REVIEW: Dr. Disaster’s Guide to Surviving Everything by John Torres
A practical, all-encompassing guide to disaster preparedness, from avalanches and blackouts to pandemics and wildfires.
An emergency room physician and U.S. Air Force veteran, Dr. Torres, aka “Dr. Disaster,” has spent his career on the front lines, saving lives in all sorts of disasters. He’s seen it all, from late nights treating patients in the ER to early mornings covering the country’s latest crisis on NBC/MSNBC as senior medical correspondent. His entire job is to think about the best practices in an emergency—and now he’s sharing this hard-won knowledge with you.
In Dr. Disaster’s Guide to Surviving Everything, Dr. Torres shares the essential advice you need to survive any worst-case scenario, from natural disasters like lightning strikes, hurricanes, and wildlife encounters, to human-made ones like terrorist attacks and active-shooter situations. As fun to read as it is informative, this book is full of hacks that could save your life, such as: How to prep your home for any emergency. Why you should never use a landline during a thunderstorm. The safest place to sit on an airplane. How to start a fire with common household items. The first thing you should do every time you enter a shopping mall With this book in your pocket, you will be ready for whatever the future holds.
A lot of what is presented is common sense information but it’s well arranged and for the most part, fairly succinct. Torres includes some real life examples of situations he’s lived through or had to help deal with as a ER medical doctor.
There are things you can do, buy, prep, and arrange ahead of time which he takes us through. He suggests lists to make that are pertinent to your situation or needs and offers both basic and involved versions of items, decisions, and details to think about to include whether for home, travel or bug out bags.
For situations in which you could find yourself in sudden, life threatening conditions – wildfire, mud slides, floods, tornadoes – he gives advice about ways to improve your odds of survival, things to beware of, and what to do when the danger is past but now you’re dealing with the medical aftermath and injuries.
Torres includes some basic first aid information given from the point of view of a doctor about what is more important and how to prioritize the order of response. There is a great deal of information about natural disasters. And then he hits the man-made incidents which, given the events of the past few years, are now unfortunately things that could happen anywhere.
We’re living in crazy times when all kinds of disasters could strike. After reading through this book, I have reinforced information I already knew, learned current thinking about some responses that have changed, and learned a few new things. I hope I’ll never need to wrack my brains to remember this stuff but if the worst happens, perhaps the nuggets I need to live through something will surface after I first take a deep breath, calm down, and then act. B