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Weather phobias


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Really looking for some help or even just to hear from someone with the same fear. My whole life I never grew out of a phobia of weather, particularly storms. I get paranoid and have panic attacks when there are a lot of clouds or dark clouds and when a storm rolls in I am in a complete out of control panic to the point where I actually have peed my pants and hid in the closet because I was so scared.

People kind of make fun of me for it or dont take seriously how scared I get. I am very afraid of the end of the world and I fear it will come in storms so every storm I feel like this is it. There is a big storm coming to the midwest and I'm having trouble dealing with that, I don't know how to keep myself calm or how to protect myself if something does happen. I get very embarrassed when storms come because no one else reacts like me so they dont understand why I am so nervous. I try to cover it up as to avoid embarrassing myself, but it can be hard when youre scared snd I'm dying inside.

What can I do? Any other people out there have a lot of trouble when the weather turns? Or even just words of advice from people used to dealing with bad weather? I want to be like the other people who are "used" to the weather or at least handle it bettet.

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I have occasional similar bouts of irrational panic about earthquakes.

 

When I was younger, it was tornadoes.

 

But I grew up in the Midwest and learned that preparation can be a decent panacea.

 

It sounds like you might benefit from doing some research from CREDIBLE disaster preparedness sites like the Red Cross and your county or state emergency management.

 

The general advice is to have a personalized disaster kit that's appropriate to your climate and seasonal needs, make a plan with your family and friends about where you will meet if you have to leave your home or who your "out of state" contact person will be that everyone will check in with in case something big happens, and to stay informed with information from reliable sources (not sensationalized sources).

 

This is a blog that I really like, from a pediatrician who is also a mom. She has some good tips about preparing things for children. These strategies can also be applied to younger parts of ourselves who get scared.

 

Also, you might try working with a qualified therapist who specializes in anxiety. You could work with that person on making a plan for systematic desensitization.

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I used to be very afraid of thunderstorms, I still hate being alone in them. I am terrified of tornadoes. I avoid driving in bad weather. I fortunately live in an area where we mostly get a lot of snow in the winter, and I'm so used to it, it isn't a huge deal anymore. Wooster gave good advice.

 

It's not an unusual phobia.

 

Having things prepared in advance is always a good idea.

 

I'm a member of Zombie Squad. http://www.zombiehunters.org/ The motto is: "If you're prepared for zombies, you're prepared for anything." We get together, have lunch or supper and have a lot of fundraisers for charity. It's disaster preparedness and readiness. We discuss what to do in a worst case scenario. It's also good friends getting together, raising money for charities and meeting new people. Check out the website, there are tips on what to do. We have a lot of fun.

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Thank you too, being prepared and more knowledgeable would make a huge difference in terms of peace of mind...its beena while since I lived in an area with real weather and its been a difficult adjustment. I live on the second floor of an apartment so the idea of tornados scares me because I'm usually alone for one and I really dont know what to do from an apartment if things were to get bad. Not having a basement really ramps up my anxiety.....!

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Is there an interior stairwell in the building?

 

If not, the next safest place to be is the bathroom, and if needed, drag your mattress in there to put over you for more shelter.

 

Flashlight with backup batteries, and a battery powered or crank radio (in case you lose power) would also be on my list.

 

Do you know where to get reliable weather information updates on the web?

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Nope, there is a free standing laundry room in the middle of the courtyard that might be my next best bet, its a pretty old rickety building though. I think tonight I will buy a flashlight and batteries and water, there is nothing in my place for emergencies.

Is it reasonable to take my cat if there were a situation? theres a torcon of 4 in my area, I've been watching the weather channel. I have no computer but I am on my phone and have the weatherbug app! Thank you again, I'm new to the area, don't really know anyone and ill be alone most of tomorrow so ive been losing some sleep over it!

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Yes, absolutely take your cat. Find a reasonably priced, sturdy carrier (not a collapsable one) with a handle. You can keep some emergency food and a couple of bottles of water and a blanket for her to lay on in the carrier.

 

Put the cat's name, your name and your phone number on the outside of the carrier.

 

ETA: Old, rickety buildings aren't your best bet for tornadoes because of high winds. Bigger buildings that are sturdier are better. How about an interior hallway?

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I am afraid of weather too, of storms, earthquakes, floods, tsunamis. When I was a child I would panic whenever it rained. I just get really nervous during trips or whenever I have to travel. All I can say, is that it is a phobia, a fear out of proportion. Being scared will not change anything, will not change the outcome. Try to breath deep, and think this is an irrational fear. Try to be with others who are not afraid and tell yourself, if they are not afraid why should I?

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I am terrified of fire.  Any weather that could spark a fire outside (dry, windy days that idiots decide to burn leaves or whatever).  I don't even have a single match in my apartment. 

 

Heavy rain will make me anxious, but only because (I forget the words) the lady upstairs and hearing the water dripping from the ceiling ... I just don't want water coming in from outside.  It never has (knock on wood), and never want it to.

 

Also HATE losing power.  So any weather where there is a chance of losing power makes me anxious.

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I was really scared of tornadoes when I was little, but then I lived through a few and the fear kind of subsided. I'm now irrationally afraid of really high winds and ice storms/blizzards because I'm terrified that the old trees on the little hill behind my apartment will fall in on me. I've also been scared of a big Midwestern earthquake since we had a few minor ones in this area back in '08 and periodically I'll work myself up into a panic about it for no real reason. But my biggest irrational fear along those lines is of bombs and shootings and war breaking out. I have nightmares all the time about war. 

