Tornado Season Puts Moore Residents On Edge

Tuesday, April 1st 2014, 5:06 pm
By: News 9

Emotional pain and anxiety are being felt throughout Moore. The start of tornado season 2014 is making life difficult for those who survived last year's EF-5 tornado.

Medical professionals are taking notice and doing their part, according to Sunbeam Family Services and Moore Public Schools. A 9-year-old Bichon Frise named Max helps keep tornado survivor Karen Milligan somewhat calm, but she still lives in fear.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

"I'm having anxiety about [tornado season] because I know it's getting close to May again," said Milligan.

Experts say the stress is something that should not be ignored. People should watch for warning signs such as muscle tension and not being able to focus, sleep or relax. If you are suffering, seek professional help.

"An adult is more able to express their fear and their anxiety verbally, sometimes the children's verbal skills aren't as developed yet," said Sunbeam clinical director Teresa Deck.

Deck, who is a licensed counselor, says parents should stay calm, develop a safety plan and talk to their kids about how they're feeling. Moore Public Schools says relaxation techniques are practiced during severe weather days. Counseling services are still in full force for students, teachers and parents. It's an effort to keep "Moore Strong" and calm.

"This time, I'm not going to panic," said Milligan. "I'm going to listen to you all on the news."

Deck says parents watching the news should shield their children from media coverage. Parents should serve as a filter to determine what children should and should not hear and see.