UMEM Educational Pearls

There are many definitions for a disaster.  Per the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), they define a disaster as:“…a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources. Though often caused by nature, disasters can have human origins.”


However, in the heat of the moment, a shorter definition is easier to remember. The IFRC also define a disaster as:




A shorter, more practical definition is:


  • DISASTER = Needs > Resources