Definition/Scope: (FM 1-02) A major disaster is a disaster that has or already overwhelmed the capabilities of any local authorities (law enforcement, health, medical and others) and requires immediate assistance from the federal government. However, in order to receive federal assistance the President must have declared the area a major disaster as requested from the governor. The assistance could be in the form of military for protection, financial for acquiring any needed materials or volunteers to help with cleanup. Some examples of disasters are tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, acts of terrorism and earthquakes (list is not inclusive).
Broader Terms:disaster assistance
Narrower Terms:disaster preparedness
Related Terms:civil defense emergency