Amanda Ripley

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The Unthinkable on PBS

5th Mar 2012 posted in Disaster Behavior

No matter how many people I interview, no matter how many rewrites I do, I just can’t do what TV can do. There is something about good TV that captures the brain’s attention and doesn’t let it go. This month, a new PBS documentary based on The Unthinkable does what I couldn’t do.

Surviving Disaster deconstructs how the brain responds to life-or-death events—so that we can all learn to do better. The documentary includes many characters from my book, in addition to other survivors of all kinds of trauma, from tsunami to car crashes.

One young survivor describes in unflinching detail exactly what it felt like to get out of a house fire as a little girl in Texas. It is the kind of story you will never forget once you see it, and it is told with a purpose—to help the rest of us become smarter and stronger in our own homes and communities. I am so grateful to the folks at Santa Fe Productions for finding these survivors and sharing their stories.

The film is available for purchase online. Also, PBS affiliates are showing Surviving Disaster at different times, depending on where you live. A handful of the air dates/locations are listed below, and you can find other towns here.

AIR DATES: Surviving Disaster

Chicago—Sunday 3/11/12—9:30 AM (WYINDT)

Cincinnati—Tuesday 3/6/12—9:30 PM (WPTODT)

Philadelphia—Sunday 3/11/12—9:00 AM (WHYYDT)

Pittsburgh—Thursday 3/8/12—9:00 PM (WQEDDT4)

San Francisco—Sunday 3/11/12—3:30 PM (KRCBDT)

*Please check local listings or Surviving Disaster for more locations and times.