Sonoma County is in the midst of a tremendous firestorm. Hundreds of people have lost their homes, or are displaced temporarily from their homes. I thought this article from the American Psychological Association might be helpful. Here's the link, and the text is below: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/residential-fire.aspx
Recovering emotionally after a residential fire
Residential fires can lead to significant emotional distress in addition to possible physical injuries. Losing your home in a fire involves not only the loss of your residence, but also many other things of value such as photo albums, important documents and treasured objects. Most importantly, though, the home is your place of security, comfort and safety. After a fire, this sense of security can also be lost and can significantly disrupt the normality of daily life. Below is a description of some emotions you may experience and steps you can take to recover.
Common emotional reactionsLosing a home can cause significant emotional distress. You should not underestimate the challenge of evacuation, relocation and rebuilding after a fire.
It is common for people to experience several stages of adjustment including shock, anger, depression and hopelessness. Ultimately, however, people can reach a stage of acceptance and become able to move beyond disbelief, bitterness and sadness. Positive feelings can begin to re-emerge as the focus shifts towards the future. Safety, security and comfort are regained, and life moves forward once again.
Recovery and copingIn the middle of a crisis, it can become difficult to take care of yourself with so many other worries preoccupying your mind. However, this is a good time to think about your personal resiliency, healing and a sense of normality. Some self-care strategies you may want to consider are:
In addition to these recommendations, APA's "Road to resilience" brochure describes steps that you can take to build resilience — the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. For more tips on how to manage stress after a fire, please visit "Recovering emotionally from disaster." If these resources are not sufficient and if you notice persistent feelings of distress or hopelessness and feel like you are barely able to get through your daily responsibilities and activities, consult with a licensed and experienced mental health professional. Psychologists are trained to help you successfully manage life's hardships and pursue a plan for a more positive and meaningful future. To find a psychologist in your area, visit APA's Psychologist Locator.