In 2005, the American Burn Association published burn disaster guidelines. This work recognized that local and state assets are the most important resources in the initial 24- to 48-hour management of a burn disaster. Historical experiences suggest there is ample opportunity to improve local and state preparedness for a major burn disaster. This review will focus on the basics of developing a burn surge disaster plan for a mass casualty event. In the event of a disaster, burn centers must recognize their place in the context of local and state disaster plan activation. Planning for a burn center takes on three forms; institutional/intrafacility, interfacility/intrastate, and interstate/regional. Priorities for a burn disaster plan include: coordination, communication, triage, plan activation (trigger point), surge, and regional capacity. Capacity and capability of the plan should be modeled and exercised to determine limitations and identify breaking points. When there is more than one burn center in a given state or jurisdiction, close coordination and communication between the burn centers are essential for a successful response. Burn surge mass casualty planning at the facility and specialty planning levels, including a state burn surge disaster plan, must have interface points with governmental plans. Local, state, and federal governmental agencies have key roles and responsibilities in a burn mass casualty disaster. This work will include a framework and critical concepts any burn disaster planning effort should consider when developing future plans.