situation such as a natural or man-made disaster requiring urgent assistance

An emergency is a situation in which a risk to health, life, property or environment is about to happen. Most emergencies need quick attention to prevent it from becoming worse. Even though some emergencies are easy to see, like a natural disaster, many smaller incidents need the opinion of someone who is watching in order to decide whether it is really an emergency. The exact definition of an emergency, the agencies involved and the rules followed, depend on the jurisdiction, and this is usually set by the government, whose agencies (emergency services) are responsible for emergency planning and handling.[1]

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  1. "UK Government Advice on Definition of an Emergency" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-06-06. Retrieved 2007-09-20.