This chapter provides an introduction to the three cases on disasters, starting from the presentation of disaster management as a cycle. The simplified depiction of prevention, response, and recovery as a cycle conveys the idea of the continuum as a sequential process of activities that is easy to teach and assimilate. Nevertheless, the linear cycle is far from an accurate representation of disaster management because it gives the incorrect impression that progress is not possible and ignores how phases overlap in practice. Addressing the continuum of crisis management thus implies a richer and more complex understanding of disaster management, something that has been evolving in the disaster risk reduction community. To understand this evolution, two experiences related to the continuum are described in the chapter: first, a humanitarian perspective as fleshed out by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); and second, a developmental perspective from global agreements that ensued after the International Decade for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) in the nineties. These experiences suggest how strategies, coordination and funding for the whole of the continuum have become gradually available. This chapter provides the background from which each of the subsequent case studies has been developed.