When Weather Gets Bad, People Get Stupid

March 6, 2013, by Ken Jorgustin

When Weather Gets Bad, People Get Stupid

Bad weather is on the horizon. Another storm is coming. There are predictions of snow. Possibly heavy. Why is it that Every Single Time there is a prediction of bad weather, people seem to get stupid?

Having lived in several parts of the country, I have observed this phenomenon ‘everywhere’, and I have seen it again recently…

This stupid behavior occurs even in regions that should be well accustomed to their own types of bad weather. So why is it that an apparent constant percentage of people seem to lose their minds prior to the onset of bad weather?

My opinion is that it is a reflection of the percentage of people who regardless of where they live, are always going to behave this way. They are the unprepared, the nervous Nellies, the dependent and/or unprepared class.

I observe two primary categories of stupid behavior before a storm or bad weather…
Bad driving, and a dash to the grocery store.

While there is always a percentage of bad driving that is observed on the road, prior to (and during) bad weather it gets much much worse. Observations include the inability to drive straight, swerving into other lanes of traffic, driving too fast, driving too slow, sudden braking, erratic behavior at stop signs and traffic lights, and parking lot pandemonium. I have even observed looks of near panic in the eyes of some of these people as I’ve passed them on the roadway hunched closer to their steering wheel as they clutch it while peering through the windshield as though lost in a world that has suddenly become foreign to them…

Some of them are heading to the grocery store. While inside, most of them head straight to the aisle of bread and milk. They snatch up more than they’ll reasonably need while they eye the people around them with their shopping carts as though thinking, “don’t even think about picking up that loaf of bread, it’s mine… better grab it first…”. Then it’s on to the milk…

 
What does this behavior indicate, and what can we learn from it?

I believe that the behavior indicates a certain mindset, perhaps a dangerous one.

I would bet that the ‘grocery store’ group of people are split between actually needing bread and milk (because they don’t have enough to last a day or two) and those that have enough but they have the urge to go get more (a somewhat panicked state of mind).

I would bet that the bad driver group are mostly of the panicked mindset. When faced with this situation they lose all regard of their surroundings as they can only think about themselves and their predicament… probably with tunnel vision.

Whenever I observe this ‘bad weather’ behavior, I am ALWAYS amazed at the apparent high percentage of the population that behaves this way. Being of the preparedness mindset and a participant of situational awareness, I imagine what it could be like if we truly were facing a disaster. It would be utter social chaos. I have no doubt about this. It proves how our society lives on the razor edge of being civil. There is a large dependent (and unprepared) class who have little ability to take care of themselves or think for themselves if forced to do so. When they know their normal world is about to change (or has changed), they panic.

Under extreme circumstances, this behavior can become a danger not only to themselves, but to those who are already prepared but happen to bump into them. For one thing, when you’re out in public before bad weather (or during disaster) you need to increase your situational awareness and watch out for these people. They are acting irrationally. Accidents increase. You put yourself at risk. Of course the better thing is to avoid going out during these times…

The lesson learned during these observations is that there are a number of events that could shake things up in our world to a point where the stupid behavior that we observe prior to bad weather would pale in comparison. And unlike bad weather which ends shortly… there are events that would not. Think about that.