Part memoir, part expert analysis, Disasterology is a passionate and personal account of a country in crisis – one unprepared to deal with the disasters of today and those looming in our future.
With temperatures rising and the risk of disasters growing, our world is increasingly vulnerable. Most people see disasters as freak, natural events that are unpredictable and unpreventable. But that simply isn't the case – disasters are avoidable, but when they do strike, there are strategic ways to manage the fallout.
In Disasterology, Montano, a disaster researcher, brings readers with her on an eye-opening journey through some of our worst disasters, helping readers make sense of what really happened from a emergency management perspective. She explains why we aren't doing enough to prevent or prepare for disasters, the critical role of media, and how our approach to recovery was not designed to serve marginalized communities. Now that climate change is contributing to the disruption of ecosystems and worsening disasters, Montano offers a preview of what will happen to our communities if we don't take aggressive, immediate action. In a section devoted to the COVID-19 pandemic, what is thus far our generation's most deadly disaster, she casts light on the many decisions made behind closed doors that failed to protect the public.
A deeply moving and timely narrative that draws on Montano's first-hand experience in emergency management, Disasterology is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how our country handles disasters, and how we can better face them together.
Dr Samantha Montano is currently an assistant professor of emergency management at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. She holds a BS in psychology from Loyola University New Orleans and an MS and PhD in emergency management from North Dakota State University.
"Dr. Montano provides a compelling and important view of the complexity of disasters. Through deeply personal experiences interwoven with rigorous scientific evidence, she demonstrates that disaster resilience is the responsibility of all aspects of society, but impacts those at society's margins deepest. This is a must read for scholars, practitioners and individuals looking to understand, and ultimately break our myopic understanding of disasters and to work towards a more resilient future for all."
– Jeff Schlegelmilch, author of Rethinking Readiness and director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University's Earth Institute
"A fascinating on-point analysis of our nation's current response to the ongoing climate crisis, and what must be done. Dr. Montano's on-the-ground observations also made the work interesting and relatable."
– Sandy Rosenthal, author of four-time award-winning book Words Whispered in Water
"Through both her personal experiences and extensive research in emergency management, Dr. Montano guides us from disaster to disaster, chronicling not only what happened in the moment of landfall for hurricanes, ice storms, and floods, but how disasters have reverberations in communities for years to come. This is an essential read for understanding how we got to where we are as a country, and where we might go next."
– Devi Lockwood, author of 1,001 Voices on Climate Change
"Montano debuts with a compelling account of her career. Linking climate change to the increasingly desctructive natural disasters facing the nation, Montano's part-memoir, part-analysis book is an urgent call to take action."
– Library Journal
"[Montano] calls for 'disaster justice' and encourages readers to get involved in politics and push for emergency management to be seen as a priority for politicians. This is a great primer on the deficiencies of the country's crisit response aparatus."
– Publishers Weekly
"Like countless scientists before her, she notes that "it's not a question of if we will experience the consequences of climate change, but rather how bad it will be."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Is humankind prepared to manage the consequences of climate change? That remains to be seen. Is Montano giving up? No. She will continue to fight for "disaster justice" and a better-prepared world."