TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Preparing for a hurricane can be stressful, but the frenzy to fill gas tanks, get enough supplies, and the overall uncertainty can cause emotions to spiral out of control.
"I went to three places last night and there was nothing, no gallons, no cases," said Matt Allman, while on a desperate search for bottled water Friday evening.
Hurricane Dorian's slow approach only adds to the anxiety.
"I keep checking the advisories every three hours," said Allman.
One of the first places to notice elevated stress levels was the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
"We are getting a lot of calls on our 211 line," said director Clara Reynolds, "we're having a lot of people that are really experiencing stress, anxiety, not sure what to do."
Mental health experts say while it's normal to feel anxious, there's no reason for you to lose your patience or peace of mind.
"We tend to think of the worst-case scenarios," said Dr. Dae Sheridan. "Saying 'okay, I've followed emergency management, I'm looking at my hurricane preparedness list, and I've got it and now I need to step away from it, because I am doing everything I can to keep myself and my family safe, and I need to take a break."
Those who've faced their fair share of hurricanes agree staying calm is key to riding it out.
"If I get nervous, if I get upset, if I get frantic, it's not going to change the situation," said one shopper, "so you kind of just weather the storm."
Hurricane Dorian preparations by county:
- Citrus County
- DeSoto County
- Hardee County
- Hernando County
- Highlands County
- Hillsborough County
- Manatee County
- Pasco County
- Pinellas County
- Polk County
- Sarasota County
- Sumter County