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disaster mental health 2-2

disaster mental health 2-2.

Help me study for my Health & Medical class. I’m stuck and don’t understand.

Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation

Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management


This book is a great tool that gives people a great deal of optimism. Ripley (2009), makes me know how different I can react incases of any danger or death. The book makes me understand what makes a difference when one is between the matter of death and life. The most surprising thing with the book is the wisdom that the author has demonstrated on humanity. She exhibits a lot of elegance of her brains and resolves to solve the inadequacy of most of the revolutionary responses. The most comforting and fascinating thing is her discovery on the ability of the brain to perform the best with just minimal help.

There are a lot of things in the book that I have read and can influence me in what I do both in the present the future. For instance, bearing in mind that we live in a world confronted with unexpected natural calamities and crimes, as Ripley (2009) puts it, I am always in suspense over what I can do if, by chance, I am faced with any of such. The book makes me understand that if such happens, there is always luck based on one’s thinking. Therefore, a positive thought might lead me to do an action that saves me, while negative thinking can lead me to do an act that kills me even before the disaster hits on me. After the reading, I understand that one’s actions, if engulfed by fear, are more devastating. Therefore, I should try to avoid panic.

I have learned that, during an event of a disaster, people tend to act differently; some respond to the disaster based on the fear within themselves, and others respond based on courage that has always build within them. However, it is fascinating that one can act as a rescuer when in the same, they are hit by the disaster. This is represented by the story of Zedeno and Robert (Ripley, 2009). It is fascinating as one hopeless person who is determined to live can insert hope one another, one who is exceptionally pessimistic.

If I could share one thing with either a peer or a friend, the one thing would be hope through determination and optimism. I would always encourage such individuals to find hope as it is very much important when one is confronted with a disaster that puts them in a matter of life and death. I would tell them always to follow what their positive instincts tell them in such cases.

The Unthinkable makes me understand that positivity and help are very much paramount when one is confronted with a disaster. Through the use of the past stories about the people who had escaped the hazards, I am presented with a challenge to always have positivity in case I am confronted with any disaster of the kind. I am fascinated by the fact that one can examine their dark brain sides and get prepared in cases of any disaster. I would personally like to get my brain examined to determine how it would be if I am any kind of disaster.


Ripley, A. (2009). The unthinkable: Who survives when disaster strikes and why. Harmony.

POST 2 –

The book reflects on how each person has a different response to the uncertainty of a possible life and death situations. I enjoyed how Amanda Ripley dissects each probable reason from psychological studies; an individual can be calm and confident; meanwhile, others may display anxiety and hesitation when a disaster occurs. Is it through genetics, training, or traumatic experience that resulted in becoming competent or hopeless? It is still a mystery of what the reasons why individuals have created these skills and traits. One validation from the book, I agree, was how to overcome fear by developing yourself physically and mentally through training of becoming resilient. According to Ripley (2007), three areas tend to be characterized in this skill “a belief that they can influence life events, find meaningful purpose in life’s turmoil, and a conviction that they can learn from both positive and negative experiences” (p. 91).

Tommy Walker, a firefighter in Kansas City, Missouri, presented a great example of how a crowd can cause more complications while panicking. Walker and other people inside the restaurant heard an explosion underneath the basement, in which the crowd was frightened and quickly escaped to the front entrance. As the crowd stampede through the front entrance, Walker was calm and collective to examine his situational awareness. He noticed no visuals of smoke, fire, or threat, and remained at his table eating pizza. Once the restaurant was empty, Walker walked outside, finding an ambulance arrived on the scene, treating the crowd with minor injuries who panic. I can relate to Walker’s experience, where most of my responses are hazmat calls. It takes time to respond, protect, identify safely, and execute an incident action plan.

I learned a common reaction called paralysis, where an individual tends to freeze and feel impervious to pain when a significant event happens (Ripley, 2008). For instance, when the Virginia Tech shooting occurred, one student saw the gun come into the classroom’s doorway. The student froze during this time and delayed him to duck underneath the desk. It was difficult for the student wanting to escape but hindered his plan while the shooter was approaching the classroom. According to Gallup, paralysis has become a typical response during a life and death situation (Ripley, 2008). Individuals become overstimulated of all kinds of information, which creates a slow reaction to perform any task during critical events properly.

I would share with my peers or friends is to remain calm and collective. Panic is a virus that quickly spreads and consumes a person’s level of stress to become ineffective in performing a task. Therefore, a solution is to prepare and plan for any event to protect our loved ones.

Ripely, A. (2008). The unthinkable: Who survives when disaster strikes – and why. Three Rivers Press


1.Reflect on this book and how it impacted you. What was surprising? What was confirming?

In the book, The Unthinkable the author, Amanda Ripley (2009), interviewed many people in a bid to explain how people respond and react to disasters. She concludes that most people follow three phases as follows. First, they deny that anything could be wrong. Second, they deliberate on the presenting options. Finally, they make decisions on what to do as well as what not to do. The findings presented by the author were surprising. For instance, the first phase, which is about denial, came as a surprise. How does a person deny a disaster when they can see it right in front of them? It means that there is a rapid moment when a person’s brain does not register and synthesize information in a normal way when a disaster happens.

2.Did anything you read influence you in the present or in terms of what you will do (or not do) in the future?

Ripley (2009) states that all the victims start in the same place and go through the three stages. Specifically, the denial phase, which usually takes the form of delay, can be fatal. The author has shown how it led to fatal outcomes during 9/11 and also through the account of a man who waited for Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Being able to quickly overcome the initial shock, which leads to the denial phase, is highly essential. Overcoming the situation fast will allow me to get into the deliberation phase faster

3.What did you learn about how people react in a disaster event? Did anything surprise or fascinate you?

As learned from the book, people start in the same place and progress through three phases. The author has shown that the denial phase is critical as it might expose a person to more significant risks, especially in major disasters, such as hurricanes and terrorist attacks.

4.If you could share one thing with a loved one or peer, what would it be?

A loved one should understand the nature of the survival arc, which details how individuals respond to a disaster. Telling them about the three phases is crucial since it will inform them about how they should respond in the event of a disaster. It is worth sharing the accounts of the people who made the wrong decisions and, in return, put themselves in the way of harm, such as the man who waited for Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.


Ripley, A. (2009). The Unthinkable: Who survives when disaster strikes – and why. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.


1- write one response for each post.

2- write as a second language:)

disaster mental health 2-2