The EM-DAT definition of a disaster considers unintended hazards with a substantial impact unforeseen by a community (see General Definitions and Concepts). For management and operational purposes, EM-DAT has a set of entry criteria that specify what substantial impact means. EM-DAT disaster records related to natural and technological hazards meet at least one of the following inclusion criteria:
EM-DAT Inclusion Criteria
- At least ten deaths (including dead and missing).
- At least 100 affected (people affected, injured, or homeless).
- A call for international assistance or an emergency declaration.
There are, however, secondary criteria, especially for past events where quantitative data were not available (e.g., “the worst disaster in a country or region” or “an event that resulted in considerable damage”).