If circumstances that are conducive to or perquisite to a disaster are present (or ever present), then stave off is idiomatic.
Water rationing is used to stave off a water disaster during a drought. Here, the condition is temporary and the staving off strategy is also temporary. This is the most common usage, particularly in the press, where staving off is used frequently in association with the threat of political disasters. The idea is mostly to avert the disaster until the threat dissipates. It often emphasizes tactical, rather than strategic responses.
Another usage applies to delaying, slowing down, or lowering the probability of something that is more or less inevitable. Merriam Webster lists forestalling as a synonym. The following is a news article title from Harvard's School of Public Health. After disaster, social ties may help elderly stave off cognitive decline. The article concludes "the findings suggest that interventions to promote civic participation could help promote cognitive resilience among older disaster survivors, the authors said." So this is about strategic planning and programming to mitigate future disasters.
Stave off is also used when there is an ever present threat of disaster. I found several examples of staving off used with terror attacks. These involve permanent strategic adjustments to operations. Almost all dictionaries recognize this usage, and vary in how they communicate the idea that it more common to use it to refer to a temporary or expedient measure to deal with the particular matter at hand than for strategic measures.
1 : to fend off staving off creditors
2 : to ward off (something adverse) : forestall trying to stave off disaster
"Stave off." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 1 Sept. 2018.
2 stave something off
Avert or delay something bad or dangerous. ‘a reassuring presence can stave off a panic attack’
"Stave." en.oxforddictionaries.com, Oxford Living Dictionary online
Longman's Business Dictionary is the only one I found that effectively restricts stave off to matters of limited duration.
From Longman Business Dictionary
stave something → off phrasal verb [transitive]
to prevent something bad from happening or affecting you for a short period of time
The company is restructuring in an attempt to stave off bankruptcy.
"Stave off." www.ldoceonline.com, Longman.