It is perfectly normal to feel scared, nervous, anxious, and fearful during a severe weather event. What matters is how we handle these emotions and take care of our mental health. The intense fear of thunder and lightning does have a name, Astraphobia. Now, not all that have a fear of bad weather have this phobia but it is still worth acknowledging. This fear is most common in children but can last and event develop later into adulthood.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help alleviate your fear and anxiety when it comes to severe weather:

  • Have a severe weather plan ready: If you are prepared already, it can reduce anxiety and control in the moment chaos. If you need advide on making a plan, head to Weather 101 on myarklamiss.com/extra and read this article: https://www.myarklamiss.com/weather/wx-101/severe-weather-awareness-week-have-a-plan/ .
  • Being Informed: Staying up to date on current weather information in your area can give you a sense of control if you know whats coming.
  • Talk it out: You never have to be afraid alone, talk to friends, family members, counselors, co-workers, or anyone that you’re comfortable with about your fears. By doing so they may be able to offer you emotional support and a shoulder to lean on.
  • Accept what you cant control: This is some of the best advice i’ve ever found. No one, not even meteorologists can control the weather, not a single storm or any of the damage one may cause. Any excessive worrying that a storm may impact you will not change anything except your mental state and well-being.

To help children with their fear of bad weather:

  • It’s always important to remain calm with children especially when they are scared.
  • Explain that thunder isnt dangerous and storms are a part of nature. Children can be afraid of storms but, most are also interested in learning more about them. By making the storm an educational and learning expericnce it can be used as a disraction.
  • By reading about weather, watching videos that have tornaodes and lightning in them, it can expose them to various recources to learn more about storms. This way they can realize on their own terms what they really feel about bad weather.

Sources:

“Severe Storms: How to Reduce Your Anxiety.” Severe Storms: How to Reduce Your Anxiety | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/hurricane-season-here-how-reduce-your-anxiety.