How to Survive a Crisis

How to Survive a Crisis

Lessons in Resilience and Avoiding Disaster


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

'David Omand is exactly the man you need in a crisis' RORY STEWART

We never know when a crisis might explode. Some 'sudden impact' events, such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters, blow up out of a clear blue sky. Other 'slow burn' crises smoulder away for years, often with warning signs ignored along the way until, as if from nowhere, the troops storm the palace.

In How to Survive a Crisis, Professor Sir David Omand draws on his experience in defence, security and intelligence, including as Director of GCHQ and UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator, to show how you can detect a looming crisis and extinguish it (or at least survive it with minimum loss).

Using gripping real-world examples from Omand's storied career, and drawing lessons from historic catastrophes such as Chernobyl, 9/11, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the WannaCry ransomware cyberattack, this empowering book is filled with practical advice on how to survive the multiplying crises of the future. Not every crisis need tip into disaster - if we have invested in personal, business and national resilience.

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

'This book is the instruction manual we all need' SIR ALEX YOUNGER, CHIEF OF MI6


  • 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

About the author

David Omand

David Omand was the first UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator, responsible to the Prime Minister for the professional health of the intelligence community, national counter-terrorism strategy and "homeland security". He served for seven years on the Joint Intelligence Committee. He was Permanent Secretary of the Home Office from 1997 to 2000, and before that Director of GCHQ.
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