Colorado Wildfire Victims: New Book Offers Hope

The devastating loss is just beginning for the thousands of people.
Phoenix Rising by Dr. Noelle Nelson
Phoenix Rising by Dr. Noelle Nelson
BOULDER, Colo. - Jan. 7, 2022 - PRLog -- Another natural disaster--this time a wildfire near Boulder, Colorado fueled by 100+ mph winds-- destroyed almost 1,000 homes. The fire follows tornadoes in Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas, fires in California and a hurricane in Louisiana. The devastating loss is just beginning for the thousands of people affected. What happens to these families? How will they find the strength to start anew?

"There are more natural disasters with more severe consequences. Thousands of people have their lives upended and their homes destroyed every year," says Dr. Noelle Nelson, psychologist and author of Phoenix Rising - Surviving Catastrophic Loss: Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Amazon. The book takes a look at what to expect in the days, months and years after experiencing a devastating natural disaster and how to gain the strength to move forward.

"The loss is overwhelming. You're literally left with nothing, often with only the clothes on your back," says Nelson, who lost her home in the 2018 Woolsey Fire in southern California. "Your actions in the days, weeks and months following a loss will have a big influence on how you will live the rest of your life."

Nelson offers these suggestions:
  • Lean on your "anchors." Anchors are those people and activities such as work, school and outside interests you can count on in your time of need. Connect with the people and activities that represent "normal" to you even while your world is turned upside down. They will be a great source of help.
  • Trust the goodness of perfect strangers. People both known and unknown to you will offer their help and resources. The world is full of caring individuals who will step forward on your behalf. Let yourself know and accept that.
  • Be patient with the process. Once past the initial shock, you'll begin to process the gravity of the loss emotionally--priceless photos, your mother's jewelry that was passed down to you, your children's first drawings--all gone. You'll also be dealing with insurance, finances and other practicalities. That means many sleepless nights with feelings of hopelessness, anger, even despair--all normal. Don't shy away from getting professional help for your anguish.

"Losing your home is not something you signed up for, but you don't have a choice; you have to start over," says Nelson. "The healing and recovery process will take time and be filled with all sorts of frustrations, but know that you have the opportunity to begin a new chapter in your life that can be just as rich and fulfilling."

Phoenix Rising ( is available in paperback, audio and on Kindle. To watch a short video of why Nelson wrote Phoenix Rising, go to

Diane Rumbaugh
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Location:Boulder - Colorado - United States
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