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State of emergency

A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend certain normal functions of government or may work to alert citizens to alter their normal behaviors or to order government agencies to implement their emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as the rationale for suspending civil liberties; such declarations come during time of natural disaster or during periods of civil unrest or a declaration of war.

In some countries, the state of emergency and its effects on civil liberties are regulated by the constitution and/or a law that limits the powers that may be invoked during an emergency or rights suspended. An example can be found in Art. 2-B of the Executive Law of New York state.

In the United States a federal declaration of a state of emergency allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to excercise its power to deal with emergency situations; federal funds also become available to areas that are declared to be in a state of emergency.

In Spain (estado de emergencia in Spanish) there are three degrees of state of emergency, namely alerta (alarm), excepción (exception?) and sitio (siege). They are named by the constitution, which limits which rights may be suspended, but regulated by the "Ley Orgánica 4/1981" (see external link).

Recent examples include:

See also:

External link

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