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Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life 

  • Terri K. Lankford, LPC, NCC, LCAS

Oh Irma, How Do We Weather Our Storms?

As I was born and raised in North Central West Virginia, I didn’t have to deal much with the hurricanes of the coast until I relocated to SC back in 2002 and then again to NC in 2011. Having not learned much about these destructive creatures growing up any - of my friends in the past 15 years can tell you, I went on high alert - storm chaser style - glued to the weather channel during hurricane season. I mean, I needed to be prepared and I needed to know the amount of devastation head my way. These could change course at any time and I’d need to high tail it out of there back t the mountains right?! As the years went on and I become more “local” or seasoned, I never did leave for those storms.

As Irma is approaching the East Coast this weekend and for the past week, it has me reflecting on how we choose to handle potential catastrophic situations as they approach. Or to not be a drama queen - lets just say how do we handle any crisis (no matter its size) if we know its even potentially on its way?

Well, I’m an options kinda gal. Given my experience living in the Carolinas - there’s a few generalized ways we choose to take action:

  1. We get the hell outta dodge! No questions asked. At the first sign of conflict or potential damage in any way, we pack it up and ship out. We usually pull out the map or bring up our GPS while we’re en route. No reason to not get out of the way of what we know is coming. We play it safe. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

  2. We hunker down, board up the windows, stock up on canned foods, fuel up the generator in case we need backup, create a structure that we feel is secure, prepare as much as we can and take what’s thrown at us. We. Have. A. Plan. And that plan includes not leaving our homes, clinging on tightly to what we know is comfortable. These are the ones that stay and just stick it out no matter what’s coming their way. Hopefully, they’ve prepared with WAY more than just their hurricane party supplies.

  3. We go middle of the road. We put it off until last minute. We might get a few supplies we think we’ll need to be ready here and there, MAYBE look up the evacuation route, not really committing. Not sure of how bad its really going to be, but hoping for the best. These are the people who are going to drag it out until the last possible minute to make the decision to either stay or go and run the risk being unprepared to some extent in either direction.

Or in better terms, We Fight, Flight, Or Freeze.

For the record, I’m a middle of the roader. I’ll plan and prepare WAY before anyone else does but… I’ll stick it out to see what happens but if it looks like its imminent that shit is going to hit the fan, I’m outta there - I want to avoid the destruction looming!

Which one are you? And how does this change based on the type of storm coming your way?

When it comes to anything - conflict, crisis, or obstacles in your way to THAT conversation you’ve been putting off with your significant other, the constant newsfeed you have going in your mind all day that you can’t seem to turn off, or the “meh” mood you can’t seem to pull yourself out of - How do you weather your storms???


Photo Credit: The Weather Company showing The wind flow around Hurricane Irma's eye is illustrated in this overlay with a visible satellite image of Irma on Tuesday (9/5/17)


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Welcome to Embrace | Overcome | Create Your Life.


I’m Terri Kiser Lankford, owner of the Rise & Thrive Counseling Practice, a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor (in NC), and the host here at Rise & Thrive Counseling, PLLC and the Embrace| Overcome|CreateYourLife Blog.


I’m also an entrepreneur, Syltherin, foodie on a fitness journey, complete book nerd, photography novice who happens to think music is life. 


Warning! This site is about motivation, health & wellness, and self love.  but its also about various mental health issues and may talk about subjects such as suicide, self-harm and other touchy subjects at some point. This site is not intended for youth and may be “too much” to some.


Nothing on this site should be considered a medical recommendation. I am not a doctor. Anything of interest should be discussed with your doctor or therapist, or me (in person) if you are my current client.  No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. (Sorry, I have to say that.)


All writing and mental health information here are accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. However, keep in mind my opinion, and available information, changes over time.

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