Most of the people in my field seem to approach disasters from a pragmatic perspective. They know disasters can happen and try to reduce the probability or impact of them. None of the people I know act like the world is going to end: they don’t have bunkers out in the middle of nowhere, they aren’t stockpiling food or supplies, and they aren’t putting their affairs in order for the inevitable collapse of the civilization. I’m not sure whether this is because they actually don’t believe the world is in danger of collapsing or whether it’s cognitive dissonance. It’s funny, for all of the time we spend analyzing, thinking about, and discussing disasters and their causes, our personal relation with catastrophe is never really a topic of conversation. For example, I know that I think about collapse sometimes, but never to the extent of making any serious preparations for the end of the world. It’s also something that, for whatever reason, I don’t talk about with colleagues. I guess we’re just professionals concerned with disasters in a professional sense (or projecting a professional self).
While we work away in the practice of disaster management, other people seem to believe that the apocalypse is coming, and are out there preparing for its arrival. National Geographic has a show on extreme preppers called Doomsday Preppers, there’s an active reddit group on societal collapse, reddit.com/r/collapse, and a number of prepper communities focused on fostering preparedness. These are a few of the things they’re concerned with: