• massive disaster: a catastrophic event or events with natural and/or political and social causes that create disruption, endangerment and loss of ordinary life for a community, region, or nation. Examples include earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, pandemics, war, and genocide.

  • survivor: anyone affected by a massive disaster including those who suffer physical, emotional, and economic harm. We recognize that there is a diversity of survivors’ experiences and vulnerabilities based on age, gender, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and physical, psychological, and cognitive abilities; therefore, we acknowledge that groups or individuals require different accommodations regarding representation, participation, and intervention.

  • official responders: designated governmental and non-governmental agencies and their personnel who define their work as assisting communities stricken by disaster.

  • recovery: the ongoing process of creating conditions for physical, mental, vocational, and social health and general well-being.