Devastating Natural Disasters Are Now The Norm, But What About Those Having To Pick Up The Pieces?

How to rebuild not only the physical structures but your mental well-being
Phoenix Rising by Dr. Noelle Nelson
Phoenix Rising by Dr. Noelle Nelson
CAMARILLO, Calif. - Feb. 16, 2022 - PRLog -- There were 20 weather-related natural disasters in 2021 that caused $1 billion or more in damages according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For those who lost everything in these disasters, how do they rebuild not only the physical structures they lost but their mental well-being?

A new book, Phoenix Rising - Surviving Catastrophic Loss: Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Amazon (, by Dr. Noelle Nelson looks at what it takes to recover from these sudden, traumatic events and their aftermath.

Phoenix Rising first chronicles Nelson's own healing and rebuilding process after losing her home in the fires that ravaged southern California in 2018.

"One day, you're living your normal life, the next day, everything is gone. You no longer have your home (or it's in pieces), your sense of security is ripped away. Family mementos are nowhere to be found," says Nelson. "Even though you're in shock, you now have to somehow find the focus and strength to figure out how to rebuild your life."

Nelson quickly found she could not do what she needed to do by herself. She turned to what she calls her "anchors"--those people she could count on to come through as well as activities that represented normalcy (work, church, outside activities).

"Put your trust in people. Know that most people want to help, including perfect strangers," says Nelson. "Though you'll be juggling insurance, banking and housing issues while dealing with acquiring the basic necessities you lost, do your best to continue with the activities and hobbies you did before. Just staying in contact with the people in your pre-disaster life gives you back a little part of your life. You may be surprised at how many of those people are eager to lend support."

Nelson also says to accept the rollercoaster of emotions that follows a disaster. "You'll feel angry, helpless and hopeless. That's normal," she says. "It's part of the healing process. As tough as things are now, you have an opportunity to create a new chapter in your life--maybe one that's even better than you imagined."

In Phoenix Rising, Nelson discusses how to create a new life story after disaster strikes. "The goal of the book," she says, "is that despite a life-changing event, we can rise from the ashes, stronger and better than before."

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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