It is certainly the ca se in the United States, and I suspect in most other parts of the world, that natural and technological hazards are not major concerns to most people - until actual emergencies or disasters occur. The reason for this indifference is easy to understand. In any given year the chance that a specific disaster will affect individual citizens severely is very low. So people do not worry about what is not likely to happen directly to them. This does not mean that people deny or do not fear the threat of disaster. They certainly do. And if a community-wide emergency occurs, rest assured that they will want be warned, to be informed about what is happening, to have basic services restored, and to have their individual needs met to the extent possible. But this does mean that people tend to think about more immediate problems of daily living, and not community emergencies and disasters. It is also true that public knowledge about most hazards and what to do ab out them is limited. Thus, sensitizing citizens to unlikely threats requires public education.