SOCIAL SCIENCES

Personal Effects: What Recovering the Dead Teaches Me about Caring for the Living

St. Martin’s. Sept. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781250267993. $28.99. SOC SCI
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mass fatality event? How do the dead get recovered and counted? How do victims’ personal effects, like a pair of glasses, reach their family? In his first book, Jensen, who takes care of these details as a profession, offers his experiences, lessons he’s learned, and an interesting behind-the-scenes glimpse into a grim but necessary world. Putting sensitivity and privacy first and foremost, Jensen has written an unparalleled memoir about the aftermath of tragedies like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the Grenfell Tower Fire in 2017, and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, all of which he has dealt with as the owner of the world’s largest disaster management company. Readers are invited to see every aspect of such events, including recovery of bodies, family assistance, and prolific and painstaking research. He shares best practices for post-disaster management and insights about specific events and mass fatalities in general.
VERDICT Jensen’s thoroughly engrossing personal account invites readers to witness an almost unseen arena of disaster management.
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