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Trying To Take Care Of Weather Anxiety - Tornado Warnings

Discussion in 'Anxiety, Panic & Hypervigilance' started by hodge, Apr 20, 2007.

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  1. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Well, I decided to post this here, since I don't think it really qualifies as a "success story"; still, I think it's a little progress for me. Since moving from a big city out here to the Plains, I've learned the hard way that one needs to take tornado warnings seriously.

    A few years ago, the siren went off in our little town at around 12:30 a.m. I knew there was potentially bad weather coming that night, so I never really did get to sleep. Then the siren went off. We got our pets and ourselves down into our yucky, yucky basement. We waited down there for a good two hours or so until the danger passed. I was literally shaking most of the time, I was so scared. In hindsight, maybe I had such a terrified reaction because it brought back other times in my life when I felt terrified. I don't know.

    Anyway, since then, every spring, I get our cooler ready, with water, pop, ice in the freezer, etc., and post it by the basement door, so I can fill it with other food and the ice pronto, in case we have to go down there. Maybe it's over-preparation, but it helps me feel more in control.

    I monitor the weather pretty closely, especially this time of year. But today, I went a step further toward trying to beef up my sense of security. We went out and got a weather radio--the kind that automatically tunes into to the local National Weather Service office. You set it up, and if there's a severe weather warning in the middle of the night, it'll go off and, hopefully, wake you up, so you can get down to the basement in time. When there were lots of tornados a couple of weeks ago, I read a lot of people said that their weather radio saved their lives.

    So, I'm hoping that knowing it's there in our bedroom will save me some anxiety, anyway. At least now, I hope, I won't feel like I have to stay up all night monitoring the radar until I can see the bad weather is away from us.

    hodge
     
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  3. Monarch

    Monarch I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Tornado's are terrifying and you can never over-prepare for a natural disaster so don't beat yourself up, you did all the right things.
     
  4. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Hey, Monarch,

    Thanks. I am just trying to get through this night. I got the weather radio set up, but I still feel chained to the weather radar web sites. I'm switching back and forth between this site and the weather sites. I guess it's still going to be hard for me to go to bed as long as I know there could still be severe weather coming. Yuck.

    hodge
    hodge
     
  5. Monarch

    Monarch I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Hodge,

    We are getting into our severe weather season up here too. They test the tornado alarms the 1st Wed. of the month and my son and I were home sick that day and all the sudden, 1 p.m. came around and the siren went off. Since we just moved into our new house he wasn't used to how it sounded here since we are closer to a siren here. He came running out of his room where he was playing and he was white as a ghost and holding his ears. I just explained it was the test and it would be over in a minute or 2 but he was still scared. Point being everyone gets scared by weather related stuff even if it is just a test! Hang in there, hopefully all will go well. We live in the suburbs of Minneapolis so I don't expect a tornado anytime soon, but you never know and we have our routine too to prepare.
     
  6. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Hodge,

    Living in Florida, I understand all about weather anxiety. Actually, you're the first person I've heard of (other than me) that gets anxious about storms. We have hurricanes and tornados in Florida. I agree with Monarch that you can't be too prepared (food, water, batteries, etc.).

    Hurricanes are the worst for me since the summers of 2004/05 when eight storms hit Florida. Two went over my house. Last summer was a more normal summer here, but every time a tropical storm was named or became a hurricane, I was wondering 'Is it coming here again?' Unfortunately the news media loves these things and really plays them up to the point of feeding people's fears and anxieties.

    I try to limit my exposure to the news during hurricane season, but unfortunately I work with a bunch of nervous nellies that turn into instant meteorologists whenever there's any bad weather. Glad I have an office door to shut!

    My advice (for what it's worth), keep informed, keep prepared, but don't let weather concerns stop you from doing what you want or cause you undue stress. These are things that are out of our control and our worry and stress will do nothing to stop, prevent or detour them. And trust me...come June 1st (start of hurricane season) this will become my mantra for the summer once again.

    Hang in there!
    Lisa
     
  7. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks, Monarch and Marlene. It's weird, I used to love thunderstorms. I still enjoy the light and sound show, but get so anxious now if worse is possible. Even after that first time shaking in the basement, I never got so worked up about them until this year. But then I'm feeling triggered by so many things lately. I wonder if I'm reaching the point where I should take a break from the forum.
     
  8. Monarch

    Monarch I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    If you need to take a break do it, I support you in that.
     
  9. map9

    map9 Active Member

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    Proactive

    This means your doing what you can do to help you and your family cope during the tornados and storms. My first tornado was when I was twelve and it was one of the worst in the history of the USA. I saw it up close and personal. We viewed it as it passed less than one block from our home. The path of destruction was over a hundred miles long and took many lives, one being my school girl crush, the bag boy at our local grocery store.

    My second encounter with nature's destructive force was Hurricane Camille in August of 1969. So, when I saw the massive storm on the weather radar of Hurricane Katrina, I was packed and ready to leave home ONE WEEK before it hit. I was taking no chances this time. We stayed in a motel in Tennessee, bought a lot of canned food, a generator, flashlights and batteries, bottled water and two more ice chests to boot. After the storm was over we went back home to no water, no electricity and roads blocked by downed trees. But, our home, although water damaged and windows blown out was still standing.

    We had to go and get house plans and set up an appointment for a builder, bulldozer and a dozen other details but seven months later we had our new house built, we took not one penny from anyone, not even a bottle of water. We took care of ourselves by ourselves. All this due to what I had experienced over the years during these catastrophes. With age comes wisdom, we were laughed at and made fun of because we had gone to such lengths, some said we were just being absurd. Afterwards it wasn't so absurd.

    Never ever underestimate the power of these storms, by being calm, proactive, methodical, making and having plans of action will possibly save you or your family. I'm proud of you Hodge for taking the steps that you have. One suggestion, I would be making an effort to clean up and spruce up the basement. Sure makes it a more pleasant place to be. I still have trigger memories of the damp, dank, musky smell of the basement from my childhood.

    Love, map9
     
  10. Monarch

    Monarch I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    map9, both of my parents and their whole family went through Camille, they are from Long beach, MS. It was terrible, the things my Mom described. Many of the family that live there still went thru Katrina and they said it was worse than camille, horrifying.
     
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