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Related to Disasters: Natural Disasters

brink of disaster

A point very close to complete ruin, destruction, or failure. Our company was on the brink of disaster, but after our latest product came out, we've been doing better than ever before! The increasing tension of looming war between the two countries has brought the entire region to the brink of disaster.
See also: brink, disaster, of

a walking disaster

Someone who seems to constantly be in or cause great amounts of trouble, difficulty, or mayhem; someone who epitomizes disaster or calamity in his or her actions or behavior. I heard that John got fired from another job because he kept on messing up his boss's instructions. What a walking disaster! First, I lock myself out of the house, then my grocery bag breaks in the parking lot, and now I stepped on my glasses—I'm just a walking disaster today!
See also: disaster, walking

disaster of epic proportions

Cliché a very large disaster. (Often jocular.) The earthquake was responsible for a disaster of epic proportions. Your late arrival caused a disaster of epic proportions.
See also: disaster, of, proportion

spell disaster Fig.

to indicate or predict disaster. What a horrible plan! It would spell disaster for all of us!
See also: disaster, fig, spell

a disaster area

1. if a place is a disaster area, it is very untidy
Usage notes: A disaster area is also a place where an event like a storm or a flood causes serious damage and the government gives help for the emergency.
The kitchen was a disaster area, with greasy plates piled high in the sink.
2. if a subject, a piece of work, or an organization is a disaster area, it causes many problems, often because it is badly organized Government housing policy is a complete disaster area.
See also: area, disaster

be a recipe for [disaster/happiness/success etc.]

if something is a recipe for disaster, happiness, success etc., it is very likely to cause this Living with your husband's family is a recipe for disaster.
References in classic literature ?
The cause of the unaccountable delay of Sir George and the relief parties among the heights where the disaster had happened was a thick fog--or, partly that and partly the slow and difficult work of conveying the dead body down the perilous steeps.
The growing remoteness of old age, though it had not diminished her curiosity about her neighbours, had blunted her never very lively compassion for their troubles; and she seemed to have no difficulty in putting the Beaufort disaster out of her mind.
Experiments fell away after two expectant years of this sort of success, the public and then the newspapers tired of the expensive photographic reproductions, the optimistic reports, the perpetual sequence of triumph and disaster and silence.
More people were run over in the streets upon that one day, than in the previous three months, and a County Council steamboat, the Isaac Walton, collided with a pier of Westminster Bridge, and narrowly escaped disaster by running ashore--it was low water--on the mud on the south side.
Such a disaster meant anywhere between twenty-five to eighty cents, just according to how many of the players ordered ten-cent drinks.
It was not until Ernest and I were back in New York, and after weeks had elapsed, that we were able to comprehend thoroughly the full sweep of the disaster that had befallen the Cause.
I can offer you no consolation, my friend," said he; "your disaster is irreparable.
Before, I had only imagined the wretchedness of my desolated home; the reality came on me as a new, and a not less terrible, disaster.
I saw unhappiness deeply impressed on his countenance, but he endeavoured to welcome me cheerfully; and, after we had exchanged our mournful greeting, would have introduced some other topic than that of our disaster, had not Ernest exclaimed, "Good God, papa
The deity predicted certain disaster to the presumptuous mortal who laid hands on the sacred gem, and to all of his house and name who received it after him.
I kept close a great while upon the occasion of this woman's disaster.
The disaster of this woman was some months before that of the last-recited story, and was indeed partly occasion of my governess proposing to dress me up in men's clothes, that I might go about unobserved, as indeed I did; but I was soon tired of that disguise, as I have said, for indeed it exposed me to too many difficulties.
Because school-age children are more likely to be interested in the forces behind various disasters (Brooks & Siegel 1996), providing accurate information for them can be extremely helpful and healing (Nordboe, 2000).
Companies should develop early-warning systems to avoid man-made disasters like the Chernobyl nuclear accident and the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, an author says.
Chapters one through six comprise section one and address responses to common disasters and how to plan so that an information agency's response is measured and efficient as well as effective.