The news of the earthquake in Japan reminded me of a story I heard a few years ago. It points out the differences of reaction.
The story revolved around a gentleman who was a native of California. He had recently relocated to a small Midwestern town. While in town, the tornado siren began to wail. Looking to the sky, a large funnel cloud was visible bearing down on the small main street. Everyone began to scramble for cover - everyone except the recent transplant. He quickly moved away from the buildings and into the middle of the street. Two locals thinking this guy was either nuts or attempting suicide, and at the risk their own hides, ran out and dragged him to safety in the basement of the drugstore.

When asked why he ran into the street when a tornado was coming, he explained: "From the time I was a small boy, I was taught to get away from buildings during an earthquake. When the sirens sounded and everyone began to run, I guess my training kicked in."

OK, maybe it was funnier when I first heard it.

PS I did take a few liberties to embellish a bit.