Advance preparation to reduce storm anxiety

5th Season: Day 4
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 9:48 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - In Oklahoma, residents will see storms every year and there’s nothing to do to stop them. This can make people feel powerless. But there is a way for people to empower themselves and that’s through knowledge and preparation.

It can be helpful to think about what it is about severe weather or storms that makes someone afraid, stressed or nervous.

People should avoid putting themselves in the position which could result in injury or create the stress that comes with approaching storms.

Knowing how to keep composure after coming out of shelter once the storm has passed is just as critical as finding a safe place to shelter before the storm or tornado arrives.

According to ABC Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee, emotional and physical reactions sometimes vary based on level of distress.

”So, I’m in that unique position where I am seeing how emotionally people react,” she said. “In the shock stage, when a lot of those secondary injuries and even deaths happen because people even though they went to their shelter and they survived the tornado or whatever the case may be, they often come out searching for the keys to their car...their car’s over on the roof. It’s critical that you don’t step onto things that could injure you, to stay away from gas lines, to stay away from electrical lines. Those are all things that people are not looking for because they are in a state of shock.”

Advance preparation, thinking about where someone will take shelter, making sure they have several ways to get weather warnings and information and having a plan for themselves and their family, can help reduce fear and stress levels when storms are in the area.

Planning and preparation puts people in control of their situation and can make the storms a little less scary.

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