What is a disaster?

Disasters are serious disruptions to the functioning of a community that exceed its capacity to cope using its own resources. Disasters can be caused by natural, man-made and technological hazards, as well as various factors that influence the exposure and vulnerability of a community.

About disasters

Disasters can be caused by many different kinds of hazards—scroll down for examples—and can have devastating impacts on people and communities. 

The frequency, complexity and severity of their impacts are likely to increase in the future due to factors such as climate change, displacement, conflict, rapid and unplanned urbanization, technological hazards and public health emergencies.

But disasters can and should be prevented. We can prevent hazards from becoming disasters by helping communities to be preparedreduce their risks, and become more resilient.