Sometimes it could be that they were not told that something was coming to them. It could also be that they couldnt afford to be prepared properly.
One might look at the terrible recent floods in New Orleans and Thailand and wonder: Why weren’t they prepared?
Answers vary from the pragmatic to just plain ignorance and stupidity.
1) Often people just don’t realize there’s a risk. Millions of houses are built in America alone on flood plains. Some floods only happen on the average of 100 years. But if you are there when one happens, the rarity doesn’t make much difference, does it!
2) Often people just don’t care. They trust to their “luck” as if they were betting in Las Vegas. They assume someone else will bail them out if there’s a problem. (My neighbors just sat watching an apartment burn, while I had out the hose. They weren’t even trying to get their stuff out! I asked why, and they said: “It’s the fire department’s job”!!!)
3) Being even modestly prepared costs money and takes time. To be relatively safe, for example, you should have a week’s worth of food and water in your place, there should be modern sprinklers for fire, and fire extinguishers, and first aid kits in the house and in each car.
4) People are extremely bad at estimating risk — but at they same time they believe they are very good at it! The tendency is to vastly over-estimate or under-estimate. The odds of an earthquake doing serious harm to you or your property are very low, but people are phobic about it! The chances of flood for many homeowners is high, but most ignore the possibility.
The problem is more than just ignorance, people generally do not have a good intuitive way to assess the chances of risk in unusual situations. They assume their intuition will see them through, when in fact a problem may not happen often enough to have any intuition about!
Finally it has to be said that there’s no way to prepare for every natural disaster. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883 it not only destroyed a considerable amount of land, it blew 5 cubic miles of rock in the air! That’s so much it changed the weather for awhile. There’s not much way to plan for a Krakatoa!
It is because they are not alarmed or never been told.
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