While traveling this week, I picked up a magazine/book published by Time Inc. Specials titled, “Disasters That Shook The World”. This is a very simple and interesting read. It is a quick synopsis of a number of disasters with no great detail, but some very interesting insight into these events. The articles focus on the human element and what was learned about our responses to these events and what could have been done to mitigate the impacts of, and in some cases prevent, these disasters from occurring.
Many of the case studies included in the book were very familiar to me, such as:
- The Sinking of the Titanic
- The Hindenburg Disaster
- The Great Chicago Fire
- The Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster
- The Exon Valdez Incident
This book also included relatively recent case studies, such as:
- The Costa Concordia Accident
- The Miracle on the Hudson
- The Tsunami in Japan
- The Oil Spill in the Gulf
- Hurricane Katrina
- The Nevada Air Show Crash
And, this book included case studies of lesser known and forgotten events that should be remembered for the lessons learned and changes they influenced. These included:
- The Triangle Sweatshop Fire in NYC
- Munitions Ship Explosion in Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Cocoanut Grove Nightclub Fire and Stampede in Boston
- Circus Fire in Hartford, Connecticut
And a few more.
Even with those that I was familiar with, the articles included shared something that I was not aware of. Anyway, I just found the read to be fascinating and great airplane fodder, although the chapter about “Disasters in the Air” I was very careful not to leave those pages exposed to my fellow travelers.
If you happen to come across this magazine at the Newsstands, I recommend you pick it up. It will only take you a short time to read it and you might find it interesting and, perhaps, even learn a thing or two.