13 Jun 2017

A woman sitting on a orange chaise lounge looking out the window at the waterCoping with hurricane anxiety can be a tremendous burden.  Hurricane Sandy was in 2012, yet people still remember and feel emotionally traumatized by the force of that devastating storm. After all, 147 lives were lost and approximately 60 million affected according to The New York Times. Although most of those affected have been able to pick up the pieces of their lives and reestablish themselves, many still bear the emotional pain that comes with surviving a horrific natural disaster like Sandy.

That anxiety, also known as hurricane or weather anxiety, manages to resurface whenever news of an impending storm is released – even the small measures. For some though, the memories never really fade and they experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fear of a repeat trauma
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Periodic intrusion of memories from the hurricane that causes rapid heartbeat, cold sweat, and breathing problems

The hurricane season comes around every year with relatively predictable regularity. The best way to deal with anxiety is to face your fears and to be proactive in doing so. This is especially true for young children so they do not grow up always distraught over natural occurrences.

Protect your home

Your home is your sanctuary – where you should feel safest. Unless there is a call to evacuate, you should be able to feel secure in your home. To do this, invest in reinforcement like the hurricane windows and doors and a system to tie down your roof. This one-time investment, if acquired from the right supplier, should last you more than one lifetime.

And even if you have to evacuate to stay safe, your home will have a better chance of staying upright and intact with these hurricane solutions. In addition, it will improve the value of your home and lower your insurance premium.

Have a plan

First, stay informed but don’t be obsessive about forecasts. Second, get together with every member of the household and discuss strategies. Assign responsibilities and a pre-determined plan of action should the storm come unexpectedly. Third, talk about your anxieties and fears with each other. Talking and sharing experiences will help release some tension and make you feel you are not alone.

Keep the 3Rs in mind: Readiness, Response, Recovery. Finally, instill teamwork and empathy among all household members. Watch out for post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, depression, fear, and anxiety. Early detection will prevent the anxiety from developing into something more serious.