, “The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why?”. What do you think about her research and in particular to what she refers to as “The Survival Arc”?

about 150-200 words.


2.”Information in a Time of Disaster”

In a disaster or catastrophe the decisions you make often determine whether you survive or not. Those decisions are only as good as the information that they are based on. But how can you tell what is good, valid, and reliable information that should be acted on and what is incomplete, false, or misleading and should be set aside?

After viewing Hailey’s presentation, what are you going to keep foremost in mind when evaluating information during a disaster? and why?

about 150-200 words.

3.How to “Get Out Alive”

Research has shown that “people caught up in disasters” tend to fall into three categories:

  • About 10% to 15% remain calm and act quickly and efficiently.
  • Another 15% or less completely freak out–weeping, screaming or otherwise hindering the evacuation.
  • The vast majority of people do very little. They are “stunned and bewildered.”

In How To Get Out Alive Amanda Ripley explores human behavior in the midst of a disaster and how the lack of preparedness and practice puts us at greater risk of not surviving.

  • What did you find surprising about human behavior shared in the Ripley article?
  • What determines which category a person falls into?

about 150-200 words.


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