Disaster is his business

February 17, 1991|By Dallas Morning News

Most people flee from impending disaster. But there are those who do just the opposite.

For them, there is Risky Business Travel, the brainchild of Jim Hilsabeck of Santa Barbara, Calif.

Want to see a tornado? A burning oil rig? An erupting volcano? A chemical spill? A war? Call Risky Business and Mr. Hilsabeck will track that disaster.

As long as you don't want to see a public execution, a famine or a drive-by shooting, which are too grim even for him, no disaster is too big or too small, too natural or too man-made.

Mr. Hilsabeck, who also works in production for a radio station, acquired this strange yen to see the worst of life when he was in the Marine Corps about 20 years ago. On a ship in the East China Sea when a typhoon came up, he says, "I was either too stupid or too naive to realize we really were in danger."

Risky Business is a small, word-of-mouth business that got its first publicity with a mention in Entree, a travel newsletter published by a friend of Mr. Hilsabeck's. So the risk business hasn't exactly been booming. The last trip arranged was to Oklahoma two years ago, for a woman who wanted to see a tornado.

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