Threat vs consequences
We all have a pretty solid understanding of the consequences of being caught outside in a tornado (they will be bad).
So if we know something is going to be bad, and then we receive a warning that it’s cause may be imminent, why don’t we immediately seek shelter.
Even if it turns out to be wrong, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
The first few time we see the weather warning and the siren sounds, probably.
But once it’s happened a few dozen times without negatively impacting us, this can begin to fade.
The level of threat felt declines, along with our response to it.
This is highlighted by the people who leave at the last minute, only to be caught in a vulnerable position in their car.
They knew the consequences of a tornado before and after the warnings, but the perceived threat was low.
But when it appeared on the horizon and coming towards their neighbourhood, the threat grew and they decide to seek shelter.
Unfortunately, it can be too late.