These storms send waves of anxiety ashore long before the wind and rain. If you are suffering from storm induced stress, you are not alone.
The Messer’s evacuated their home in Gulf Breeze, squeezed into a van and sat in traffic for more than five hours before reaching Tallahassee.
Kim Messer says, "Well, I'm in a small van with four children and a dog, so the stress levels are kind of high!"
There are thousands of Floridians suffering from what they might call “category 5 stress,” watching, waiting and worrying about a hurricane for the third time this summer.
Elaine Nation, a storm weary shopper, says, "Just the fact that it's gone on so long. It just really, the uncertainty of how strong it's going to be, it's just really stressful."
Dr. Charles Figley, a stress and trauma expert, says over the past month all the images of storm destruction and that red, rotating mass on radar have accumulated in our minds, boosting stress levels.
Dr. Figley says be alert and make preparations, but then exhale and realize the rest is up to Mother Nature.
Figley says, "You do the best you can to pay attention to the things you need to do and do that, but once you do it it's not a good idea to be glued to the Weather Channel. It's not a good idea to constantly fuss and focus; you really need to sort of let go of that with the understanding that you have done everything you can."
Dr. Figley points out we're all in jeopardy, we're all in this together and whether you have road rage or as he called "Home Depot rage,” it only makes things worse when we're at each other's throats.