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  • Published: 5 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241561331
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $55.00

How to Survive a Crisis

Lessons in Resilience and Avoiding Disaster

From the former Director of GCHQ, an invaluable guide to surviving crises -- how to spot them early and lessen their devastating consequences -- using the latest intelligence strategies

'Sir David Omand is undoubtedly one of the most able people to have served in British government since the Second World War' Times Literary Supplement

We never know when a crisis might explode. Some 'sudden impact' events, like terrorist attacks or natural disasters, blow up out of a clear blue sky. But some crises burn and fester slowly, often with warning signs ignored along the way until, as if from nowhere, the troops storm the palace. But we are rarely powerless in the face of crises.

In How to Survive a Crisis, Professor Sir David Omand, formerly both a director of GCHQ and the UK's Security and Intelligence Coordinator, shows how anyone can survive - and even thrive in - crises when using methodologies employed by the British intelligence agencies.

Using gripping real-world examples from Omand's storied career, including chairing the COBR room in the storm of a crisis, to lessons from historic crises such as Chernobyl, 9/11, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack, this empowering book shows what we can do as individuals and societies to increase our resilience in the face of ever-multiplying crises.

A toolkit for our turbulent twenty-first century, this is an exhilarating read for anyone interested in the state of our world - and how we might improve it.

  • Published: 5 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241561331
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $55.00

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Praise for How to Survive a Crisis

An amazing book. Timely, essential and important. The brilliantly insightful David Omand draws on his unmatched experience to explore the complexities of crisis. He shows us how poor preparation leads to failure, but applied intelligence saves lives. There is a lesson for all of us on every page, moreover it's a fascinating read

Richard Aldrich, author of GCHQ

As the world belatedly wakes up to the importance of resilience, this book is the instruction manual we all need. Leaders, in particular, should take note. It will be your imagination, ownership and example that will be decisive as we fight to defend that most precious of things: normality

Sir Alex Younger, Chief of MI6

David Omand was at the heart of British government for decades with a ringside seat for many of the crises of that period. This book distils that rare and valuable experience. There are useful insights on virtually every page - along with handy checklists for those tasked with decision-making during a crisis and even a guide to protect one's own household. As a nation we should be taking our resilience and preparedness much more seriously. This important book is an indispensable guide as to how we could do it

Lord Toby Harris

We live in a world where crises have become the new normal. Here is the survival guide you need! David Omand distils a lifetime's experience at the heart of British security into practical advice for governments, businesses and families on how to prepare for, and bounce back from, the disruptive events we will all face

Peter Ricketts

An extraordinary achievement. Probably the best book ever written on crisis management which, as Sir David Omand persuasively argues, mostly amounts to "crisis survival". A superlative blend of his personal experience of modern crises and historical insights. Essential reading for our post-Covid-19 world

Christopher Andrew

David Omand is one of Britain's most distinguished public servants - he combines deep experience from an exceptional career in public service with a rare capacity for communicating complexity, and the challenges of government and intelligence. He is exactly the man you need in a crisis

Rory Stewart

David Omand is the insiders' insider with real-life experience and here he provides a fascinating and informed insight into the way crises develop, how to handle them and importantly, how to prevent them. It is a striking and expert checklist for dealing with the many future challenges awaiting us

George Robertson, 10th Secretary General of NATO and former British Secretary of State for Defence.

As David observes, no one manages a crisis. Yet this remarkable book will help you survive one with some finesse. But only if you read it in advance

Professor Michael Mainelli, Chairman, Z/Yen Group, Sheriff of the City of London 2019-2021

David Omand has unparalleled experience of crisis and risk management. It shines through in this thoughtful and practical guide to crisis management and resilience

Jonathan Evans, former Director General of MI5

Piercingly insightful, brilliantly lucid and illuminating, frightening and wise. Professor Sir David Omand has spent his life working at the very heart of the state and he brings this unique historical perspective to disasters that have befallen - and could yet befall - the nation and the wider world. From nuclear meltdown to apocalyptic cyber-attacks, from pandemics to the drums of war, here is a remarkable record of how the threads of society can be held firm in the darkest days. He writes with passion, fierce intelligence, sometimes with anger but also, fundamentally, with an optimistic vision: civilisation can prevail

Sinclair McKay, Sunday Times-bestselling author of Dresden

If anyone knows how to handle a catastrophe, it's the former director of GCHQ

Anna Bonet

Offers a masterclass into how to respond to and manage a crisis, but it delivers far more than just the topline title. It has fascinating capsule histories of recent crises, insights into human psychology during a crisis, the applicability of physical-world lessons to digital-world emergencies . . . a very clever book about much more than it initially lets on

Joshua Huminski, DC Diplomatic Courier