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In the book, The Unthinkable, journalist Amanda Ripley explores how we react in a disaster and why. She also discusses how we can better prepare ourselves for survival when faced with the unexpected.
1. Reflect on this book and how it impacted you. What was surprising? What was confirming?
2. Did anything you read influence you in the present or in terms of what you will do (or not do) in the future?
3. What did you learn about how people react in a disaster event? Did anything surprise or fascinate you?
4. If you could share one thing with a loved one or peer, what would it be?
5. Feel free to share anything further that was impactful for you.
Please be sure to follow these guidelines for this discussion:
This post does not have to be any particular length or style, but it does need to respond to all of the prompts.
You must respond to at least three (3) classmates but you may respond to more if you feel inclined.
I will provide a sample answer that could be helpful to understand.
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Post 1 1. Reflet on this book and how it impacted you. What was surprising? What was confirming? I will like to first discuss the Introduction portion that state “The word as spell in disaster survivors, I wish are known” I am a victim of Liberia civil war, which was the worst year of my life from 1989 to 1991 the first Liberian civil conflict erupted in the north of liberia. The same year, I move with my parents to live for the first time in the city. I wish I knew, It was the same time I move into the city when the rebels attack and my parents was captured and we were taken to unkwown location. I was only 15 years old than, but was brave enough to stand up for my rights. what was surprising, one day I got into a fight with one of the child soldiers, wanting to defend my family. It was terrifying as are tussled over weapon with the child soldiers. My situation of inscurity only changed when United Nation Peacekeepers were deployed to my area. the most confirming story was that my parent did not have money to sent me back to school but are managed to befriend few peacekeepers to assists me in opening petty business to achieved my dreams. 2. Did anything you read influence you in the present or in term of what you will do (or not do) in the future? What influenced the most from the unthinkable point of views is the exodus behavior oof people, when a disaster strikes it impact whole community and cause panic. Ripley indicated that ” exodus gives individuals behavioral the capacities so they can make decisions. Exodus is too complex and has too much human behavior like in case of fire, exodus don’t want know if I have someone here, or how long will it take to get out? Exodus don’t want to know how one move or how one move in a groups, Its tried to treat people like people. As Ed Galea has spent his career trying to understand crowd behavior in fire as he created a model to explain not the fire but the people. Contrary, this is what happened in real disasters civilization, people move in groups whenever they can, they are usually far more polite than they are normally, they look out for one another as they die the same way they lived. I hope you are a survivor too? (Pg. 109-122). In the future, are intend to create a family disaster plan, a plan that will tells everyone where to meet in time of evacuation. also the need to talk to my children about the risks when disasters trike. 3. What did you learned about how people react in a disaster events? did anythings surprise of facinated you? One of the most destructive of natural disasters that occurs much less frequently are earthquakes. Halpern and ramontin added that “they are often followed by after shocks that can cause further devastation. They are one of many disasters that regularly produce anxiety and terror as the result of appropriate fear and the potential for harm ” (Pg. 25). What surprise me the most doing disaster events, is how people response to disaster differently. Some people may respond immediately while others have delayed reactions. In general, people term to cope with emotionally challenging situations like stressful concustances and may find it easy due to other serious health problems. 4. If I could share one thing with a love one what would it be? I would share the word panic, because panican brings intense sensation of fear or anxiety in response to an actual danger that may lead to life-threatening events in frantic or irrational way. At some point in our lives, most of us will experience a panic attack in response to an actual danger or acute stress. But when panic attack occur or recur for no reason and in the absence of danger or extreme stress may lead to panic disorder. 5. What is insightful to me is responding to ongoing disasters I think is best known for delivering emergency medical relief to victims doing disasters event but the sad part is what to tell children about loss and death parents resulting from a disaster as in the aftermath of sudden and traumatic death. This questions is fraught with emotions. Reference Ripley Amanda, (2009). The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes And Why. Crown, New York, (Pg. 109-122). Tramontin, Halpern., (2007). Disaster mental Health; Theory and practice. Library of Congress. ( Pg. 25). Post 2 • Reflect on this book and how it impacted you. What was surprising? What was confirming? Chapter one talks about Denial. I would like to talk about Denial. In any type of situation, sometimes if we don’t feel comfortable, without ourselves noticing, the first mechanism we face is denying the situation. “Denial is a defense mechanism proposed by Anna Freud which involves a refusal to accept reality, thus blocking external events from awareness. If a situation is just too much to handle, the person may respond by refusing to perceive