Disaster Expert: The Woman Who Plans for Catastrophes

Someone has to pick up the pieces after a disaster. What’s it like to deal with the aftermath of a catastrophe? Siân Pattenden talks to Lucy Easthope about her new memoir When the Dust Settles: Stories of Love, Loss and Hope from an Expert in Disaster. Lucy has been first at the scene of countless major crises over the last twenty years, from 9/11 to the Grenfell fire. She discusses planning for emergencies, and her belief most of the world's tragedies can be prevented. 

“I'm not letting people off the hook, disasters are often a source of state or agency failure, and they can be prevented.”

“Grenfell was a return to those dark days, it was a systemic failure that never should have happened.”

“Fukushima was the first time I really saw proper fear in my colleagues' eyes.”

“I am a child of the indomitable city of Liverpool, where tragedy and activism are wired into the blood.”

“Austerity really does start to bite on a service that people don't know about.”

“The world has always been perilous.”


Written and presented by Siân Pattenden. Group Editor: Andrew Harrison. Lead Producer: Jacob Jarvis. Producers: Jacob Archbold, Jelena Sofronijevic. Assistant Producer: Elina Ganatra. Audio production by Jade Bailey. THE BUNKER is a Podmasters Production

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices