Part One

Humanmade and Natural Disasters

Disasters that occur by dint of human miscalculation or through violent acts of nature can be traumatic for many reasons. In four of the five chapters included in this section of the book—the Challenger explosion, the sinking of the ferry Estonia, a dual bus crash in Australia, and the earthquakes in Armenia and in Japan—loss of life was extensive. Countless numbers of individuals suffered severe injury and physical harm. Survivors and rescuers alike were exposed to death, perilous conditions, and grotesque scenes. Events were unexpected. While predisaster training was in place prior to some of these disasters, no one was prepared for the specific crisis that occurred, and no one had clear control over ...

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