Natural disasters such as floods, landslides, snow avalanches and tsunamis cause loss of lives and goods every year in the world. Is it inevitable that natural catastrophic events become "natural disasters"? What role can forests play in reducing people's vulnerability to natural catastrophic events and how can forest conservation programs and policies strengthen this role? Evidences confirm that in some cases well-established forests and tree plantations have offered an effective physical barrier against these natural disasters and helped save both lives and property. However, forests have limits in prevention of natural disasters. Besides, illegal logging, land misuse, and poverty that forces people to live in high-risk areas also decrease the preventive role of forests.