List of National Emergencies in the US

March 14, 2020
life datascience

On Friday March 13th, I had just gotten out of a doctors appoint when my phone was abuzz. A state of emergency was declared by the president for covid-19. This was also precipice by the state and the City of New York doing the same.

My first question is, OK, we’re in a state of emergency but when does this happen and when does it happen. According to some quick googling, the president has usually X number of powers where congressional approval is required. Of these X powers, #Y of them can be granted to the president without approval under a state of emergency.

Looking at this in a historical context, I found the Wikipedia page and discussed it with a group of friends.

I uploaded it to a spreadsheet for quick facts


  • Been 68 different National States Of Emergencies,
  • 34 have ended, 34 are still ongoing
  • Different Types include
    • Arms
    • Economic
    • Legal
    • Maritime
    • Military
    • Public health
    • Sanctions
    • Trade
  • Clinton Declared the most at # 16
  • The most common type declared are economic sanctions

To note

  • Some national emergencies start and end, but some are on going
  • There are different flavors, IE National Health / Military / Economic ones are subtle.
  • A crisis maybe inherited into the ongoing president as the same as an outgoing president the crisis is not over.

There have been 3 Public Health Nation Crisis declared by the US

  1. Under Obama October 24, 2009 for H1N1
  2. Under Trump, March 13, 2020 for covid-19

The first one ever declared was under Wilson February 5, 1917 which establish the US Navy “Maritime Emergency in Water Transportation of the United States (Proclamation 1354)”

The second one ever was under Franklin Roosevelt in March 9, 1933 largely to curve the great depression

The following ones under Truman were in anticipation and response to World War II. Another interesting one was under Truman was to fight communism starting December 16 1950

ending September 14, 1978

“Proclaiming the Existence of a National Emergency (Proclamation 2914)[16] – declared that the United States’ “military, naval, air and civilian defenses” should be used to fight communism as part of the Korean War.[17] The second of four emergencies cited by Senate Report 93-549 as never having been terminated.[9]

It aligns with the Korean War we’re still at in 1950s..