After A Disaster: Chronicling The Recovery Process
The Californer/10172701

New book chronicles the author's recovery after losing her home in the fires that ravaged southern California in 2018.

CAMARILLO, Calif. - Californer -- Surviving the initial destruction caused by a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane or other natural disaster is only the first step in a long road to recovery. In Phoenix Rising - Surviving Catastrophic Loss: Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Amazon, author Dr. Noelle Nelson chronicles her recovery process after losing her home in the fires that ravaged southern California in 2018.

"In a moment, your life changes," says Nelson. "Your home, your sanctuary, with all its memories is destroyed. Things you thought would always be there are gone forever. How do you start over, literally from scratch? It's a question that thousands of people must ask themselves every year, especially as natural disasters appear to be happening more frequently."

In her book, Nelson talks about fleeing her home during the Woolsey Fire with only the clothes on her back, her two dogs, her laptop and a few pieces of her mother's jewelry, and then returning to where her home once stood--where the fire was so hot, even the concrete had disintegrated.

More on The Californer
After the initial shock, Nelson quickly realized that she needed the help of others to get her through. She leaned on what she calls her "anchors." "Anchors are people you can count on and activities such as work, school and outside interests that represent your 'normal' even when your world is the opposite of normal," says Nelson. "They will be your lifesavers."

She says that those who have lost everything in a disaster should put their trust in people who want to help. "Some could be perfect strangers--from a friend of a friend who has a place you can rent to the owner of a store who knows your plight and offers items at half price. The surprising goodness and generosity of people I didn't even know kept me going during my darkest moments."

Nelson also advises to accept your rollercoaster of emotions. "Every night, I would go through my home in my mind, thinking of all the things I once had but were now gone. That didn't make sense, but I was worried that I would forget what I had," she says. "I had many sleepless nights filled with feelings of hopelessness, anger and despair. These types of emotions and feelings are all normal."

More on The Californer
In Phoenix Rising, Nelson discusses how to create a new 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

Source: Dr. Noelle Nelson
Filed Under: Lifestyle

Show All News | Report Violation


Latest on The Californer