I have never seen any reliable formal studies on what percentage of the US population is prepared for disasters and emergencies. Based on my 30+ years of experience I would say less than 3% for the most minor of emergencies and disasters that would last 10 days. For a longer-term disaster (i.e. hurricane Katrina) I would say that % drops to no more than 1% – 2%. For true “grid-down” I honestly believe that % is somewhere around .1% in the absolute best case scenario. There are a number of reasons for the lack of longer-term and “grid-down” preparedness. Of which I think the top ones would be finances, knowledge and motivation. But for the average person being prepared for the most minor of emergencies and disasters would be Normalcy Bias. I written about Normalcy Bias before (TRAP – Normalcy Bias can kill you quicker than Competency Bias.).
And here is the thing…97+% of people don’t want to hear about emergency & disaster preparedness at all. Why? It is scary and way outside of what anyone really things will happen. Let me tell you I’ve seen folks who live in the forest with trees, brush and grass all around them. Then they can’t believe it when a wildfire is threatening. So how are people gonna process that the grid could come down? Come on, they couldn’t even fathom the damage a hurricane could produce living in New Orleans BELOW sea level!! So Normalcy Bias is the single biggest hurdle for almost everyone to overcome in preparing for emergencies and disasters.
So, what is your Normalcy Bias preventing you from doing?