The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters / Edition 1

The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters / Edition 1

by Charles Perrow
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691129975

ISBN-13: 9780691129976

Pub. Date: 03/26/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Charles Perrow is famous worldwide for his ideas about normal accidents, the notion that multiple and unexpected failures—catastrophes waiting to happen—are built into our society's complex systems. In The Next Catastrophe, he offers crucial insights into how to make us safer, proposing a bold new way of thinking about disaster

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Overview

Charles Perrow is famous worldwide for his ideas about normal accidents, the notion that multiple and unexpected failures—catastrophes waiting to happen—are built into our society's complex systems. In The Next Catastrophe, he offers crucial insights into how to make us safer, proposing a bold new way of thinking about disaster preparedness.

Perrow argues that rather than laying exclusive emphasis on protecting targets, we should reduce their size to minimize damage and diminish their attractiveness to terrorists. He focuses on three causes of disaster—natural, organizational, and deliberate—and shows that our best hope lies in the deconcentration of high-risk populations, corporate power, and critical infrastructures such as electric energy, computer systems, and the chemical and food industries. Perrow reveals how the threat of catastrophe is on the rise, whether from terrorism, natural disasters, or industrial accidents. Along the way, he gives us the first comprehensive history of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security and examines why these agencies are so ill equipped to protect us.

The Next Catastrophe is a penetrating reassessment of the very real dangers we face today and what we must do to confront them. Written in a highly accessible style by a renowned systems-behavior expert, this book is essential reading for the twenty-first century. The events of September 11 and Hurricane Katrina—and the devastating human toll they wrought—were only the beginning. When the next big disaster comes, will we be ready?

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691129976
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/26/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
388
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.38(h) x 1.16(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Part One: Introduction and Natural Disasters ix

Chapter 1: Shrink the Targets 1

Chapter 2: "Natural" Disasters? 14

Part Two: Can Government Help? 41

Chapter 3: The Government Response: The First FEMA 43

Chapter 4: The Disaster after 9/11: The Department of Homeland Security and a New FEMA 68

Part Three: The Disastrous Private Sector 131

Chapter 5: Are Terrorists as Dangerous as Management? The Nuclear Plant Threat 133

Chapter 6: Better Vulnerability through Chemistry 174

Chapter 7: Disastrous Concentration in the National Power Grid 211

Chapter 8: Concentration and Terror on the Internet 248

Part Four: What Is to Be Done? 289

Chapter 9: The Enduring Sources of Failure: Organizational, Executive, and Regulatory 291

Appendix A Three Types of Redundancy 327

Appendix B Networks of Small Firms 331

Bibliography 335

Index 355

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