#MauiStrong: Brave Fire Survivors Battle Mental Health Challenges Amidst Shelter Life

battle, Brave, challenges, Fire, Health, life, MauiStrong, Mental, Shelter, Survivors

Evacuation Center in Maui Provides Support for Fire Survivors

Evacuation Center in Maui Provides Support for Fire Survivors

By [Author Name]


KIHEI, Hawaii (AP) — The evacuation center at the South Maui Community Park Gymnasium is now Anne Landon’s safe space. She has a cot and access to food, water, showers, books and even puzzles that bring people together to pass the evening hours.

Triggered Memories

But all it took was a strong wind gust for her to be immediately transported back to the terrifying moment a deadly fire overtook her senior apartment complex in Lahaina last week.

Key Points:

  • Mental health experts are working in Maui to help survivors of the deadliest fire in the U.S. in more than a century.
  • Many survivors are experiencing anxiety and post-traumatic stress that could be long-lasting.
  • Special breathing techniques and crisis support are being provided to help survivors cope with their emotions.

Seeking Help

Landon, 70, has twice sought help in recent days to help her cope with anxiety. One psychologist she spoke with at an evacuation shelter taught her special breathing techniques to bring her heart rate down. On another occasion, a nurse providing 24/7 crisis support at her current shelter was there to comfort her while she cried.

Key Points:

  • Survivors are seeking professional help to cope with their anxiety and trauma.
  • Psychologists and nurses are providing support and teaching coping mechanisms.

Support from Others

The person sleeping on the cot next to her, 65-year-old Candee Olafson, said a nurse helped her while she was having a nervous breakdown. Like Landon, Olafson fled for her life from Lahaina as the wind-whipped flames bore down on the historic town and smoke choked the streets. The trauma of the escape, on top of previous experience with depression, became too much to bear.

Key Points:

  • Survivors are finding comfort and support from healthcare professionals and fellow evacuees.
  • Emotional support is crucial in helping survivors cope with their experiences.

Long-lasting Trauma

What survivors witnessed during their escape will remain with them for a long time. The trauma they experienced cannot be easily fixed or forgotten.

Key Points:

  • Survivors are experiencing trauma that will have a lasting impact on their lives.
  • Trauma therapy and ongoing treatment will be necessary to help survivors heal.

Ensuring Medical Access

In the aftermath of a natural disaster, access to medication and healthcare can be challenging. Many survivors leave their medication behind during sudden evacuations, making it difficult to continue their treatment.

Key Points:

  • Global medical aid organizations are working to distribute medication to survivors who lost their prescriptions.
  • Mental health medication is included in emergency response kits to ensure access to treatment.

Long-term Treatment

Mental health experts emphasize the importance of long-term treatment for survivors. As the initial shock wears off, survivors will need ongoing therapy to address the emotional impact of the fire.

Key Points:

  • Survivors will require ongoing therapy to address the emotional impact of the fire.
  • Long-term treatment is crucial in helping survivors recover and heal.


The survivors of the deadly fire in Lahaina, Maui are receiving support and treatment to help them cope with the trauma they experienced. Mental health experts and healthcare professionals are working tirelessly to provide comfort and assistance to those in need. As the survivors continue their journey towards healing, ongoing therapy and support will be crucial in helping them recover from the long-lasting effects of the fire.

Associated Press videographer Haven Daley in Kihei, Hawaii, contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment