Podcasts about disasters and calamities
July 30, 2021 4:08 PM   Subscribe

Since the condo collapse in Florida, I’ve been on a jag of listening to audiobooks and podcasts about disasters, calamities, and survival thereafter (Chernobyl and the Kansas City hotel disaster so far). It’s soothing somehow, so I’m leaning in. Give me your suggestions for audio on similar topics (I’m covered on those two).
posted by ocherdraco to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Response by poster: I should add: I’m particularly interested in ones that go really in depth with lots of personal stories.
posted by ocherdraco at 4:24 PM on July 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Well, if planes falling out of the sky won't ruin your ability to travel, there's the "Mentour Pilot" YouTube channel. He does a very nice job of explaining all the safeguards and how they can sometimes fail (note: some are studies of older famous crashes when safety engineering hadn't progressed as far). He certainly gives backgrounds on the flight crew but I wouldn't say "really in depth".

There's also this video about America's First Nuclear Meltdown (it's probably not the one you're thinking of). Kyle Hill has other such videos.
posted by forthright at 4:47 PM on July 30, 2021


The podcast Well There’s Your Problem seems perfect for this.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:04 PM on July 30, 2021 [4 favorites]


Cautionary Tales is a very interesting podcast in which the host, Tim Harford, recounts a disaster or mishap from history which is instructive in how the people involved deceived themselves or fell prey to mistakes that, absent training or awareness of the rusk, humans are prone to making.

The disasters are actually dramatized in small part to add a little life to recorded statements by the parties involved.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:07 PM on July 30, 2021 [5 favorites]


Not quite sure if this fits the bill, but it's my favorite podcast these days and might suit your needs: This Podcast Will Kill You.

In particular:
Legionnaire's Disease
Mercury
Thalidomide (ok everyone should listen to this one - I thought I knew the deal with thalidomide. holy crap I did not.
posted by gingerbeer at 5:59 PM on July 30, 2021 [3 favorites]


Please accept my apologies for giving you video suggestions when your question was about audio.
posted by forthright at 6:39 PM on July 30, 2021


My kid loves Well There's Your Problem.
posted by bondcliff at 7:23 PM on July 30, 2021


I've been sucked into the Surfside collapse via threads and discussion posts. I would love to know the names of the audiobooks or podcasts you listened to that prompted this question.
posted by Nickel at 9:14 PM on July 30, 2021


Well There’s Your Problem has an episode about the sinking of the Estonia, one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters. I haven’t listened to it but I did read the excellent long form article by William Langewiesche in The Atlantic and it will give you nightmares.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:31 PM on July 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Floodlines, about hurricane Katrina, is really in depth and award-winning.
posted by sleeping bear at 10:46 PM on July 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Kick Ass Oregon History covered an obscure, horrific fire in this episode.
posted by Carouselle at 11:37 PM on July 30, 2021


There are a couple videos on air disasters, and most go through every last bit of explanation on how and why it happened. They are not exactly podcasts though...
posted by kschang at 1:42 AM on July 31, 2021


Response by poster: I've been sucked into the Surfside collapse via threads and discussion posts. I would love to know the names of the audiobooks or podcasts you listened to that prompted this question.

I actually only read about that event—it’s the older events where I’ve listened to things.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:13 AM on July 31, 2021


The late, great, David Rakoff had a segment, years ago, on This American Life about the disaster aboard the sidewheel steamship PS General Slocum, which one summer day in 1904 was ferrying the families of firefighters, all from a single neighborhood, to an island picnic when she sank in the East River. Of the 1300 or so people aboard, over 1000 people died.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:37 AM on July 31, 2021 [1 favorite]


The Podcast of Doom has ended, but it's great!

Other ones I listen to that are disaster focused is Causality and Disaster Area, but PoD was my favorite disaster podcast.
posted by possibilityleft at 7:40 PM on July 31, 2021 [1 favorite]


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