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
"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? In a new preface to
the paperback edition, Perrow examines the recent (and ongoing)
catastrophes of the financial crisis, the BP oil spill, and global
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