Internationally recognized author and journalist Amanda Ripley will share her insights on disasters through the voices of survivors when she speaks at the awards luncheon for the University of Southern Mississippi National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security’s (NCS4) second annual National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition.
The conference is set for Aug. 2-4 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. Ripley is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4.
An investigative reporter for TIME Magazine and the Atlantic Monthly, Ripley is also the author of “The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes--and Why,” which was published in 15 countries and described by National Public Radio (NPR) as “The thinking person’s manual for getting out alive.” Her presentation is titled “Disaster Mythology.”
Ripley has discussed her research in appearances on ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX News and NPR and given talks for the Pentagon, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. State Department and Fortune 500 companies.
"I have spent years talking to survivors of all kinds of disasters - from terrorism attacks to tsunamis. These survivors have very practical, surprising lessons to share - things that they wish they had known,” Ripley said. “My goal at the conference will be to tell their stories in a constructive way.
She believes once people understand how it feels emotionally, physically and even socially to go through an extreme event, they can train for it more intelligently. “We can understand how to convey risk in ways the brain understands; we can learn to override our own worst instincts,” she said.
In addition to her work as a writer, Ripley is a Bernard L. Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, DC. She is currently traveling around the world visiting schools researching for her next book, “The Smart Kids Club: How Other Countries Saved their Schools (and Taught their Kids to Think),” which will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2012.
“We’re very fortunate to have Amada Ripley speak at our conference awards luncheon. She brings a wealth of research on how people survived disasters,” said Lou Marciani, director of the NCS4. “Our profession will be greatly enhanced by her insight and hopefully we can take away information that we can use in our planning, training and assessment of emergency response and evacuation capabilities at high consequence sport events”
Established in 2006, The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security was created to provide an interdisciplinary academic environment to further increase sport security awareness, improve sport security policies and procedures and enhance emergency response through evacuation, recovery operations and crowd management training.