CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Many people in Eastern Iowa have been feeling anxious about storms following the derecho.
”I actually loved storms and everything until last year actually being in the storm,” Tyler Bryant of Cedar Rapids told TV-9.
He vividly remembers being outside walking towards Walmart to seek shelter as the derecho began.
“All I could see was nothing but blue until I got like to actually to Walmart, then I saw all the cars being tossed, the carts, everything,” he added.
The memory of the derecho is making Bryant nervous about the upcoming storm season in Eastern Iowa, and he’s not alone. Our weather team heard concerns just last week.
“Several Facebook posts especially people asking, so is this going to be as bad? Are we going to have to worry about branches and trees and that was about a 40 mph wind that happened last week, realize the derecho was about 140 miles an hour,” Chief Meteorologist Joe Winters explained.
Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids has been helping many dealing with anxiety following the storm.
“The way that trauma and even anxiety works in our body is that is does trigger some like physical reactions because of the way that our body is preparing to fight danger,” Joella Gerber told us, Clinician Supervisor & Therapist at Tanager Place.
It could be an increased heart rate, a bad feeling in your stomach or shortness of breath.
“Or for other people it might look like shutting down or feeling like they can’t move,” Gerber explained.
She says there are ways people can try to calm down, if they feel themselves getting stressed.
“Making sure you are breathing in through your nose, and out through your mouth,” she demonstrated.
A weighted blanket can also help some relax.
“Or squeezing fists and releasing or tensing different parts of your body and releasing,” Gerber told TV-9.
After experiencing a bad storm, it’s not uncommon for people to feel nervous about another, like Bryant and so many others in Eastern Iowa.
“I’m not scared of them or anything it’s just that anxiety and being nervous about them,” Bryant told us.
“I’ve seen it happen over and over again, the flood of course also in Cedar Rapids caused the same thing. Heavy rain the next 2-3 years. It usually takes about that amount of time when people aren’t contacting us saying is this going to be as bad,” Winters explained.
Gerber shared a couple resources people can use to get more information on how they can manage anxiety:
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