How To Heal After Fires, Floods, Hurricanes And Tornadoes

For those whose homes and contents were destroyed or swept away, the slow recovery process is just beginning.
Phoenix Rising
Phoenix Rising
LOS ANGELES - Sept. 19, 2022 - PRLog -- Flash floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires are becoming the norm, leaving destroyed homes in their wake. Media descend on the scene, interview shell-shocked victims and then move on to the next disaster. But for those whose homes and contents were destroyed or swept away, the slow recovery process is just beginning.

How to move forward and heal are addressed in a book by author and psychologist Dr. Noelle Nelson. Phoenix Rising - Surviving Catastrophic Loss: Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and Tornadoes (Amazon ( explores the trauma of losing a lifetime of possessions in a disaster, how to survive the immediate aftermath and how to find the strength to start anew.

"It takes a long time to grasp that everything you have is gone," says Nelson, who lost her home in the 2018 Woolsey Fire in southern California. "You'll wake up and think you'll put on your favorite sweater and then remember it's gone. Or you'll realize that treasured photo of your grandma is now only a memory."

Nelson offers these suggestions:

--Identify your "anchors." These are the people you've relied on in the past. Odds are good that they'll jump at the chance to help you now. Let them. Anchors are also activities such as work, school and outside interests that give you some normalcy while your world is turned upside down. Doing things that are "normal" is critical when everything else is so not normal.

--The world is full of caring individuals who will step forward on your behalf--especially in the beginning. It's at this time that people you may not even know in your community are looking for ways to help. Accept their kindness. They may be able to supply you with "things" such as clothing, basic necessities, a roof over your head, but it's their kindness that will impact you emotionally in ways you can't imagine and help advance your healing.

--Be patient. Once past the initial shock, you'll begin to process the gravity of the loss. You'll also be dealing with insurance, finances and rebuilding your life. That means sleepless nights with feelings of anxiousness, anger and hopelessness--all normal. Understand that everything takes time. Don't shy away from getting professional help to get through. After a disaster, local support groups are often created made up of others experiencing what you are going through. Consider joining. These groups can be a good source of information, comradery and comfort.

Phoenix Rising ( is available in paperback, audio and on Kindle.

Dr. Noelle Nelson
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