When disaster strikes twice: a survivor’s story

I was screaming at people to get out of the building. Daniel Rainer says she lost everything in the massive blaze two years ago, including one of her beloved cats, Jack Jack. And I was trying to talk to the people on 911 as well as I did try and go back up for my cats. But there was just, you couldn't. It was just, it was an impossibility to do that and make sure that I got as many people out of the building as I could. Until this day. I smell smoke. I panic. I hear a fire engine. I panic. I have. I have dreams that like Jack, Jack is like meowing for me and I couldn't get to him. It was Rainer's second home, destroyed by disaster in just six months, shattering her finances, physical health and her mental well-being. That's like what I want people to know, that it's not just a building that was burned down. It's not just people that, oh, well, they were displaced for a little bit. It's not that it's my brain and my heart feel like. Like displaced. One expert says she's just one of many, with 10s of thousands in BC grappling with similar struggles. As climate disasters intensify, more people are displaced and challenges last long after they return home. We cannot leave the mental health impacts out of the equation when it comes to disasters like wildfires and, and, and other things like that, but also that more and more people are signaling that they're experiencing mental health impacts related to climate change at large. B CS emergency ministry says psychological support teams are deployed to affected communities. And strongly encourage renters to have tenants insurance. Meanwhile, Raynor is among more than 20 ex residents suing former neighbors and others over the fire. She says it's been a long struggle to get the housing and mental health supports she needs. People didn't, you know, have the expertise in that or there's not enough therapists. Like we need to have that. We need to have more affordable housing. 100% need to have more affordable housing because since then, like, I'm paying. A lot more. For rent and bills. And, and I don't feel as secure as you can see behind me. The condos have been rebuilt in the time since the first lawsuits were filed. But for Rainer, she says that the damage of the fire still runs much deeper. Moira Whiten, CBC News, Abbotsford.

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