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When Disaster Strikes

Listen 48:57

Earthquakes, storms, fires, disease — they sweep into our communities, often unexpectedly. They don’t happen often, but when they do, emergencies can destroy lives. On this episode of The Pulse, we explore how the healthcare system — and the rest of us — deal with emergencies when they hit. We hear stories about facing danger, dealing with disaster — both natural and man-made — and ways of prepping for catastrophe before it arrives.

Also heard on this week’s episode:

  • What turns an outbreak into an epidemic? Adam Kucharski — who studies infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine — explains how mathematical models can track the progress of outbreaks.
  • When the Oklahoma City bombing happened, psychologist Robin Gurwitch was there to help survivors. Since then, she’s become a researcher and expert in helping children recover after trauma and disaster — from Sandy Hook to Hurricane Katrina.
  • An ER physician recounts his experience of the Northridge earthquake in 1994. This story is an excerpt from the “The Big One,” a podcast from KPCC about what the next major earthquake will mean for Los Angeles and beyond.

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