Major Disaster Law and Legal Definition

Major disaster means any natural catastrophe including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, or regardless of cause, any fire, flood, or explosion, in any part of the U.S., that causes damage, ecological disruption, loss of human life, and deterioration of health and health services on a large scale. If the U.S. President determines that the damages caused by a major disaster are severe s/he may allow major disaster assistance from resources of states, local governments, and disaster relief organizations to alleviate the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby. [42 USCS § 5122 (2)].

Major disaster can create mass causality incident with large number of causalities such as 100 or more injured persons, or a multiple causality incident with more than two but fewer than 100 persons as injured.