Friday, January 16, 2009

Averted Disaster

Since hearing of yesterday's plane crash, I've been wondering a lot about what Amanda Ripley would think of the averted disaster.

Ripley authored the book The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes—And Why, and I've blogged about her work before.

Well, The New York Times has answered my question with an interview with the woman herself! As you would expect, she praises the survivors calm thinking and orderly behavior.

And she also notes, that the pilot's landing, while laudable, is only one part of the survival equation. Another great step he took was getting on the intercom and warming passengers to brace for impact. Ripley says, "We know people are so obedient in disasters, so it's really helpful to get that kind of command."

I recommend the interview, and I also highly recommend the book. It goes in-depth into how the human brain responds when put into extreme, disaster scenarios. It might help you survive a disaster, but if nothing else, it's a fascinating read, and treats a dramatic topic in a non-sensationalistic manner.

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