|Hurricane Sandy, a photo by EUMETSAT on Flickr.|
The advantage of knowing ahead of time about an impending storm (literal or figurative) is that you can prepare - with extra water, generators, flashlights, and non-perishable food. The goal is, of course, to come out of it unscathed, to control the factors you can control to prevent long-term disruption. If you are one of the early ones to start preparation you get the pick of the bottled water, pumps and generators, and if you wait you stand a chance of missing out on scarce resources.
But there's a part of crisis that humans find attractive (admit it!) and almost enjoyable: it's novel, an interruption in the same-old same-old. You don't know how it's going to turn out. And when it's something big, truly unusual and shared widely like Sandy you can talk about it with almost anyone and they will be able to relate with you.
You also like crises (yes you do) because your body was built for them. When you are under physical or emotional siege your adrenaline kicks in and heightens your awareness, and it prepares you to fight or flee. In certain respects it's easier to make decisions in times of crisis because your choices are narrowed and the time frame compressed such that you can't waste days, weeks or months contemplating. You do whatever you are going to do based on whatever information is available and then find out later whether your decision was good or bad. Some people like the extra energy and focus that they feel from the adrenaline rush, so much that they intentionally create crises or threats in order to replicate the sensation.
When you are expending energy to handle a crisis you are only doing one thing at a time. You're cleaning, repairing, pumping water, etc. and the rest of life can wait. The work related to an incident like a hurricane or blizzard also tends to be physical, with results that are satisfyingly tangible - unlike the workplace for many of you, where the victories can be more difficult to measure.
In addition, in times of crisis you might grant yourself a "snow day," taking the opportunity to stop everything, take a break from all of the striving if it turns out that you are out of real danger, and just BE. You watch the TV (provided you have power,) and play board games with the kids. You stay in your pajamas and hang out under a blanket. You can get to all of the daily routine tomorrow.
Today, though,the storm is past for most of you and you're back in the saddle. Time to throw yesterday over your shoulder and assess your priorities. Crisis isn't going to make your choices for you today. You need to be thinking beyond hours or days from now. The important things aren't necessarily going to be pulling at you to do them. And unless you want a crisis of another sort on another day, you're going to have to choose your activities for today with the longer view in mind.