26. Weariness from catastrophe expectation

If you live in a city which is constantly being bombed, you may eventually stop caring, even if there is a constant risk you will be blown to bits. During the London Blitz of World War II or the Siege of Leningrad, many citizens went about their business normally. This effect has been called crisis fatigue. After September 11th, many skyscrapers around the world were put on alert, in expectation of further attacks, but none occurred, and security went back down again. Since the periodicity of major disasters might consist of many years, people may become complacent even as the objective probability of such an event gradually increases. The probability of a large earthquake in California continues to increase, but many of the buildings in San Francisco were built in a hurry after the last major earthquake of 1906, and are not at all earthquake-safe or earthquake-ready, meaning the effects of another major earthquake could lead to even more loss of life than in 1906. These buildings house at least 7 percent of current residents, likely more20. The weariness of catastrophe expectation is expressed by the loss of sensitivity of a society to warnings.