FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Everyone reacts differently when lightning strikes or the sirens sound. For those that have increased anxiety during storms, whether they are severe or not, it could come from a past traumatic experience with weather or it can come from lack of control of the situation.
“The reality is that storms can be very scary, and if you have experienced something very traumatic in your life it could be scary for anybody,” says Michael Lewis, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Northern Indiana, “It doesn’t need to be a child, it can be a young adult, it could be an older adult. We have all types of folks that reach out to us.”
Clinical Services Director at Bowen Center Rebeca Riley says, one of the best ways to feel some control is to make a plan for when active weather strikes that helps you feel safe. It’s important to find the balance between respecting the warnings and mother nature while also keeping yourself calm.
“Being afraid of thunderstorms, or tornadoes, or weather advisories with road conditions is a normal fear to have. We don’t want people to go out there and act like there are no issues or problems,” explains Riley, “People should be cautious and safe, but if it’s coming to the point where it is interfering with your normal functioning you should seek therapy.”
When it comes to those who issue those potential life-saving warnings and alerts at the National Weather Service, their mission is to ‘Save Lives and Minimize Loss’. They provide plenty of resources to help those who want to learn more information about a given threat.
“What we try to do is work with those individuals to get them the best information as quickly as we can,” adds Lewis, “Get them in touch with our website as well as some other aid websites that are out there.”
One of those resources is a Disaster Distress Helpline, that number is 1-800-985-5990, and the website can be found here.
The homepage where you can access resources from the Northern Indiana National Weather Service Office can be found here.