Normalcy Bias Is Dangerous....    So, get rid of it!

Normalcy Bias Is the Inability to React Well to an Abnormal Situation!  It Can Kill You and Your Family!

We must overcome normalcy bias in ourselves or else we endanger our loved ones, as well as ourselves . Most of us are (or will be) a parent, grand-parent, or spouse, or friend, or in some way have influence on people. Therefore, what we do, or don't do, preconditions others to make similar choices. Our personal  lack of action in preparing for potential emergencies sets up our loved ones to be caught unaware and unprepared, and to suffer, along with ourselves.

Normalcy bias (assuming that the future will always be much the same as it is now) is very strong in people today... so strong that many, if not most people, fail to recognize signs of problems and calamities ahead, and they are not preparing because they “feel” no need.

“Thinking about emergency response is the great antidote to the grave danger inherent in normalcy bias.” We and our loved ones can live and thrive through the difficult times that are coming, but only if we think about what could go wrong and prepare for it.

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the  consequences.” –Proverbs 27:12.

Be prepared, and prepare for yourself, you, and all your company that are assembled unto you, and be a guard for them. (See Ezekiel 38:7)

The reason that Normalcy Bias is so strong today is that we trust our modern, pervasive technology, medicine, commerce and the rule of law. Our society has progressed technologically to the point that we are  largely able to control the environment with roads, homes, buildings and cities built to ever improving safety standards. We feel assured of constant food supplies because of transportation, commerce, dams, irrigation, etc. Trauma and infection have largely been eliminated as untimely causes of death. Police and courts minimize criminal activity. Nations seek political dialogue rather than armed conflict. These things weren't common in past centuries, which is why people in past ages, anticipated and prepared for many types of dangers.

Today, we expect the grocery store, the power grid, credit cards and commerce to continue working always. Or we believe, if they were to fail, the government would quickly fix them, and thus we fool ourselves into thinking that life will continue to be safe and predictable.

Very scarily, for those who look closely, we are utterly dependent on the infrastructure that modern technology affords us. Our convenient, modern world is full of tightly integrated systems, and “just in time” movement of goods from production to consumption. When one part of that system fails, the other parts, like dominoes, will fail, too. And, some parts are vulnerable.

Strategic planners have told us for years that if the power grid were to fail, 90% of Americans would die, because we are utterly dependent on electricity for water, sewage, food, transportation, medical care, communication and manufacturing of goods.

We need to get rid of normalcy bias by becoming part of local neighborhood groups that will are planning to respond to emergencies together and that encourage each other to think and prepare.

We need to consider the most likely emergencies and problems we could face, and plan our response if those things should happen. We should be aware that weather and earthquake statistics show an increased trajectory or likelihood of devastating natural disasters ahead.  Most people aren't even prepared for localized fires, let alone a national or statewide disaster.  Social unrest, possibilities for banking failure, technologically advanced weapons in the hands of terrorists and the escalating rhetoric of war by countries and groups unfriendly to the U.S. indicate that acts of bioterrorism and nuclear attack ARE INEVITABLE.

Not preparing is simply burying one's head in the sand. Most people cannot imagine a real catastrophe and have a mental block as a result. Some people think, “What's the use of preparing for something so devastating that no one will survive. But the reason to prepare is that we won't all die initially when a calamity occurs! But, without preparation and the increased power to survive that comes by belonging to a group, many will suffer or die needlessly, afterwards

Emergency Preparedness is about protecting ourselves and our loved ones from normalcy bias, adopting a group survival attitude, and knowing that we can accomplish more by working together. We will not only survive, but thrive by working together. The attitude of being determined to survive may be the most important ingredient of all. One gets this attitude by a lifestyle of

  1. Faith
  2. Community,
  3. Education in How to Prepare
  4. A Focus on Maintaining Health

From Wikipedia About Normalcy Bias

The normalcy bias, or normality bias, is a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster  and its possible effects. This may result in situations where people  fail to adequately prepare, and on a larger scale, the failure of  governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations.

The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that  since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur. It can  result in the inability of people to cope with a disaster once it  occurs. People with a normalcy bias have difficulties reacting to  something they have not experienced before. People also tend to  interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible, seizing on any  ambiguities to infer a less serious situation....


  1. Effects
  2. Hypothesized cause
  3. Prevention
  4. Overreaction
  5. See also
  6. References

Effects [of Normalcy Bias]

The normalcy bias often results in unnecessary deaths in disaster  situations. The lack of preparation for disasters often leads to  inadequate shelter, supplies, and evacuation plans. Even when all these things are in place, individuals with a normalcy bias often refuse to leave their homes.

Normalcy bias can cause people to drastically underestimate the  effects of the disaster. Therefore, they think that everything will be  all right, while information from the radio, television, or neighbors  gives them reason to believe there is a risk. The normalcy bias creates a cognitive dissonance that they then must work to eliminate. Some manage to eliminate it by  refusing to believe new warnings coming in and refusing to evacuate  (maintaining the normalcy bias), while others eliminate the dissonance  by escaping the danger. The possibility that some may refuse to evacuate causes significant problems in disaster planning.

Hypothesized cause [of Normalcy Bias]

The normalcy bias may be caused in part by the way the brain  processes new data. Research suggests that even when the brain is calm,  it takes 8“10 seconds to process new information. Stress slows the process, and when the brain cannot find an acceptable  response to a situation, it fixates on a single and sometimes default  solution that may or may not be correct. An evolutionary reason for this response could be that paralysis gives an animal a better chance of  surviving an attack; predators are less likely to see prey that isn't  moving.

Prevention [of Normalcy Bias]

The negative effects can be combated through the four stages of disaster response:

  • preparation, including publicly acknowledging the possibility of disaster and forming contingency plans
  • warning, including issuing clear, unambiguous, and frequent warnings and helping the public to understand and believe them
  • impact, the stage at which the contingency plans take effect  and emergency services, rescue teams, and disaster relief teams work in  tandem
  • aftermath, or reestablishing equilibrium after the fact by providing supplies and aid to those in need.