We have only to look back over the last 12 months to realise that time and time again, an incident occurs where there are mass fatalities. These incidents have instant and long-lasting impact on families, communities and sometimes whole countries. The aim of this paper is to emphasise the need for an efficient and sensitive response to assist in the identification of victims of such incidents and the necessity for trained team responses. Many countries now have Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) teams that are multi-disciplinary, and plans and protocols in place in readiness. The paper can only hope to give a brief overview of the disaster situation for the reader: whole books have been written on this topic. The forensic odontologist has a major role in disaster incidents when there are accurate and available antemortem dental records.