General Question

Yellowdog's avatar

How do people recover from natural disasters where they lose everything?

Asked by Yellowdog (12183points) October 4th, 2019

Earthquakes, wildfires, floods—individuals and families are devastated and lose everything. The rest of us sit by, or help out, all from places of security and comfort, knowing it could happen to us.

How do people rebuild their lives, start over, or even cope with it psychologically? Heck, some of us have trouble enough just finding a career or livelihood even without such overwhelming setbacks.

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12 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Courage on their part plus,insurance,charity,red cross,and help from their communities, and any government aid they may qualify for.

It can seem extremely overwhelming but one can make it.

rebbel's avatar

I have never experienced a natural disaster, so I can’t speak from experience, but I have experienced a deep personal disaster, and ‘survived’ it.
I think we people go in a kind of survival mode.
There’s no other option (apart from the option to quit it all, of course) than to go on, continue life, day by day, minute by minute.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

A friend’s house burned down. She lost all material goods but she & her kids got out fine.
She took it one day at a time as there wasn’t much of a choice.
Insurance covered some things but couldn’t replace things with sentimental value.
She says it’s just “stuff”.
She is right.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Our whole town got evacuated in 2017 due to a forest fire coming at us, it was extremely stressful,luckily no structures in town were lost but a bunch of homes just outside the town were lost and some still haven’t been rebuilt yet.

LadyMarissa's avatar

They don’t give up & focus on their FUTURE & ignore the PAST!!!

seawulf575's avatar

I had some friends that had their house flood during Hurricane Florence. They didn’t have any flood insurance since they weren’t in a flood plain and it had not flooded in known history. So the insurance paid for nothing. They moved in with friends, worked with various governmental and charity groups to get things back in order. They basically had to rebuild their house by hand and it took them about a year to do so. They just moved back in recently. The got through it together, with the help of friends, family, church and government. Emotionally, they realized they were all alive and well.

SEKA's avatar

There are areas that still haven’t rebuilt from some of the flood damage

MrGrimm888's avatar

I can speak from personal experience here. I lost everything, in 3 separate floods.

Honestly, you don’t fully recover. I had to eventually move. That hurt my roommates financially, and I was homeless for about 6 months. Floods, are especially stressful. They don’t flat out destroy your belongings, but you have to throw away EVERYTHING, you ever owned. What survives, eventually succumbs, to mold. Even things, I thought were ok, developed mold. I lost pretty much everything. After my first flood, I bagged up all my clothing, and thought it would be ok. Not so. Everything molded, in a few days. I was only able to save myself, and my dog.
People went out of their way, to give me things, like beds, couches, chest of drawers etc. But each October, my house flooded again. It took everything from me.

I can’t sleep in a bed anymore. I’m too used to couches. I get really stressed out, when hurricanes approach, and have panic attacks constantly. My “new” house, is about 20 feet higher, above sea level, than my old house. I’ve lived here for about 2 years now. But I have almost nothing. I have a bed, which I mentioned I can’t sleep on. I have a TV, and a couch. I guess I have PTSD, from all the loss. When I moved here, I only needed a small van, to get what currently own here. I have almost no possessions, and about ten shirts, and a few pairs of pants. My dog/daughter of 15 years, is now dead. So. I don’t even have her anymore.

I sold almost all of my guns, to get the place I have. For the deposit. Have an old Tahoe, with almost 300,000 miles on it. It breaks down frequently, leaving me with no transportation.

I have not come close, to financially recovering. I vomit, almost 5 days a week, from stress. I’ve been doing this since my first flood.

When hurricanes come now, I don’t evacuate, no matter how bad they are. Because I want to protect what little bit I have left.

I don’t wish, what I’ve gone through, on my worst enemy.

But… I’m still alive. I’m permanently mentally damaged, from the floods. I have trouble sleeping, for more than a few hours. I can control my nightmares, as a lucid dreamer, but I always wake up, thinking about my house being flooded.
I am confident that I will overcome this. But. I have not, so far….

I am doing the best I can. But, I seem to be permanently head fucked, from all of this. I have 3 fire extinguishers, and a “bug outbag.”

I am as prepared for the worst as I can be. I rode out the latest hurricane, despite mandatory evacuation orders. And I will stay in my house, even if it’s a Cat 5, from now on.

My only hope, is that I am still strong, and resourceful. That’s all that keeps me going.

Sagacious's avatar

The same way people recover from any type of disaster, such as a home fire that destroys everything. It is up to each of us to be insured to help us if we find ourselves in the middle of a total loss. I never have been in that situation. I’ve had two friends whose homes burned to the ground. It was truly horrible for both of them but they both eventually recovered, but some things just can’t be replaced. That the saddest part.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Flood insurance, is crazy expensive, in my area. Most people who have home owners insurance, don’t opt for the flood insurance, or it’s separate.

After my first flood, FEMA sent out an agent. They gave me $800, for losing everything. I didn’t even bother calling them after the last two…

Sagacious's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Flood insurance only covered that which is destroyed by flood. I don’t know where you are but I live in Florida and flood insurance is pretty cheap. I have good homeowners as well. That really is all we can do to protect ourselves.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I live in Charleston, SC. I can’t afford health insurance. I certainly couldn’t afford flood insurance. I looked into it. I suppose “inexpensive,” is a subject term too….

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