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Disaster refers to an emergency caused by natural hazards or human-induced actions that overwhelms the capacity of a community to respond due to the magnitude of loss such as economic, environmental, loss of life, property, or infrastructure. Nurses are at the forefront of managing disasters in their communities and facilities. Knowing the cause and location of the disaster will help determine the appropriate response. The various types of patients that a disaster nurse may care for and the environment in which a patient is treated dictates that a disaster nurse is prepared for a variety of challenges. The role of a disaster nurse is multifaceted and includes practice, education, management, consultation, advocacy and research. Disaster nurses come from a variety of specialty nursing areas and bring their expertise.