Emergency Declaration Authorities Across All States and D.C

Published: March 25, 2020

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Source: This document was developed originally by Daniel G. Orenstein, J.D., Deputy Director, Network for Public Health Law– Western Region, and Lexi C. White, J.D., Ph.D. student and legal researcher, with assistance from Asha Agrawal, J.D. candidate and senior legal researcher, and was reviewed by Kim Weidenaar, J.D., Deputy Director, Network for Public Health Law– Western Region and James G. Hodge, Jr., J.D., LL.M., Director, Network for Public Health Law – Western Region at the Sandra

This table provides state statutory and regulatory authorities for emergency declarations in all 50 U.S. States and the District of Columbia. It includes emergency declarations, public health emergency declarations, and other types of declarations that may relate to the public’s health as categorized in columns I - IV.

I. Emergency/Disaster provides citations and hyperlinks to legal authorities for state declarations of “emergency,” “disaster,” and similar terms (as noted in the references) in all 51 jurisdictions.

II. Public Health Emergency lists legal authorities for specific declarations of a “public health emergency,” which may be based on the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA),  or other statutory bases for emergency/disaster declarations premised on public health concerns. These authorities were identified in 35 jurisdictions.

III. Other Declarations catalogs other types of declarations that may also relate to public health, as identified in 47 jurisdictions. Note that additional types of emergency declarations are not included if they may not relate to public health. 

IV. Posted Declarations provides hyperlinks to existing online archives of active or expired declarations. These links are illustrative only and may not be current or comprehensive.