Dr. Noelle Nelson

View Our Newsroom

Perfect Strangers: Reaching Out To Tornado Victims

Industry: Self Help

After losing everything in a natural disaster, hopelessness and despair can quickly take hold. However, what many people affected by the recent deadly tornadoes that hit the South and Midwest are finding is that the goodness of perfect strangers is helping them muster the strength to carry on.

Thousand Oaks, CA (PRUnderground) December 20th, 2021

After losing everything in a natural disaster, hopelessness and despair can quickly take hold. However, what many people affected by the recent deadly tornadoes that hit the South and Midwest are finding is that the goodness of perfect strangers is helping them muster the strength to carry on.

Examples are everywhere of people stepping in to provide whatever help they can. A man drove 1 1/2 hours with his BBQ grill in the back of his truck to cook for those whose homes were destroyed; a high school football team organized a toy drive for kids who wouldn’t otherwise receive presents during the holidays; a woman used the money she had saved for Christmas to bring her food truck to stricken areas and offered free meals.

A new book by psychologist Dr. Noelle Nelson (Phoenix Rising – Surviving Catastrophic Loss: Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Amazon) takes a look at what to expect in the early days after experiencing a devastating personal disaster and how to have the strength to move forward.

Nelson writes from experience. Her home was destroyed by the Woolsey Fire in southern California in 2018. “There is an initial period of shock, disbelief and then comes the realization that nothing is left, not even a toothbrush,” she says. “You’re wondering about housing, if you have a job, schooling for the kids. Your life is completely turned upside down. That’s just the beginning of a recovery process that can take years.”

Nelson says it’s important not to lose hope; to stay focused. “People want to help. Let them. You’ll find that the vast majority of people are good and caring. During the initial days, weeks and months that follow, acts of kindness by others, even perfect strangers, will not only give you what you need to carry on but will give you tremendous emotional strength.”

Acts of kindness as she went about trying to rebuild and re-establish her life continually amazed and motivated her. Nelson found this to be the case when she lost her home. She was sleeping on friends’ couches until someone she barely knew offered her a place to rent.

In her book, Nelson talks about the importance of “anchors,” those people we have in our lives that we know we can count on. These anchors take on even more importance after a disaster. “It’s critical to stay connected,” she says. “Don’t try to take on everything on your own. Let them help. And try to keep up with your ‘anchor’ activities. If you can continue to work, do so. If you take classes, keep going. You’ll want to get yourself back into some sort of normalcy–whatever that may mean to you.”

Nelson explains that a devastating loss forces people to start anew. “You don’t have a choice. The healing and recovery process will be long and will be filled with all sorts of frustrations. I wrote the book hoping that my experiences will give others an idea of what lies ahead and how they can start a new chapter, a new story for themselves.”

Phoenix Rising is available in paperback, audio and on Kindle. To watch a short video of why Nelson wrote Phoenix Rising, go to https://bit.ly/2X0LJui.

About Dr. Noelle Nelson

Dr. Noelle Nelson is a California-based psychologist, consultant and speaker. She is passionate about personal growth and happiness. She’s authored over a dozen books including Phoenix Rising – Surviving Catastrophic Loss: Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and Tornadoes, Amazon. In it, she explores the trauma of losing everything in a disaster–the photos and memorabilia of a lifetime–how to survive the immediate aftermath and how to find the strength to start a new chapter in life. Nelson writes from experience. Her home was destroyed in the 2018 Woolsey fire in Southern California. www.noellenelson.com, nnelson@dr.noellenelson.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Press Contact

Name
Diane Rumbaugh
Phone
805-493-2877
Email
Contact Us
Website
https://rumbaughpr.com/

Image Gallery

Video