Amanda Ripley quotes

  • We gauge risk literally hundreds of times per day, usually well and often subconsciously. We start assessing risk before the disaster even happens. We are doing is right now. We decide where to live and what kind of insurance to buy, just like we process all kinds of everyday risks: we wear bike helmets, or not. We buckle our seatbelts, smoke cigarettes, and let our kids stay out until midnight. Or not.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Kids #Risk #Everyday

  • The public totally discounts low-probability high-consequence events. The individual says, it's not going to be this plane, this bus, this time.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Risk #Events #Management

  • Narrative is the beginning of recovery.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Recovery #Narrative

  • Paralysis seems to happen on the steepest slope of the survival arc—where almost all hope is lost, when escape seems impossible, and when the situation is unfamiliar to the extreme.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Survival #Impossible #Arcs

  • Resilience is a precious skill. People who have it tend to also have three underlying advantages: a believe that they can influence life events; a tendency to find meaningful purpose in life’s turmoil; and a conviction that they can learn from both positive and negative experiences.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Meaningful #Believe #Skills

  • Most Korean parents saw themselves as coaches, while American parents tended to act more like cheerleaders.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Parent #Saws #Cheerleader

  • Boredom is the specter that haunts children from kindergarten to graduation on every continent.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Education #Children #Boredom

  • People help way more than we expect, way more than makes sense. But when you talk to people called heroes, they often say they did it for themselves. In one case, a hero said that the cost of not doing it is so great, the sense of shame, when he knew that he was strong enough, that the fear of not doing anything was more frightening than the fear of dying.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Strong #Hero #People

  • People will help each other because there is a sense of camaraderie that springs up, which is a survival tactic. You help them because you know you might need their help later. And that is incredibly reassuring.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Spring #People #Survival

  • You could reduce people's fears if you gave them some useful information before things went wrong. It's really important to create a sense of confidence in the public in their own abilities before a disaster because they're the only ones who are going to be there. No one's going to help you for at least 24 to 72 hours. So it would be good to know more about it.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #People #Important #Information

  • People with military experience seem to do very well in these situations. They've been taught that they can control their destiny, which is half the battle. They also have some experience in getting out of bad situations even if just through training. They know they have to make a plan and follow it and execute it.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Military #Destiny #People

  • Citizens are not prepared for attacks because there is a bias against the public by nearly every expert and government official. In emergency preparedness, there is this belief that public will panic, that the public is not to be trusted, that there will be looting.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Government #Panic #Emergencies

  • The evil genius of terrorism is that that maximizes unfamiliarity, imaginability, suffering, scale of destruction, unfairness. It's really important to understand why terrorism is so frightening because it is a psychological war and until you understand it and try to reduce the dread, until then you become like a force multiplier for the terrorists inadvertently because you'll tend to overreact to terrorist attacks because the dread factor is so high.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #War #Evil #Suffering

  • The health of your family or your office or your city directly affects the health of it after. The better you are at handling high-stress situations with little information, those skills lead to resilience and the ability to recover afterward.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Stress #Skills #Cities

  • By sort of combining the research of a lot of smart people, I came up with an equation for dread [dread=uncontrollability+unfamiliarity+imaginability+suffering+scale of destruction+unfairness]. The dread equation is a simplification, but it's a way to explain why we fear something so much when it is so unlikely. Part of it is the lack of control. That's why we're more scared of plane crashes than car crashes even though we know rationally which is more dangerous.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Smart #Car #People

  • The one thread that was most surprising and most consistent was the lack of fear that people felt at the worst moment. They felt a lot of fear in early stages, when they're just realizing what's happening. But then things really seemed to be at their peak of terror, the fear went away. You can imagine why that's useful. At that moment your brain needs to focus all its attention on surviving, so people will feel a sense of calm as their brain tries to sort out a plan.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Worst Moments #People #Focus

  • We don't talk about that at all as a country. I think that most people assume that there's nothing they could do if a nuclear bomb went off in their city. And that's just not true. Most people would survive most terrorist nuclear attacks because the bombs would likely be much smaller than those we were dealing with in the Cold War.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Country #War #Thinking

  • Well, there isn't any one profile of a survivor, but there are profiles. Depending on the disaster you have certain advantages and disadvantages just based on who you are. Women are more likely to survive hurricanes. In hurricanes the deaths come from floods and people driving through high water. That's much more likely to be a man who dies that way.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Men #Water #People

  • Most serious plane crashes are survivable. There's a sense that, 'Oh, if we go down, that's it, it's out of my hands.' And that's just statistically not true. I have more optimism and more faith that my own actions can make a difference.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Differences #Hands #Optimism

  • A lot of the time you see a warning, in the subway, or in a movie theater, the main thrust of the warning will be to not panic if there is an emergency. To listen to directions. Now that's a waste. They could have given you information, but you can see their expectation that you're going to screw up.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Expectations #Panic #Waste

  • Women are far more likely to follow orders to evacuate, especially women with children. At the same time, women were much more likely to die during the South Asian tsunami. In some villages it was 3 to 1. And that was party because of the average strength it takes to hold onto something. Also it was cultural; women were less likely to know how to swim, as were children. So much of this is based on how we develop our own survival skills before something goes wrong: Even if nothing goes wrong, it might be good to know how to swim.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Children #Party #Average

  • My anxiety about disasters is lower. The more you know, the less scary any of this stuff is. And that's my hope for the book. I want to get people's attention and tell them very valuable and ultimately hopeful information, and you find out nothing is as scary as your imagination.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Book #People #Imagination

  • Women in particular seem to say things like, "I'm sure I'd be the one screaming and not moving in an emergency." I don't think that's the case. People who've been through really horrible life-or-death situations say that nobody behaves the way they would have expected. But that said, there are predictors.
    -- Amanda Ripley

    #Moving #Thinking #People