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State of Emergency

Definition - What does State of Emergency mean?

A state of emergency is a situation in an area that presents a crisis. It could be caused by a natural disaster such as a hurricane, by an act of war, by civil unrest, etc.

States of emergency are declared by local, state or federal governments. In the context of the law, governments can be given expanded powers during states of emergency.

Justipedia explains State of Emergency

During states of emergency, the national guard may be called in for assistance. Also, federal agencies such as the FEMA may be called in to help rescue citizens, or provide for their care.

One of the largest states of emergency in the United States in recent times was the Hurricane Katrina natural disaster. This hurricane caused the breaking of a levee in New Orleans that resulted in the flooding of large parts of the city. States of emergency were declared in multiple gulf states such as Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi during this event.

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