FEMA’s fascinating PrepTalks “are given by subject-matter experts and thought leaders to spread new ideas, spark conversation, and promote innovative leadership for the issues confronting emergency managers over the next 20 years. Each PrepTalk includes a video, discussion slides, and resources.” Many of these talks are about how to help people get prepared (Neighborfest – Building Resilience from the Block Up! and Storytelling to Promote Action – “The Big One” Podcast Team for example), while other talks offer a larger context to the reality of emergency and disaster response (like Our Changing World: The Challenge for Emergency Managers and Forging Resilient Community Through Imperfect Relentless Progress).

In this PrepTalk, Amanda Ripley combines the inspiring stories of disaster survivors with research into how the brain works when confronted with unusual events. She explains why our instinctive response may be the worst possible reaction, unless we have had the experience and/or the training to help us act quickly during moments of great peril. Ripley provides advice on steps she says emergency managers can take now to help individuals be more decisive in emergencies.