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Heat Advisory: Protecting Health on a Warming Planet
by Dr. Alan Lockwood

Drawing on peer-reviewed scientific and medical research, Dr. Lockwood meticulously details the symptoms of climate change and their medical side effects.

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Americans at Risk

Why We are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do

Reviewed by Mike McCally, former PSR Executive Director

Dr. Redlener’s topic is “mega-disasters”: a flood like Katrina, a major earthquake in Seattle or San Francisco, a toxic chemical release during a tornado, or an attack by a nuclear terrorist. His question is whether we are prepared for such a disaster and his answer is “No.”  Redlener’s text is based on four mega-disaster scenarios in narrative form. They read like the script for a TV thriller yet they are entirely plausible and chilling. He analyzes the responses to these scenarios and produces a critique of current government policy and programs. National policy, as executed by the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies, has produced, in Redlener’s words, “random acts of preparedness.” For example, a resident of the state of Wyoming gets more per capita funding for preparedness than a resident of New York City. Local community preparedness is limited not by knowledge of what needs to be done but by failures of funding, planning, communication and interagency cooperation.

Dr. Redlener’s consideration of nuclear terrorism is more fully developed by PSR in its report, “The U.S. and Nuclear Terrorism: Still Dangerously Unprepared,” which examines three nuclear scenarios in detail and comes to very similar conclusions as Dr. Redlener.

Dr. Redlener was a PSR board member and leader in the early 1980s. He is presently the Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

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Page Updated August 9, 2013

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Action Alerts

  • Tell the EPA: Don't delay methane protections

    Tell the EPA: don't delay the proposed rule to capture leaking methane gas. Our health and the health of the climate cannot wait!

  • Tell Congress—defend the Clean Air Act against Big Oil!

    President Trump, his new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, and some in Congress are attempting to block or weaken clean air and climate protections like the Clean Power Plan. Tell your member of Congress to support full implementation of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan.

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Resources

  • Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit

    PSR and the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units have just introduced the updated Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit (PEHT). This free web app offers evidenced-based information for clinicians to educate parents about how to reduce toxic exposures during well-child visits. Read more »

  • Environmental Health

    This introductory course in Environmental Health is intended for undergraduate- and graduate-level students of medicine, environmental sciences or public health, and provides foundational theoretical and practical knowledge and skills. Free course offered by NextGenU. Read more »

  • Video: Fracking - Too Dirty, Too Dangerous

    Former executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Catherine Thomasson, MD, presents findings from PSR's report "Too Dirty, Too Dangerous: Why Health Professionals Reject Natural Gas". It is based on summaries of recent medical and scientific studies which clearly convey the health threats that accompany use of methane as a fuel. Read more »

In the Spotlight

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