Capacity Building: “Building capacities for prevention, preparation and recovery means learning to assess vulnerabilities, reinforcing expertise in relevant technical, social and scientific institutions, and establishing partnerships of mutual learning that extend from communities and districts to central authorities…” (Fagen and Martin2005, 12)
Catastrophe: “An event in which a society incurs, or is threatened to incur, such losses to persons and/or property that the entire society is affected and extraordinary resources and skills are required, some of which must come from other nations.
Catastrophe: “In catastrophic disasters, tens-or-hundreds of thousands of lives are immediately at risk, State and local resources may well be exhausted from the onset, and government leaders unable to determine or communicate their priority needs.” (Carafano 2005, 2)
An example would be the 1985 Earthquakes in Mexico City and other Mexican cities. Thousands of people—estimates vary markedly—died and tens of thousands were injured. At least 100,000 building units were damaged; reconstruction costs exceeded five billion dollars (with some estimates running as high as $10 billion). Over sixty donor nations contributed to the recovery through programs coordinated by the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.” (Drabek1996, Session 2, p. 4; citing Russell R. Dynes, E.L. Quarantelli, and Dennis Wenger. 1990. Individual and Organizational Response to the 1985 Earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico. Newark, Delaware: Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware)
Catastrophe: “…any disaster that overwhelms the ability of state, local, and volunteer agencies to adequately provide victims with such life-sustaining mass care services as food, shelter, and medical assistance within the first 12 to 24 hours.” (GAO 1993, 1)
Catastrophe: “Catastrophic events are different in the severity of the damage, number of persons affected, and the scale of preparation and response required. They quickly overwhelm or incapacitate local and/or state response capabilities, thus requiring coordinated assistance from outside the affected area. Thus, the response and recovery capabilities needed during a catastrophic event differ significantly from those required to respond to and recover from a ‘normal disaster’.” (GAO 2006, 15)
Catastrophe: “…an event that causes $25 million or more in insured property losses and affects a significant number of property-casualty policyholders and insurers.” (Insurance Services Office 2000, 2)