One In 10 Of Us May Suffer From Severe Weather Phobia
One in 10 Americans may suffer from severe weather phobia that causes them to lose sleep or have feelings of helplessness, says a researcher at Ball State University.
“Severe weather phobia is very real,” says Jill Coleman, a Ball State geography professor and lead author on the study, which was recently published in the American Meteorological Society Journal. “Some people will get physically ill or lose sleep while others will start watching weather forecasts on a more regular basis.
“Weathering the Storm: Revisiting Severe Weather Phobia” surveyed about 300 people in 43 states. About 85 percent of respondents reported having at least some degree of severe-weather fear while 46.1 percent describing their fear level as “a little bit.” About 10 percent of participants classified themselves as having an overall fear level as both “extreme” and “quite a bit” categories, possibly indicating severe-weather phobia.
Three percent of respondents reported seeking professional or self-help treatment for severe-weather phobia or specific inclement weather events.
“Overall, we found that people simply love to talk about the weather,” Coleman says In the West, it’s about high winds and wildfires, and here in the Midwest it’s all about tornados, thunderstorms and blizzards. On the East Coast, people are more likely to talk about hurricanes than regular thunderstorms.”
The study found:
•About 99 percent of all respondents had experienced some form of severe weather with the most common event being thunderstorms (90.9 percent) and high winds (90.3 percent) followed by heavy snow and freezing rain (80 percent each).
•80.5 percent of respondents do not suffer from severe weather phobia, 4.7 percent believe they do and the remainder is not sure.
•When it comes to severe weather, respondents reported feelings of anxiety (72 percent), increasing heart pounding (62.9 percent), changing schedules (60.8 percent) and feelings of helplessness (60.4 percent).
•Participants who reported taking a weather-related course also admitted experiencing more anxiety symptoms and behaviors.
The study also found that 11.7 percent of participants reported they know someone who surfers from severe-weather phobia.
“My father lives in Kansas and the second he hears about tornados, he’ll change his schedule to avoid being on the road and then start watching television reports more intensely,” Coleman said. “Our research indicates that we actually may be able to see such phobias in others but have difficulty in seeing them in ourselves.”
She also believes the study lays the groundwork for a better understanding of severe weather phobia phenomena as well as the role that weather knowledge and anxiety plays in the minds of individuals across the country.
“These results could provide useful information for weather forecasters and media groups in terms of how often people monitor media during severe weather events,” Coleman said. “When not debilitating, some fear can be a substantial motivator to encourage individuals to take action against the threat, such as seeking shelter.”
Customers of the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour, Crothersville, and Medora can celebrate National Library Week and National Volunteer Week by paying for overdue fines with non-perishable food items April 9-22. Discovery Bus customers must visit a library building to participate in the program. This is the only fine-waiving program in 2018 and is earlier than the usual August promotion.
Donations of non-perishable food items collected in lieu of fines are given to local food pantries at Provisions Inc. and Anchor House in Seymour, Crothersville First Baptist Church, and Medora Christian Church.
For every dollar owed in fines at least one food item must be donated. If a customer has a $5 fine, at least five food items are needed to erase the fine. A fine of $5.50 would require at least six food items. Food items must not be expired, rusty, dented or USDA commodities. Food for Fines is not available to customers with damaged or lost materials. The materials must be returned undamaged within six months of their original due date before the overdue fines can be waived. Collection agency accounts may participate in this year’s only fine-waiving program as long as they pay the $10 collection agency fee first.
Customers participating in Food for Fines will receive a computer-generated receipt reflecting fines waived by their food donation. Food for Fines applies to all Jackson County Public Library materials including movies and audiobooks but does not apply to fines from other Evergreen Indiana libraries.
Individuals without library fines wishing to donate food items may do so at any library location.
Since its first fine-waiving program in 1991, the Jackson County Public Library has accepted 81,392 items (food, school supplies, and supplies for the Humane Society) and waived $67,224.11 in overdue fines.
by Curt Kovener
(This week we reached back into the Curt Comments archives for an encore writing.)
Have you ever noticed how diametrically opposed we sometimes speak?
When someone says, “Not to change the subject, but…” what is the next thing they do? They change the subject.
And when someone says “I don’t want to start an argument, but…” whereupon an intense, heated discussion of opinions erupts.
Then there are times when I am engrossed in some activity—reading, watching TV, working on the computer—Becky comes to me saying “I don’t want to disturb you but…” and then what she says disturbs me.
Or worse, when she says, “Now I don’t want to make you mad, but…” and of course my blood pressure begins to rise.
And when you hear “I don’t mean to criticize, but…” you’d better quickly put on your thick skin.
While sitting in the plethora of public meetings we’ve covered over the years, I’ve learned that whenever the speaker says, “I don’t mean to belabor the point, but…” he/she then drones on for another period of time obviously enjoying the sound of his/her voice while the dead horse is beaten further.
And when it comes down to you and a member of the boss’ family who are vying for a promotion, when the boss says, “I don’t mean to play favorites, but…” you shouldn’t count on any increase in your paycheck.
And when your soon-to-be ex-best friend says, “I don’t mean to be too personal, but…” I am sure they will eventually understand why you no longer accept their telephone calls.
And as for this week’s column, “I don’t mean to take up your time, but…”
NOTICE TO TAXPAYERS
OF ADDITIONAL APPROPRIATIONS
Notice is hereby given to the taxpayers of Jackson County, Indiana, that the proper legal officer of Jackson County at their regular meeting place at Jackson County Courthouse Annex, at 6:00 p.m. on the 18th day of April, 2018, will consider the following appropriations in excess of the budget for the current year.
Rainy Day Fund
Capital Outlays 10,000
Total Capital Outlays 10,000
Family Court Project Fund
Other services & Charges 7,000
Total Family court Project Fund 7,000
Emergency Management Spec. Approp Fund
Other Services & Charges 51,399
Total Emergency Management
Spec. Approp Fund 54,227
Jackson County Health Dept. Fund
Other Services & Charges 6,500
Total Jackson County Health Dept. Fund 6,500
Taxpayers appearing at the meeting shall have a right to be heard. The additional appropriations as finally made will be referred to the Department of local Government Finance (DLGF). The DLGF will make a written determination as to the sufficiency of funds to support the appropriations made within fifteen (15) days of receipt of a Certified Copy of the action taken.
Dated: April 4, 2018
Kathy S. Hohenstreiter
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