This book surveys the impact of natural disasters on human civilization. The opening chapter provides a general history and background of the major types of natural disasters, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, severe storms, and forest fires. The information presented in this introduction allows the reader to better understand current issues, problems, and solutions related to natural disasters discussed in subsequent chapters. The book covers the role of natural disasters in human life from earliest recorded history (and, to some extent, even earlier) to the present day. It provides an extensive variety of resources that encourage readers to learn more about the topics discussed. The book is intended for readers in the late middle school to high school age range, as well as adults who may have a special interest in the subject.