severe weather

How to Cope With Storm Anxiety When Severe Weather Hits North Texas

Experts offer tips on coping with storm anxiety and weather-related phobias.

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Severe weather, like March 2, can spawn fear for a lot of North Texans.

Storm anxiety, even weather-related phobias, can seem difficult to manage in the moment, but there are ways to cope.

According to the National Weather Service storm anxiety page, thinking about where you will take shelter, making sure you have several ways to get weather warnings and information, and having a plan for you and your family can help reduce your fear and stress levels when storms are in the area.

Planning and preparation put you in control of your situation and can make the storms a little less scary.

Think about what stresses you out the most about severe weather.

For some people, it’s the sound of thunder, the flashes of lightning or the roar of the winds. For others, it’s the anticipation and uncertainty about what might happen to them or their family.

If there is something that makes your fears worse that you can control, this might help you.

Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Debra Atkisson, with the TCU Burnett School of Medicine suggests methods to cope in the moment.

"As far as in the moment, if you're noticing tension, agitation, pause, take some deep breaths as a way to reset where you are. Sit down, spend a minute calming and clearing your mind. That's when if you have a plan in place, it really helps you cope with what's happening," said Dr. Atkisson.

Astraphobia is the fear of thunder and lightning.

It typically affects children, but many adults still deal with a fear of thunderstorms.

Astraphobia is one of the most common specific phobias.

More than 3,000 Facebook users have joined the DFW Storm Support group, co-founded by North Texas Tiffany Beatty.

"I was able to overcome my fear by helping other people and also just remembering that being prepared and not scared is your best bet when it comes to severe weather," said Beatty.

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