CHICAGO (CBS) – With an onslaught of one major disaster after another, one expert suggests we rethink disaster preparedness by taking into account the worst case scenarios and the chain reactions that might follow.
“There’s usually not just one disaster but there can be a chain reaction,” says Susan Kieffer, author of the forthcoming book The Dynamics of Disaster. “We sometimes may not be prepared for all of those chain reactions because they are hard to anticipate scientifically let alone in the management aspect.”
Kieffer is Professor Emerita of Geology and Physics at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She says we need to be prepared for the rarest and biggest events if we want to improve our odds of disaster survival. And she says citizens and disaster preparedness officials alike have to think outside the box.
Her book cites the Joplin tornado in 2011 as a chain reaction disaster that involved more than just a storm. People who suffered injuries in the tornado suddenly began getting sick and dying.