How To Cope and Rebuild Your Life After a Disaster

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Personal Finance on November 20, 2013

I was having coffee with some friends the other day when an interesting question came up during the night.

“If you were one of those whose home got destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda, how would you rebuild your life?”

There was about 20 seconds of silence, all of us were in deep thought, and then one by one, we spoke.

Below is a summary of the things that were said that evening.

rebuilding after a disaster How To Cope and Rebuild Your Life After a Disaster

Cover the needs first
There are three things that you need to immediately prioritize: food, shelter, and health. Don’t be afraid to ask and take any help that’s given, but don’t allow yourself to be complacent. Be proactive and don’t just wait for relief.

Make a list.
Write a list of things that needs to be done and systematically go through that list. Ruthlessly prioritize what’s important – cleaning up what’s left of your home is not as important as making sure your basic needs are covered for the next few days.

Connect with others
Reach out to the community, especially to those who were also affected. Together, you can accomplish more tasks and can provide moral support for each other.

Know what’s left.
Assess what’s left of your belongings. But more than the things in your home that survived, or those that you were able to salvage – you should account for the money you have in your bank, investments you own, and possibly, the list of people who owe you money.

coping with disaster How To Cope and Rebuild Your Life After a Disaster

Secure your documents.
Take inventory of your legal documents – which one survived, and which ones were destroyed. These include your birth certificates, marriage licenses, real estate titles, insurance policies and many more.

Ensure your cashflow.
Get back to work as soon as you’re capable. Don’t linger in self-pity and get busy. Be entrepreneurial, be observant, and discover opportunities around you.

Minimize media exposure.
The news will be mostly negative, not to mention depressing. Stay away from it and focus on rebuilding your life. Ask a friend not affected by the disaster to monitor the news for you and ask him or her to relay only relevant and vital information.

Accept your losses.
When all is done, and life is starting to get back to normal. The final step is to give yourself time to mourn and accept the losses you’ve experienced. Talk to someone you trust about your emotions, especially your feelings of remorse, guilt and anger.

It’s your turn… leave your own advice in the comment section below.

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Photo credits: Mans Unides

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One Response to “How To Cope and Rebuild Your Life After a Disaster”


  1. Mira says:

    This is a very good post.

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