Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Review: The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes, and Why

For Christmas I redeemed my debit card rewards points into $50 of Amazon gift cards.
This book review is Amanda Ripley's The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why. It teaches mainly through the relating of disaster survival stories with commentary and analysis woven throughout. However, there are a few lessons I can share with you here to entice you to enjoy the book yourself, as it is cheap at only $10.

One interesting thing she created was equations for emotions like risk and dread. Check these out!

RISK = probability X consequneces X dread/optimism

DREAD = uncontrollability + unfamiliarity + imagineability + sufferability + scale of destruction + unfairness

Whew! how's THAT?! Wow, when I really thought that dread equation over, I found it to be spot-on with my biggest fears, in parenting, prepping, or what have you.

The following are direct quotes:
  1. How a person responds will have something to do with their genetics, but also the sum total of their life experiences-- which is basically training.
  2. If there's not enough training, you get channelized on one thing, and you forget the whole big picture.
  3. The best way to negotiate stress is through repeated, realistic training.
  4. Those with high senses of self-worth rebounded [from disaster] relatively easily.
  5. After preparation, the next best hope is leadership.
  6. When people believe that survival is negotiable, they can be wonderfully creative. All it takes is the audacity to imagine that our behavior matters.
The other helpful part of the book was Appendix 1, How To Improve Your Survival Odds. It detailed the following points:
  1. cultivate resilience
  2. get to know your neighbors
  3. lower your anxiety levels
  4. lose weight
  5. calculate your risk
  6. train your brain
There is a whole website, TheUnthinkable.com, which I found to be of limited help, but her blog reads like the stories in the book do. A recent post discussed survivors from the Costa Concorda off Tuscany.

We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt & Light! Choose how you live!

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