Reduce hurricane anxiety through preparedness

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is creating anxiety for a number of people along the East Coast including Hampton Roads, especially in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The development of Hurricane Irma on the heels of the devastation caused by Harvey is causing growing anxiety for many people. As of Monday, Irma was a powerful storm potentially could hit the East Coast.

There are steps that people can take to reduce that anxiety.

Dr. Jonathan Smith is a psychologist in Hampton Roads.

“When you know that a storm is coming, it's normal to get that little tightness in your chest and in your gut,” said Smith. “The problem is that we believe that we're in control, so the storms and stuff remind us that we're not really in control of anything.”

Smith told 13News Now the best remedy for nervousness is to be prepared:

  • Know your area.
    • Check evacuation maps for your county and know what zone you are in.
    • Know where a shelter or other safe places are located in case you need to leave your home.
  • Know your supplies.
    • Be sure to have plenty of water
    • You should have a gallon of water per family member per day
    • Stock up on non-perishable foods
  • Important supplies to have during hurricane season.
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Battery operated radio
    • Fire extinguisher
  • Have a communication plan.
    • Have plan set up for you and your family.
    • Complete a contact card for all family members with names, numbers and email addresses.
  • Prepare a first aid kit filled with:
    • Bandages, antiseptic wipes, instant ice pack, adhesive tape and scissors

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