Gender is a central organising principle in social life and hence in disaster-affected communities, yet gender issues are rarely examined by disaster scholars or practitioners. Building on findings from emerging and industrial nations, three key research directions are identified: How is gendered vulnerability to disaster constructed? How do gender relations shape the practice of disaster planning and response in households and organisations? How are gender relations affected over time by the social experience of disaster? The discussion suggests how analysis of the gendered terrain of disaster both develops disaster theory and fosters more equitable and effective disaster practice.