Fires can lead to significant emotional and physical distress, even after safety is reached. The experience and challenge of evacuation, relocation, and rebuilding after a fire will have a significant impact. People will be processing the loss of homes and valued possessions, worrying about loved ones, neighbours, pets, wildlife and important community buildings and spaces. Individuals and families may go through several stages of emotions, including shock, anger, fear, and grief. After a fire, it will take time for communities to redevelop a sense of safety, security, and comfort. Daily life will be significantly disrupted for whole communities for a potentially long period of time. Ultimately, safety and security will be restored, and recovery will emerge as the focus shifts past danger and towards the future.
For parents and caregivers, the following tips are based on the literature and conversations with the Trauma Informed Care Team at IWK Health.