Kentucky Devastation; Book Offers Hope To Those Who Have Lost Everything

The author's home was destroyed by the Woolsey Fire in 2018.
Phoenix Rising
Phoenix Rising
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Dec. 13, 2021 - PRLog -- The recent deadly tornadoes that hit Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas are the latest examples of how natural disasters can upend the lives of so many so quickly. Thousands of families are now faced with rebuilding their lives. A new book by psychologist Dr. Noelle Nelson (Phoenix Rising - Surviving Catastrophic Loss: Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Amazon) takes a look at what to expect in the early days after experiencing a devastating personal disaster and how to have the strength to move forward.

Nelson writes from experience. Her home was destroyed by the Woolsey Fire in southern California in 2018. "There is an initial period of shock, disbelief and then comes the realization that nothing is left, not even a toothbrush," she says. "You're wondering about housing, if you have a job, schooling for the kids. Your life is completely turned upside down. That's just the beginning of a recovery process that can take years."

Nelson says it's important not to lose hope; to stay focused. "People want to help. Let them. You'll find that the vast majority of people are good and caring. During the initial days, weeks and months that follow, acts of kindness by others, even perfect strangers, will not only give you what you need to carry on but will give you tremendous emotional strength."

Acts of kindness as she went about trying to rebuild and re-establish her life continually amazed and motivated her. Nelson found this to be the case when she lost her home. She was sleeping on friends' couches until someone she barely knew offered her a place to rent.

In her book, Nelson talks about the importance of "anchors," those people we have in our lives that we know we can count on. These anchors take on even more importance after a disaster. "It's critical to stay connected," she says. "Don't try to take on everything on your own. Let them help. And try to keep up with your 'anchor' activities. If you can continue to work, do so. If you take classes, keep going. You'll want to get yourself back into some sort of normalcy--whatever that may mean to you."

Nelson explains that a devastating loss forces people to start anew. "You don't have a choice. The healing and recovery process will be long and will be filled with all sorts of frustrations. I wrote the book hoping that my experiences will give others an idea of what lies ahead and how they can start a new chapter, a new story for themselves."

Phoenix Rising ( is available in paperback, audio and on Kindle.  Video of why Nelson wrote Phoenix Rising:

Diane Rumbaugh
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