There is yet another word, as well. It is resilience. Resilience is the higher capacity to recover and adapt to a new situation. For example, the owners of the house threatened by a landslide have a second house in town. One can be susceptible but if one's resilience is high, one is not necessarily vulnerable. Yet again, more and more people seem to be affected by disasters, partly because the population is increasing, people live more and more in urban settings with over-crowding and poor living conditions. There are actually three conditions to have a disaster:
1. Disrupting the normal condition;
2. Exceeding the local capacity; and
3. Affecting people (and people matter most).
Without people, there would be no disaster. It may just be a physical phenomenon. An earthquake in the middle of the desert where no people are involved is not a disaster but only a geological incident.
Emergency: Disasters often lead to emergencies. The definition of 'Emergency' has administrative implications: normal procedures are suspended and other measures are put into place to control a situation, avert a disaster, and respond to a crisis. The emergency is declared caution: another definition of emergency is ' a sudden and usually unforeseen event that must be countered immediately to minimize the consequences', but (a) not all emergencies are 'sudden' and (b) there are ways to ensure that they are not 'unforeseen'.
There is a disaster-development continuum. It is called so (disaster-development continuum) because disasters disrupt development, and the way to get out of this vicious circle is development. The DDC forms the basis for any analysis, and it can be developed for any type of disaster.