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Disasters, anxieties, sensible goals
Old 10-18-2017, 03:23 PM   #1
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Disasters, anxieties, sensible goals

We had to evacuate our Santa Rosa house last Tuesday with fires coming towards our house. The mountain behind us had billowing smoke and through binoculars I could see flames in the burning grasses on the west side of the mountain towards us. We left the area and stayed with some kind friends. Over the next few days we worried a lot as there was no definitive news about the fireís progress toward our neighborhood and our house in particular. It felt like we might loose the house and all our possessions. The winds gusted a bit where we were staying. The news was about terrible destruction and loss of life. DW and I were very, very anxious even though we knew we were lucky to have gotten out safely. I know there may be some reading this who have had similar or worse natural disaster experiences and I now have a better appreciation of such anxieties.

Why do I mention that here in this ER FIRE & Money forum? Because for me those same feelings were present in the 2008-2009 stock market melt down. For me there is this feeling that you donít know the final outcome, you are at the mercy of powerful negative trends, and it created a great deal of uncertainty and fear. Of course you kind of know the situation in the stock market as you watch the prices (as opposed to your house and a fire). But even that knowledge can feed on your anxiety as the market goes up some and then looses those gains plus some more. That huge anxiety can just keep growing. What if there were no successful government intervention and we relived the 1930ís in that 2008 decline? The initial decline paths over months were very similar. It could have gone south and then those nice gains since 2009 might not have happened.

I donít want to make too much of this analogy of fires and stock market declines. But human anxiety is real and at least in our investments we can deal with it before a possible stock market fire. I am not predicting anything going forward as clearly markets fluctuate and the future is unpredictable. Just saying to keep focused on sensible goals. And we should remember that sometimes multiple bad events can happen to families in a short time period. Examples: natural disasters, personal health declines, money worries, family tragedies.

BTW, the firefighters were fantastic and we are back in our home. For us anxiety is subsiding but the anxious memories linger. I now have the luxury of sitting back and contemplating future moves.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:29 PM   #2
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Glad you're back home, safe and sound.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:48 PM   #3
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So scary, so glad you are safe and back home. The stories I've been reading are heartbreaking.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:07 PM   #4
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My sympathies. It must have been a highly stressful situation. Itís wonderful that your home is safe, but Iím sure your community is scarred. I expect you are suffering some post traumatic stress disorder right now. Be kind to yourselves, and get counselling if you need it.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:36 PM   #5
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Not that you would wish this, but like the aftermath of 2009, your house is probably worth more now than before the fire, since property will be scarce there for some time.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:51 PM   #6
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Wow! So glad you are back in your still OK house! What a horror!

Neighbor's son and family barely escaped in the wee hours of the night wearing pajamas in one car and nothing else. Home demolished.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:12 PM   #7
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Wow! So glad you are back in your still OK house! What a horror!

Neighbors son and family barely escaped in the wee hours of the night wearing pajamas in one car and nothing else. Home demolished.
Thanks for your and other's words of concern and good wishes.

We thankfully were not at the worst part of the firestorm. Ours was more of a manageable grassland fire, apparently separate. The winds were fierce Sunday night and apparently the fire started far off in Calistoga going towards Santa Rosa's north side. There is a decent writeup in Wikipedia under "Tubbs fire". Fire responders were just overwhelmed. We had time to think about things and prepare somewhat. But the previous day's events had made everyone extremely hyper sensitive. We left the front door completely unlocked when evacuating.

Anyway, my purpose for writing this up was to discuss anxiety in it's different forms. Maybe some here would like to share how their life experiences have shaped their risk appetite. Financially speaking it is so hard to separate greed and fear.

Maybe I am in the post traumatic stress disorder phase as Meadh mentioned. If I am being too negative, well just humor me.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:17 PM   #8
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Nope - not too negative. I would imagine being shaken up pretty good for a while even if my house was not destroyed!
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:49 PM   #9
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I am so glad that you are back home and safe. Human anxiety is real and circumstances can change quickly in one's life. I try to focus on feeling grateful for life's blessings and downplay the negatives. Not always easy to do, depending on the circumstances (such as having to leave your house due to fires).
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:00 PM   #10
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My sympathies. It must have been a highly stressful situation. Itís wonderful that your home is safe, but Iím sure your community is scarred. I expect you are suffering some post traumatic stress disorder right now. Be kind to yourselves, and get counselling if you need it.
+1 Glad to hear your home is safe but the stress of leaving & uncertainty can stay with you for a while. Be good to yourselves. I'm pretty lucky that I can roll with stressful situation but we are all different. If you think you or your wife are reacting differently (or ask a friend) to normal situations, get counselling.
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:49 PM   #11
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Hereís a news release on this very subject from the nurses of BC, just yesterday:

https://www.bcnu.org/news-and-events...a-top-priority
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:43 AM   #12
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Human anxiety is real and circumstances can change quickly in one's life. I try to focus on feeling grateful for life's blessings and downplay the negatives. Not always easy to do, depending on the circumstances (such as having to leave your house due to fires).
No doubt!

