How to mentally prepare for severe weather - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

How to mentally prepare for severe weather

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The word "tornado" puts many people in the Valley on edge after April 27th, 2011. The word "tornado" puts many people in the Valley on edge after April 27th, 2011.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Severe weather is expected in the Tennessee Valley later this week. Meteorologists predict there could be a chance for strong winds and maybe a tornado. 

The word "tornado" puts many people in the Valley on edge after April 27th, 2011.

As that anniversary nears and severe weather heads our way, experts are stepping in to help those who find themselves feeling anxious about Mother Nature's unpredictability cope.  

"You go back to April 27th and there's, of course, a large amount of anxiety," said Meteorologist Brad Travis.  "There was terrible loss of life on that day.  But what people don't understand, the ingredients and everything was off the charts.  That was an exceptional event - one that typically happens every 30 to 40 years."  

Psychologist Dr. Kenneth Sullivan said tragedies like the April storms can be difficult to bounce back from.

"There's sometimes a combination both of a psychological overreaction but also a real component sometimes to real danger, and separating the two and keeping both in its place is the trick and it can be very hard," said Sullivan.

He said that if the mention of certain weather warnings put you on edge, taking the "ignorance is bliss" approach isn't the way to go.  

"We do want them to work hand in hand with the weather person, know when there are hazardous conditions, and to take really effective safety precautions," he said.  "Let your safety precautions be reassuring - knowing you've got a safe place to go to if you need one so you're going to be okay."

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