HONOLULU (KHON2) — Some are wondering if their neighborhood is just one spark away from what happened to Lahaina with the blustery conditions that Hawaii is experiencing.
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Experts said obsessive worrying can be taxing on mental health, so how do folks cope?
The National Weather Service said it is certainly breezy, but conditions are nowhere near what they were on Tuesday, Aug. 8.
“Much different. Today, we are at very bare minimum, borderline Red Flag Warning criteria,” said NWS meteorologist Maureen Ballard. “Today we’re looking at winds of 20, 25 miles per hour with some stronger gusts as opposed to Aug. 8, where we were talking about winds more than twice that, you know, actually in some cases close to three times that.”
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) said recent fires on Oahu add to a collective sense of concern.
“We had the Mililani Mauka fires that were going on and a lot of people were smelling smoke. There was ash coming down and it immediately triggers this recent thing that just happened,” NAMI Hawaii program director Anisa Wiseman said.
Crisis therapist Dr. Danielle Rae Daniel said anxiety is stress over future events and situational anxiety is something everyone experiences at some level.
“When it becomes where you might need a professional is if it’s interrupting your ability to function either in your work or in school or even home,” Dr. Daniel said.
Though a wildfire is out of the hands of residents, making an emergency go bag and evacuation plan can create a sense of command over things that can be controlled.
“It can help with something that you feel like you can control in the moment,” Dr. Daniel said. “Even though that still doesn’t prevent everything, at least that helps you, ‘Okay, I can control being prepared at that level’.”
Experts recommend for folks to find a way back to the present moment if they can not stop worrying about something that may or may not happen.
“And if I start to spiral a little bit I’m like, ‘Okay, I need to take a second and go walk in my yard, close my eyes and listen to the wind or just feel the sun on my skin or something like that just to get me out of my head and back into my body,” Wiseman said.