I try to not be very connected to material possessions. These things happen, and the odds tell me that there is a very real chance that something will happen that may very well destroy a vast majority of our physical possessions. My DW's family lives in Oklahoma, so tornado country. They have countless friends that have been the victim of tornadoes (sometimes more than once). One of my DW's HS classmates had their home destroyed by a tornado only to have the newly built one burned down in a wildfire less than 5 years later.

So...these are the reasons I try not to worry about this stuff too much. We have scanned almost all of our most important pictures and are now in multiple locations. The most valuable papers are in a safe deposit box (with a couple of other valuable items) to minimize destruction risk. So, if we lose the possessions in the house, it's not a huge loss for me (as long as the animals get out!)..but I do think that it would be more emotional for the DW since she has quite a bit of Christmas stuff that she values highly.

But, I have never experienced a significant loss, so I might be full of crap. I just *hope* that if we lose many of our earthly possessions than it will be more of a logistical pain in the arse as opposed to an emotional one.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:00 AM   #13
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Thanks for your and other's words of concern and good wishes.


Maybe I am in the post traumatic stress disorder phase as Meadh mentioned. If I am being too negative, well just humor me.
Lsbcal,
nope not too negative at all, my late husband and I got caught on a cruise ship in the middle of Hurricane Gilbert, right after we had married. and my brother and I were caught in a tornado in the middle of Lancaster Pa of all places.

Believe me, I have a healthy respect for mother nature.

I'm glad you and your family are ok.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:03 AM   #14
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No doubt!


But, I have never experienced a significant loss, so I might be full of crap. I just *hope* that if we lose many of our earthly possessions than it will be more of a logistical pain in the arse as opposed to an emotional one.
Nope not at all. I've been in two and let me tell you when the proverbial crap hits the fan you mean it when you say, you're thankful to be ok.

Now don't get me wrong, your anxiety level is definitely up there but whew natural disasters are scary.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:08 AM   #15
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On the horrible side,
I had to leave the gym early Tuesday because in my zuumba class there was a young lady was spouting how she did not feel sorry for the folks in California because they are all "rich" and "spoiled" and Now they know how poor people live.



Op, lol those here will tell you, "shy" and "retiring" are not adjectives that describe me. needless to say after a few choice word myself and a few others were asked to leave.

I really am going to work on my impulse control issues in retirement.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:16 AM   #16
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I am so glad you & your house survived . I had those same feelings after Hurricane Irma .The stress of the situation took it's toll and it was almost a week before I felt calm again.
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:22 AM   #17
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On the horrible side,
I had to leave the gym early Tuesday because in my zuumba class there was a young lady was spouting how she did not feel sorry for the folks in California because they are all "rich" and "spoiled" and Now they know how poor people live.


I think I would have had some choice words for that young lady. What a freakin' dolt.

I don't disparage anyone in regards to their possessions. Just because I try not to value them too much sure as hell doesn't give me the right to question someone else's value of them! And when people are absolutely overcome with grief from said loss, I feel terrible for them. It's not my place to pontificate (especially in a public forum!) about how someone may have come to possess some valuable items!
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:34 AM   #18
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On the horrible side,
I had to leave the gym early Tuesday because in my zuumba class there was a young lady was spouting how she did not feel sorry for the folks in California because they are all "rich" and "spoiled" and Now they know how poor people live.



Op, lol those here will tell you, "shy" and "retiring" are not adjectives that describe me. needless to say after a few choice word myself and a few others were asked to leave.

I really am going to work on my impulse control issues in retirement.
This woman is classic and sad example of someone spending too much time focusing on what others have, or what they perceive others have, instead of focusing on their own situation.
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:34 AM   #19
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I have been in a few tornadoes, ice storms while driving and a plane ride where when someone asked the stewardness a question she said it doesn't matter because we are all going to die anyways. People were crying and praying on this flight. So I have permanent anxiety issues and have to take xanax to even get on a plane. Stuff like that really takes it's toll. Glad your house is okay. When I was young I would have been devastated by the loss of my stuff but now if my dogs get out alive with me and DH I am good.
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:14 PM   #20
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Yep, my knee went out a week before hurricane Erma and needed surgery which hindered my preperations. I just had the surgery last week. When people stress test their portfolio or strategy they need to consider a medical disaster at the same time. Maybe a serious car accident or job layoff.
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