it or by denying that it exists” (McLeod). Without noticing, simple. Denial occurs when someone denies that something unpleasant happened/happening to them. • Did anything you read influence you in the present or in terms of what you will do (or not do) in the future? I really like to focus on Denial because, in a bad scenario, the first thing I do without noticing is denying and say I’m fine. When things happen, my defense mechanism might kick in for no reason, but I would like to take a breath and accept the situation instead of denying it. • What did you learn about how people react to a disaster event? Did anything surprise or fascinate you? We are all human and in most scenarios, we act the same way. People who live in a state of denial will experience short-term consequences like feelings of isolation, anxiety, and sadness. Long-term consequences can include the feeling that you have never worked through your experience, and one may end up feeling perpetually stuck, not being able to breathe feeling. I know it’s hard but we have to learn to open up to people and trust one another. I know for me, it’s hard to open up to someone I don’t know. • If you could share one thing with a loved one or peer, what would it be? Don’t be afraid or shy, I know in case of a disaster or situation when a person who we don’t know might come up and ask questions and make us feel uncomfortable, but in this types of situation, we just got to take a breath and tell them what’s going through your head/heart. It’s good to trust someone who is trying to help us going through an emotional break. • Feel free to share anything further that was impactful for you. As I grow up, I just want to say I learn to find out there are more people who want to help you than harm you. McLeod, S. A. (2019, April 10). Defense mechanisms. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/defense-mechanisms.html (Links to an external site.) Ripley, A. (2008) The Unthinkable. Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why. Crown Publishers New York. Post 3 1. Reflect on this book and how it impacted you. What was surprising? What was confirming? I wasn’t very surprised after reading this book. The human brain is a fascinating organ and each one of us respond in different ways to a disaster based on both the biological makeup of our brains as well as the environment and years that led up to the disaster. Why do those living in affluent countries have higher rates of PTSD than those in poorer nations (Dückers, 2016)? If you believe the world is safe and all of a sudden there is a disaster, then it may be harder for you to get over this event. On the contrary, if you live in an environment this is unsafe, then a disaster may not be stressful enough to elicit something like PTSD. 2. Did anything you read influence you in the present or in terms of what you will do (or not do) in the future? Chapter 7 discusses the paralysis response, which I thought was interesting. Some people have incredibly fast responses to disasters compared to others who “freeze”. Is this paralysis biological, such as “playing dead”, or is this the brain’s way of not being able to process what is happening, similar to a conversion disorder? It’s tough to say since the brain’s goal is survival, but what explains the passengers of the Pan Am flight of 1977 being seated on the plane while it was engulfed in flames? If I am in a situation like that, I will try to get others to break their paralysis by yelling at them. The author notes, “the easiest way to get a paralyzed animal to snap out of its daze is to make a loud noise” (Ripley, 2008). If I don’t freeze myself, I can hopefully save others in the process. 3. What did you learn about how people react in a disaster event? Did anything surprise or fascinate you? Similar to what I stated above, the paralysis of trauma seemed fascinating to me. It’s pervasive in many animal forms and is a way for the body to react to extreme fear. When there is no other option for escape, some animals result to paralysis in the hopes that the predator loses interest. Since we are evolved animals, we have to learn to turn this part of the brain off, in my opinion. Preparation for the disaster seems to be one of the ways to accomplish this. 4. If you could share one thing with a loved one or peer, what would it be? Listen to safety instructions whether that is on a plane, gun range, or school. Ripley pointed out that the National Transportation Safety Board found that passengers who read the safety information card were less likely to get hurt in an emergency. She discusses how all but 5 passengers of a 101 passenger plane died in a crash at Pago Pago. All the survivors reported that they had read the safety information cards and listened to the briefing. They exited over the wing, while other passengers went toward other, more dangerous but traditional exits and died. 5. Feel free to share anything further that was impactful for you. I feel it’s important to recognize that no matter how smart or tough we may feel, we may succumb to the “denial, deliberation, and decisive moment” 3 stage process. Preparation can help prevent death or disability by mentally picturing yourself in these disaster scenarios and how you would respond. “The decisive moments are the cumulative results of the delay and dread, of the influences of fear, resilience, and groupthink. They can be years in the making, and they can play out in a flash” (Ripley, 2008). References: Dückers, M. L., Alisic, E., & Brewin, C. R. (2016). A vulnerability paradox in the crossnational prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 209(4), 300– 305. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.115.176628 (Links to an external site.) Ripley, A. (2008). The unthinkable: Who survives when disaster strikes and why. New York: Crown Publishers. …
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