‘Learned helplessness’ leaves people in major cities unprepared to cope in natural disasters



This is a special Lateline report by Margot O’Neill.

9 thoughts on “‘Learned helplessness’ leaves people in major cities unprepared to cope in natural disasters

  1. Yes, it was a good program. I often wondered why people in bush areas are at least not be advised to increase the diameter of their garden hoses from 11mm to 18mm. It increases the water delivery by over 200% (at equal pressure). Of course, building timber houses should just not be allowed anymore.

      1. No, fire-fighters use ,I think, 40mm hoses. They would be unwieldy around houses. The 18mm hose is like a normal gardening hose but because of its wider diameter delivers over 200% more water. They are also much less likely to kink.
        We always have them because even for watering the garden it makes handling the hose around much shorter in time.

  2. Your fire seasons mirror ours and my ear always picks up the stories when I hear of a wildfire in Australia. They are really awful. This was a very interesting article, and I think “learned helplessness” is probably true for most of us. It’s a very scary line to read, “You’re really on your own” and yet it’s a good warning! I hope you continue to be well!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Debra. City life is so different these days from what it was like in the 1940s. We had to cope with no electricity being available and water mains being broken during the time of WW II and after the war. And of course a lot of homes were destroyed due to bomb raids and the fighting during the war. Also food shortages were part of our every day life. People who live in air-conditioned comfort these days and who have never experienced shortages of any kind just cannot imagine what it can be like if for instance water, gas and electricity cannot be supplied as usual. And they would not know that they might have to think how to prepare for such a situation!

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