Other than physical damage, property fires also leave behind emotional distress. Survivors often have to deal with losing not only their residence, but also things that hold significant value, like photo albums, heirlooms, important documents, and gadgets.
Most importantly, experiencing a property blaze entails losing a sense of comfort, safety, and security for many homeowners. The home loss trauma from the incident can take years to heal and get in the way of everyone’s daily life, work, and social relationships.
Surviving a house fire can be overwhelming and even confusing, so becoming more knowledgeable about the topic and saving these helpful fire trauma resources can make all the difference in your journey to recovery.
Picking Up the Pieces After a Fire (American Red Cross)
This booklet compiled by the American Red Cross offers information on what to do after a house fire. It covers the emotional, physical, and financial aspects of recovery and even lists down the organizations to contact when replacing vital documents. Ultimately, it shares practical tips on what you can do to make your property safer from fires in the future.
After the Fire (U.S. Fire Administration)
Most survivors become disheartened and overwhelmed after returning to their properties and finding them in ruins. This straight-to-the-point resource helps readers know what to expect after the fire has been put out and shares safety tips when re-entering a damaged building.
It also has a step-by-step guide on what property owners can do after a fire, plus which authorities to call for help to start rebuilding their lives and regaining a sense of normalcy.
Helping Children Cope with Disaster (U.S. FEMA and the American Red Cross)
Children can become distressed after experiencing a property fire and show temporary changes in behavior. These changes can be mild in some cases, usually subsiding over time. However, some children can feel more vulnerable, and their responses to stress can be more severe and longer lasting.
This booklet by the U.S. FEMA and the American Red Cross offers parents, caregivers, and other supervising adults suggestions on helping kids and teens cope with the aftermath of a house fire. It also shares tips adults can follow to prepare their families for such disasters.
Disaster and Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults (American Red Cross)
This Older Adults Disaster Preparedness booklet covers helpful pointers for older adults before, during, and after an emergency. There’s also a dedicated section for caregivers enumerating what they can do to help older adults plan and respond to urgent situations such as a property blaze.
Building Your Resilience (American Psychological Association)
This APA publication gathers inputs from professionals and describes what resilience is and isn’t – a topic commonly raised after distressing events. It also shares helpful advice on adapting to life-altering situations, building resilience, and getting back up stronger than before.
Other Fire Trauma Resources To Save
- The American Red Cross has a Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990) that you can call or text for 24/7 counseling or support. You may also seek help from your local Red Cross for quick assistance.
- Get the support you need to recover from house fire trauma by finding your local National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) affiliate.
- If you have been struggling with recovering emotionally, it’s best to consult with a licensed mental health professional. APA’s Psychologist Locator is helpful in finding psychologists in your area.
- If your property fire has forced you to evacuate your home, visit this link to find an open Red Cross shelter in your area. HUD Exchange and U.S. FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) Locator are other helpful resources if you need housing, food, or other assistance.
More Advice on Dealing With Home Loss Trauma
- Prepare Yourself Mentally
This may sound easier said than done, but it’s best to expect to see severe damage to your home after a fire. Even if the flames did not spread to every room in the house, other factors such as heat, smoke, and water damage could worsen the damage.
- Focus on Yourself and Your Family
After a fire, you and your loved ones may find it overwhelming to process the events and the devastation you’ve experienced. In these difficult times, it’s crucial that you watch over everyone’s safety and well-being.
Asking family or friends for help can go a long way in helping you recover mentally and emotionally. If this is not an option for you, know that organizations such as the American Red Cross offer relief services, a safe shelter, and hot meals for home fire survivors.
- Practice Healthy Ways to Cope
It’s natural to be emotionally distressed after a major destruction or total loss of your home. As you try to move forward and rebuild your life, know that dealing with the overwhelming feelings associated with the incident will take time to fade away.
Giving yourself grace and patience and trying these self-care strategies can help make the process easier:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating well-balanced meals
- Getting enough sleep
- Allowing yourself to cry and feel bad
- Allowing yourself to smile, laugh, and feel good amid the loss
- Talking with family or trusted friends, journaling, or engaging in creative activities to express your feelings
- Focusing on what you still have – instead of what you lost
Let Experts Take Care of Your Home As You Focus on Your Well-Being
Suffering extensive damage or losing a home can be heartbreaking and distressing, and it’s common for survivors to experience overwhelming emotions as they process the events. Recovering from home loss trauma takes a lot of time, patience, and help from the right professionals, so we hope you find the resources we shared helpful.
If you have recently experienced a property fire, you can call an experienced team like Restoration 1 to rebuild your home while you recover. Taking care of yourself can be difficult with many worries occupying your thoughts, so our skilled and friendly professionals step in to handle everything else for you.
Let us provide the most caring and immediate services to your home while you focus on getting better. Contact us to find a local expert.