In a strange way, their courage can be forgotten.
There's been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the wonderful efforts of volunteers to help those devastated by the Queensland floods and cyclone, the Victorian floods, and now the Perth bushfires.
Their actions are a great example of how even in modern-day society, where many of us haven't got a clue who our neighbours are, let alone know anything about them, the human spirit still triumphs.
But there's another group who deserve our admiration - even more so than the pity we give them now.
Think back to any images you might have seen on television of far-off lands buried under rubble, or washed away by floods. Or even of those advertisements asking you to sponsor a needy child. They are inevitably of distraught victims pleading for help.
We tend to frame our view of victims in a similar way. It's always rankled with me. But what of the stoic nature of most of them, no matter where they might be?
Having reported on tragedies from a single-victim car crash to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and spoken to many hundreds of victims in my career, the one thing that has struck me most about many of them is their incredible ability to carry on.
It seems to get stronger the "worse" the disaster. I remember one Indonesian man who lost his entire family of seven to the tsunami. One was a seven-year-old daughter swept off his back by the wave.
His response a year later? To start a family again. He might have had an eye on who would look after him when he got old in war-torn Aceh - but his words spoke of fortitude rather than the practical.
Sure, ascribe it to the inbuilt coping mechanism necessary for survival and all that, needed even more after the initial publicity fades. It's still a truly remarkable example of courage, not that he or any other victims will be recognised - or want to be - for it.
Bushfire victims had similar words as those who were affected by the floods. Rather than dwell on their misfortune, they were full of admiration for the volunteers, friends, neighbours, and others who pitched in to help, even if that aid was unable to deliver them anything personally.
Many quickly developed the black humour common to emergency services personnel, who use it to cope with dealing with death on a daily basis.
And one last observation. Victims of this week's fire that I spoke to all had one thing in common.
As they rushed out the door to flee the flames, those that could grabbed the practical things - passports, bank or insurance documents, or other financial papers.
The one regret they had afterwards? That they'd lost not their house or anything expensive items inside, but photos.
It's another familiar story, and a great advertisement for digital backup maybe.
But try telling that to the man who lost recently-acquired original 1790s pictures of his ancestors, or a great-grandmother with a lifetime of memories and little knowledge of a computer.
As always, it's the little things that really matter.