Studying the Extreme

Dwight D. Eisenhower famously stated that “plans are nothing, planning is everything”. This holds especially true in extreme environments, where the accepted truth is that planning and execution have to be tightly integrated for individuals to survive. An extreme environment is “an environment where one or more extreme events are occurring or are likely to occur that may exceed the organization’s capacity to prevent and result in an extensive and intolerable magnitude of physical, psychological, or material consequences to – or in close physical or psycho-social proximity to organization members” (Hannah et al., 2009) As actions in such environments can carry a high risk of harm, it follows that activities have to be carefully considered. Among the challenges in such environments is the issue of how to uphold safety while responding to constantly changing conditions.


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