The twenty first century has been nothing, if not, eventful. From man-made disasters like 9-11 to an economic collapse affecting the United States and Europe to a pandemic traveling the superhighway of viruses and touching nearly all quarters of the globe. If you imagine that the world will now settle in to a more gentle, less tumultuous period, then call yourself an optimist. It’s more likely that given biothreats, climate change, infrastructure deterioration, cyberthreats and the nuclear cloud still hovering overhead, there is a long and challenging road for us ahead. In his book, ‘Rethinking Readiness’, Jeff Schlegelmilch, director of the National Center for Diasaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute walks us through various threats and vulnerabilities and the growing science of disaster research. Planning to fight the last war, such as the pandemic, may well leave us vulnerable to realities we cannot begin to imagine today. Hang on. It could be a bumpy ride.