Recovery after a natural disaster

Coping with Grief & Loss After a Natural Disaster

How do you cope with the loss you are feeling after a natural disaster, like a hurricane, tornado, or flood? There’s no one “right” or easy way to deal with the feelings of grief that are likely overwhelming you at times. Grief is a very personal reaction to these kinds of traumatic, life-altering events made worse by feeling like we have no control over anything in our lives.

It’s not just the loss of our “stuff” and personal belongings. Rather, it’s the loss of security and the sense of stability that can be the most devastating. Our homes and communities act as an emotional rock of security. When that rock is washed away, it can bring a sense of hopelessness to our lives.

There is no denying the tough times ahead of you, but you shouldn’t try and run away from them. During these times of despair, there is hope. Homes can be rebuilt. Communities and people from very diverse backgrounds come together to lend each other a hand. People from all over the country come together to help.

We hope that in some small way, the articles we’ve collected here help you find hope and better understand the feelings of loss and grief you’re coping with today. Natural disasters are unpredictable and can cause unfathomable damage to property and communities. Our reaction doesn’t have to add to that damage, as our resiliency and capacity for hope allows us to rebuild not only our physical lives, but our spirit as well.

Coping with Grief & Loss After a Disaster

The 5 Stages of Grief and Loss
By Julie Axelrod

7 Tips for Coping with Life After a Hurricane
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

9 Tips for Coping with a Hurricane
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Why It’s So Important to Hold On to Hope
By Lauren Suval

How to Get Back Your Joy After Loss
By Suzanne Kane

Navigating Grief
By Dr. Angela Williams

5 Common Misconceptions About Grief
By Jessica Meiman

The Darker Side of Grief
By Andy Davidson, Psy.D.

Understanding Anger in the Aftermath of Trauma and Disaster
By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2019). Coping with Grief & Loss After a Natural Disaster. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 8, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 17 May 2019 (Originally: 17 May 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 17 May 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.