Every catastrophic event has its own special features. Some can be foreseen several hours or days beforehand, as in the case, for example, of cyclones or floods. Others, such as earthquakes, occur without warning. Whatever the type of disaster, for some hours the community and local health personnel have only themselves to rely on before outside assistance arrives. In a later chapter, this Guide will deal with organizing the community to manage the consequences of the disaster. Here it will confine itself to describing the steps to be taken by the community and the local health workers to carry out rescue work and provide emergency care immediately after the disaster has struck.