MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hurricane season began on June the first.
We’re now in a time of year when daily tropical outlooks are issued from the National Hurricane Center, hurricane supplies are seen as soon as you enter every type of hardware store, and specials on TV and print remind you of what may occur over the next few months or what did occur last season.
A side-effect of all of this information being made available to you could be what is known as hurricane anxiety.
“Anxiety literally equals what if,” said Danial Bober, a psychiatrist that specializes in human behavior. “We go through all the scenarios in our head and we say what the worst case scenario is?”
For many here and South Florida and even across much of the southeastern United States that worst-case scenario played out last year.
“I think that after Irma people have become more aware of this process and can be even more scared once they see hurricane season start,” said Bober.
For the first time in a decade, a major hurricane made a U.S. landfall. A storm which was in the middle of a trio of storms that were almost back to back to back. Harvey in Texas, Irma in the Caribbean and here in South Florida, then Maria impacting Puerto Rico.
The lower Keys could be considered ground zero for Hurricane Irma.
”There is a lot more anxiety only because if we get hit with another one just as bad as Irma or worse, it could be devastating for our economy,” said Key West Mayor Craig Cates.
Some areas in the Keys have not recovered yet from Irma as we head into the 2018 hurricane season, a season which has already had one named storm passing very close to Key West.
“Chest tightening you can’t breathe, the not knowing. Is it going to happen again?”
That’s how Mandy and Rayford Teague describe the feeling they get from time to time thinking about the upcoming season. They had almost bought a home in Cudjoe Key when Irma hit.
When it comes to dealing with the anxiety, Bober says the best thing to do is prepare.
“You want to plan ahead, prepare and do things that make you feel empowered so that you’re ready for when the storms come, that’s the best way to deal with anxiety,” he said.
Hurricane season runs through November 30th, 2018.