Disasters affect people in different ways. In some disaster situations it may mean loss of loved ones, including relatives, friends, neighbours, or family pets. In others, it means loss of home and property, furnishings, and important or cherished belongings. Sometimes it means starting over with a new home or business. The emotional effects of loss and disruption may show up immediately or appear many months later.
It is very important to understand that there is a natural grieving process following any loss and that a disaster of any size will cause unusual and unwanted stress in those attempting to reconstruct their lives. These stresses may cause a series of common reactions as noted on the following pages.