The scientific and policy communities have become increasingly aware, in recent years, of the vulnerability of developed and developing countries to drought. This awareness has been heightened by the widespread occurrence of severe, multiyear droughts that have produced serious socioeconomic and environmental consequences on a global scale. However, the occurrence of relatively short-term droughts (e.g., the 1986 drought in the southeastern United States) has also resulted in severe impacts. Often, impacts of both short-term and multiyear droughts have been exacerbated by poorly conceived or nonexistent assessment and response strategies by governments.