The dramatic crash into the Hudson today (about which I wrote at Right Thinking) got me to this article in Time about survival, panic and Rick Rescorla. A must-read.
The most dramatic thing that jumps out is that people respond better to crisis with training. For example, all those fire drills you did in school actually do result in better responses to real-life fires. In the absence of prior knowledge or training, people tend to freeze.
I’ve read similar about the Holocaust, how Jews would just stand there and get shot or walk calmly into gas chambers because they simply had no mental apparatus for dealing with what was happening to them.
When I get on a plane, I actually look around for an exit and think about what I’ll do if there is a crash. I think I’ll be doing that a little more seriously from now on.
And doing fire drills when the family gets older.