Critical care nurses are in a unique position to participate in all aspects of disaster response, including triage, stabilization, definitive care, and evacuation. This article highlights important aspects of disaster nursing.

A disaster is a catastrophic event that often leads to great destruction and loss.1,2 Logue1 defines a disaster as an event that causes excessive morbidity and mortality. Extensive damage to property, roadways, electrical lines, and other crucial infrastructures limits a region’s ability to respond.1,2 Whether the origin of the disaster is natural or attributable to human causes, the outcomes can be devastating. These events often leave the local first responders, medical systems, and governmental operations overwhelmed. At that saturation point, a disaster is declared and a needs assessment is begun. Historically, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has been the branch of the federal...

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