Monday, March 01, 2010

Alert fatigue?

Not sure if the news of the 8.8 'quake in Chile has made it onto your news pages? And the following Tsunami alerts that were following in hot pursuit?

We all slept through the earthquake and the news reports, the first I heard of it was when i got a text from my sister-in-law saying they were taking my mum and her husband to higher ground. (Fair enough, they live about 400 metres from the beach on the east Coast of our 'Shaky Isles".) My mum is getting on a bit and has knee trouble, her husband has a few health issues - they need a good 2 hours of advance notice to run.

They were fine, had a great cooked breakfast quite a good distance away from the seashore and eventually returned home. Excitement over.

Today however, the news hounds are talking 'Alert fatigue' - you know, the modern equivalent to the boy who cried "Wolf". They reckon that humans will get complacent if they are warned too often and "Nothing happens". To be fair, even with this alert there are reports of quite a few people going 'rubber necking' to the foreshore anyway - they want to see the Tsunami and presumably play chicken with it. I have always thought that if you can see the thing, it's likely to get ya!

Maybe it's because I'm in health & safety anyway, maybe it's because I prefer to be safe over sorry but alert fatigue? I don't think so, I still appreciate the fact that the airports all have fire engines at the ready for take-offs and landings "just in case". If 'alert fatigue' is real, maybe the dummies who rush down to the waterfront at the mere sniff of a Tsunami will get it and the collective IQ of the planet may increase if they are allowed to stay to watch big waves, instead of being shooed away. That can't be a bad thing, can it?

7 comments:

Steve said...

Alert fatigue is self preservation fatigue by another name and just as stupid!

rb said...

San said the same - people were flocking down to the Sydney beaches to see if they could spot any changes. Crazy or what? It's one thing to go anyway if you were planning to go but to make the point of going especially when there could be a risk - no way.

I am more of a risk lover than you - I don't much like people to over-react and certainly don't like the nanny culture we tend to have here at the moment - no conkers in schools etc. There has got to be a balance between taking reasonable care and not doing enjoyable things because you might potentially come to some harm.

Owen said...

Sounds like folks who go to the beach to see if a tsunami is coming could become good candidates for a Darwin Award...

If not familiar with the Darwin Awards, do take a moment to Google it, basically, the award is given to people who take themselves out of the gene pool through their own stupidity. Some of the award winners have demonstrated incredibly ingenuity in doing themselves in...

louciao said...

What's that called? Natural selection? Lemmings off the cliff (which I understand is actually a myth) or fools to the shore to watch for a tsunami. B'bye!

I'm feeling a bit lemming-like myself these days as I contemplate how I can move back to BC's west coast, smack dab in primo earthquake/tsunami/falling off the edge of the continent country. Jeez I'd hate to move back there only to have my trailer park home, with myself in it, swept away by a giant wave. On the other hand, maybe I'd get swept off to NZ and wash up in your backard next to the rabbit hutch. Keep the champers chilled, Saj, just in case!

Nice Kate and Anna find--I didn't know that tune.

The Sagittarian said...

Steve - Agreed, I'll race you to the bunker!

RB - our papers printed photos of people here sitting on the sea wall and of one guy who was sitting at the waters edge! Give them concrete boots I reckon.

Owen - ah yes, good ol' Darwin awards. I live in fear of being nominated for one of those! But you are right, there have been some wonderfully creative 'exits'.

Louciao - champers in the fridge, doll, just call on in. I was actually trying to find the Kate n Anna version of the Swimming Song but it wasn't on You Tube! Or if it is I couldn't find it.

A Write Blog said...

The problem is the news coverage. This 24 hour rolling stuff numbs you to whatever it is they are reporting.

Alert fatigue.....Starvation in Africa fatigue..........Iraq fatigue.

It's not the Alerts that we get tired of its the bloody reporting of it.

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