For Natural Disaster Victims, Now Comes The Hard Part

The shock of losing everything--your home and all of your possessions to a recent wildfire, flood, hurricane or tornado--is starting to sink in.
 
 
Dr. Noelle Nelson's Burned Home
Dr. Noelle Nelson's Burned Home
CAMARILLO, Calif. - Sept. 8, 2021 - PRLog -- The shock of losing everything--your home and all of your possessions to a recent wildfire, flood, hurricane or tornado--is starting to sink in. You are facing the cold reality that you have lost just about everything. The immediate stages of recovery--finding a temporary place to live, buying essentials from a toothbrush to clothing--are done, but now comes the hard part--rebuilding your life.

"After going through such a traumatic experience, it's difficult to muster the energy needed to move forward," says author and psychologist Dr. Noelle Nelson (http://www.noellenelson.com/) (Phoenix Rising - Surviving Catastrophic Loss: Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and Tornadoes on Amazon). Nelson understands what disaster victims are going through. In 2018, her home burned to the ground (https://bit.ly/2X0LJui) in the Woolsey fire that destroyed 1,643 structures in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Nelson says that even during the initial grief and shock, there are some actions you must force yourself to do. "Take advantage of the resource centers often opened in disaster zones," she says. "Volunteers will help guide you through contacting insurance and mortgage companies, accessing financial and housing assistance and recovering your vital records. Accept the help. Don't try to do it on your own."

Nelson also suggests trying to resume your pre-disaster schedule as a way to stay connected to the "normal" world. "That may mean returning to school, work, exercising routines, whatever was the pre-disaster normal for you," says Nelson. "You want to keep a foot in reality while you are dealing with very unreal situations."

Just as importantly, says Nelson, is to accept the help of others. "Friends, family, even strangers, want to help. Let them," she suggests. "It's seeing the overwhelming kindness of others that got me through the first few years."

Feelings of frustration, anger and sadness are all normal and part of the recovery process, explains Nelson. "It's the other feelings--appreciation, gratitude and perseverance that are the emotions that will ultimately get you through this challenging time in your life," says Nelson.

A quick, yet insightful read, Phoenix Rising (https://www.amazon.com/PHOENIX-RISING-Surviving-Catastrop...) is available in paperback, audio and on Kindle. To watch a short video of why Nelson wrote Phoenix Rising, go to https://bit.ly/2X0LJui.

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