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Hi all,

I wasnt afraid of weather until i went off to college and experienced rain that turned into icy roads.. i didnt have a car. I had good boots. But the damage from ice reallyy freaked me out.

Then i moved to florida and those super loud and violent lightning storms. However, no real fear of hurricanes because you kind of know its coming.

Later, i moved back to NC with my daughter who was 2 yrs old. There was way too much snow that season and ii lasted about 9 months before returning to CA. I could not handle snow at all. I felt very trapped even thoughh tecnically i wasnt.

I am terrified of tornadoes even though I've never been in direct threat of one.

Hagar Running - i, too have a lot of nightmares of bombs and war.

Db

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I'm hoping in the future to build a bunker because yes, war and storms are a near constant fear. I felt safer back in california because weather is less variable but living by the oceans and ports scared me enough to leave, now I regret it! I guess its very likely for a storm outbreak with tornados today, it will reach my area by 8pm....its twenty degrees above average today so it doesnt feel right here at all.never been in a tornado so the prospect of one is not fun. My apartment is just a standalone building no real hall or anything to go into, just closets. I might go to my boyfriends coworkers house later tonight because there is a basement I'm just worried about my cat :( not sure they will appreciate me showing up with a cat but my cat is the love of my life. I've been clutching him all day :P

I've only been in a warning once, sky turned green, we had hail and lost power I had no idea what to do or what the sirens meant. Still confused if the sirens are a warning or a watch but hopefully nothing happens. no one but me is really concerned because its late in the season and there arent many tornados here but the weather is so weird today...

Edited by kitkatt91
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Sirens are warning that mean take shelter immediately.

However, they will often go off for a larger area than is in the immediate threat/path of the tornado.

 

A watch means conditions are such that tornado-producing storms are a possibility.

 

I think the scariest part about tornadoes for a lot of us is the unknown... "where is is?" "is it going to come here?"

 

I happened to be flying out Oklahoma City the day the big tornado hit Moore. There were tornadoes the day before as well. The thing that I found to be scary was not being familiar with the area so that when news announcers were describing locations, I had no point of reference for where I was vs where the tornadoes were.

 

I think after a while it's easier to get habituated to the weather conditions of where you live.

 

New things are scary when you don't understand them.

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  • 2 years later...

i am having pretty bad anxiety about this at the moment because its night and there is a rainstorm outside and for about 10mins some really high wind speeds which were really loud, so i looked up being scared of storms and found this thread and i feel ten times better knowing im not alone in feeling like this

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1 hour ago, lastlight said:

i am having pretty bad anxiety about this at the moment because its night and there is a rainstorm outside and for about 10mins some really high wind speeds which were really loud, so i looked up being scared of storms and found this thread and i feel ten times better knowing im not alone in feeling like this

A lot of people are afraid of storms.

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I'm terrified of wildfires, and have been evacuated more than once. This made a lot more sense in CA than it does in UT, but there are fire watches here, too, and we've seen smoke from them in other parts of the area. I actually already have a plan on how to pack the car, and the order I'll pack things in (that is, from dire necessity to things I really want to keep): Dogs, computers, important papers, medications, some dog food and water, some clothes. I have a plan on how to arrange things in the car to use maximum space. I even have a plan on how to safely transport an oil painting I would be crushed to lose.

That makes me a lot calmer, because I feel like I have clear priorities, and the most important thing is that we get away with both the dogs; all the rest is truly gravy. If I had more time, there are a few other things I'd pack, but then I'm getting down to niceties.

Floods also worry me, because by the time it reached us (we are on a hill) we'd be trapped. But I have since learned we actually live across the street from a flood drain disguised as a playground. I was once in a teeny tiny flash flood, and I was freaking, but fortunately, the water stopped rising. But, if the water were coming up our hill, we'd just grab the dogs and go before it came up to our cross street, we'd leave everything else, unless there was really time to grab the computers.

Have you considered taking/taken CBT? It can really help with phobias.

I'm terrified of wildfires, and have been evacuated more than once. This made a lot more sense in CA than it does in UT, but there are fire watches here, too, and we've seen smoke from them in other parts of the area. I actually already have a plan on how to pack the car, and the order I'll pack things in (that is, from dire necessity to things I really want to keep): Dogs, computers, important papers, medications, some dog food and water, some clothes. I have a plan on how to arrange things in the car to use maximum space. I even have a plan on how to safely transport an oil painting I would be crushed to lose.

That makes me a lot calmer, because I feel like I have clear priorities, and the most important thing is that we get away with both the dogs; all the rest is truly gravy. If I had more time, there are a few other things I'd pack, but then I'm getting down to niceties.

Floods also worry me, because by the time it reached us (we are on a hill) we'd be trapped. But I have since learned we actually live across the street from a flood drain disguised as a playground. I was once in a teeny tiny flash flood, and I was freaking, but fortunately, the water stopped rising. But, if the water were coming up our hill, we'd just grab the dogs and go before it came up to our cross street, we'd leave everything else, unless there was really time to grab the computers.

Have you considered taking/taken CBT? It can really help with phobias.

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