This chapter includes lesson from how people prepare for and respond to earthquakes and tsunamis that can be applied to disasters in general. Disaster risk reduction (DRR) involves understanding exposure and hazard sensitivity, and the location-specific connections between climate change, natural disasters, and other risks. The predictability of some disasters makes the case for disaster planning much more compelling. Disaster management cycles can be divided into equally important phases: pre-disaster, disaster relief, and reconstruction and recovery. Much more must be done to prepare for disasters, before disaster strikes, rather than reacting only after the fact. The principal concern of the initial disaster response is saving lives and providing basic needs–water, food, shelter, clothing, and medical assistance. The ability or inability to provide immediate critical care also has a cascading impact on the whole recovery process. All disaster response activities, especially those providing urgent and critical interventions, are ultimately the responsibility of national governments.