Businesses and residents stressed over looming Ferguson grand jury ruling

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CREVE COEUR, MO (KPLR) – With headlines like 'State of Emergency' splashed across the front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it is easy to see why so many people are so uneasy about what could happen following an announcement by the grand jury in the Michael Brown case.

From stocking up on ammunition to stocking up on water, some people are going to extremes even though there have been plenty of situations where despite all the fear, nothing happened.

Remember how people were in frenzy in 1991 when Iben Browning predicted the dates for a major earthquake on the New Madrid fault, or all the angst that surrounded Y2K?

It`s not that the social significance of those examples is the same as in the Mike Brown case; it`s simply that the panic is just as pointless.

'I think a lot of people are at least wary or concerned because they see a lot of preparations being made,' said Dr. Robert Cloninger, director of the Center for Well Being at the Washington University School of Medicine.

'Whenever you are anxious or angry, you are not using reason and intelligence, so you are not going to do anything smart or useful,' Cloninger said. 'You can`t avoid the things you are afraid of, you have to find positive solutions using intelligence.'

Still, if you just can`t help but worry, the American Red Cross suggests the smart and useful thing to do is prepare as you would for a natural disaster, because it is something everyone should do anyway.

'There is nothing worse than being in a situation and wondering `what should I do` and you have limited your options, so being prepared is about having options,' said Cindy Erickson, CEO of the American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri.

On Tuesday, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay tweeted a message preaching calm. 'The balance between prudent preparation and overreaction is a delicate one,' he said.