Natural disasters, such as fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and tropical storms, can cause emotional stress and trauma even when we’re awake, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Fear of these events can trigger a wide range of emotional symptoms, including fighting with family members and, yes, distressing nightmares involving these disasters. Additionally, per Psychology Today, such external influences as climate change, wildfires, and the COVID-19 pandemic could also be rooting themselves in our subconscious, making us more anxious when we sleep.
While these dreams can be triggered by a fear of a natural disaster occurring, they can also be an indicator of emotional distress or upheaval (via Way). They can be signs that you feel out of control in your own life, or stress and anxiety related to a change in your circumstances. In some cases, these dreams may also be some kind of unconscious warning. If there are storm warnings or the fear of a potential earthquake, your subconscious mind may be helping you brace for an imminent disaster.