Do we suffer from normalcy bias?
Normalcy bias is all around us. Normalcy bias is the refusal to plan for, or react to, disaster. This instinct for ignoring or explaining away warning signs was first noticed when interviewing survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Since then it has been observed after many disasters such as Tenerife Airport Disaster, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina
Some examples of normalcy bias:
After the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, in New York, many people went to work even though their family members were buried under rubble. The terrorists had hijacked two planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center towers which caused great damage and loss of life. Many people were trapped inside the towers, some decided to stay inside the building while others decided to jump out of the building.
The third plane crashed at the Pentagon, where police and firefighters from all over headed to help rescue their colleagues from the World Trade Center. When they got there they were devastated to find out that a fourth plane had been hijacked and was heading for Washington DC to crash into either Congress or the White House. Many decisions had to be made, most of the people who were not already at work when they heard about the World Trade Center decided to go there themselves. Others phone their friends and family members that worked in all areas of government just to see if they were okay.
The fourth plane was moving towards Washington DC, it hit the Pentagon which was evacuated immediately after the attack on the World Trade Center. The passengers on board United Airlines flight 93 realized that something was wrong with the plane, some were texting their loved ones telling them that they are going down. Others phoned their families and told them that terrorists were taking over the plane.
The hijackers crashed the plane in a field near Pittsburgh during a struggle with the passengers. A small piece of aluminum fell into a farm in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Many people arrived at the crash site to see if they could do anything to help the passengers, rescue organizations headed towards New York City to try and help out there.