It is said that California has four seasons: drought, flood, fire, and earthquakes. California Disasters covers all these categories and many more. Readers will discover the stories behind some of the most dramatic disasters in the state's history, along with a "near miss". Phyllis Perry's book will captivate fans of disaster literature as they read of the well-known (the Donner Party fiasco of 1846 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire) and the obscure (the wreck of the paddle ship Brother Jonathan in 1865 and the fire at the Argonaut Mine in 1922). The book covers 17 types of disasters and a host of individual incidents. Some chapters focus on a single event (e.g., the Donner Party, St. Francis Dam failure). Many cover multiple events under a category heading (e.g., earthquakes, train wrecks, shark attacks). Readers will be inspired by many acts of heroism, bravery, and compassion.