Crisis, Emergency or Disaster? (Lifestyle Recovery)

Learn the differences between crises, a disasters and emergencies, and when each terminology should be applied to a given situation

Whether it is a crisis, a disaster or an emergency, the ability to cope often comes by way of aid, whether it be from your community of from the government. The aid and care you receive will be dependant on the type of situation you are in.

The difference between the these three terms may not seem much to those involved. They are three separate events but sometimes are often related.

Below is a simple definition:

  • Crisis

    Crisis is defined as an event that is expected to lead to an unstable or dangerous situation individually or as a community. An example can be individually; loss of income and its effect.

  • Emergency

    Emergency is defined as an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action; an urgent need for assistance or relief. Simply, a danger to your life, your health or your community.

  • Disaster

    Disaster is defined as a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction; a sudden or great misfortune or failure. This can be defined as either natural (hurricanes, earthquakes) or man-made (chemical spills, war).

Learn more about these defnitions by following the link(s) below.


  1. Crisis (
  2. Disaster (
  3. Emergency (

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