We have heard rumors of a National Emergency. A National Emergency can mean a variety of different things. As such, we need to know what it means and how to prepare for a National Emergency.
What is a National Emergency?
When we hear the words national emergency, many of us begin to panic and think this means martial law. A national emergency does not necessarily mean there will be martial law; however, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be.
A national emergency situation is declared by the president. It gives the government, specifically the president, powers to perform action that it normally isn’t permitted to do.
It is declared during a national crisis or when situations threaten the country and call for an immediate response.
What Powers Does It Give the President?
There are over 136 statutory powers that emergency declarations could give the president. The president could have powers that relate to everything from military, land, public health, and agriculture.
For example, the president could shut down local radio stations or suspend a law that prohibits the testing of chemical and biological weapons on human subjects.
So basically, a lot of powers. Most of the powers used have been to impose sanctions, deploy the military, and sending money as needed to rectify a situation.
What Constitutes a National Emergency?
This is a really tricky question! What constitutes an emergency is up for debate. The president must use the existing laws to justify a declaration. In fact, there are national emergencies that are still in effect today! National emergencies are reviewed and renewed annually.
Here are a few of the national emergencies that we have currently in place that were issued by the last 4 presidents:
- Clinton-Blocking Iranian Property (sanctions)
- Clinton-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (arms)
- Bush-Terrorist Attacks (military)
- Bush– Protecting development fund for Iraq (legal)
- Obama-Blocking property of person’s threatening the peace of Yemen (sanctions)
- Obama– Blocking property of person’s contributing to situations in Ukraine (sanctions)
- Trump-Southern Border of the United States (military)
- Trump– Novel Coronavirus Disease (public health)
You can find the National Emergencies Act of 1976, here.
Put it All Together
A declaration of national emergency is a tough one to put all together because it is so broad. But, let me try to explain it where it makes a little more sense:
- The president can declare a national emergency if any situation threatens our country.
- Most powers over situations are voted upon in the house and senate and then signed by the president.
- In a state of emergency, the president cannot wait on Congress to agree before acting on the situation.
- The state of emergency grants the president powers over that situation specifically, not powers over everything.
- Congress can stop the president from getting these powers if both the house and senate vote in a supermajority. Basically everyone has to agree.
- The Supreme Court can stop the president from getting the powers if the declaration is deemed unconstitutional.
- The president still has checks and balances.
How to Prepare for a National Emergency
As you can see above, the president can declare a national emergency for almost anything. Additionally, it grants him certain powers over the situation that he would not normally have.
A president could potentially abuse those powers, and it could take time for Congress and/or the supreme court to stop him. Because of this potential, it is always important for you to prepare.
As you can tell, we still have multiple states of emergencies ongoing. There are 31 to be exact! For most of those, martial law was not issued, and for the most part, we haven’t directly been affected by them. However, luck favors the prepared.
Here are a few ways you can prepare when you hear there could be a national emergency:
#1 Figure Out Communication
As stated above, the president could shut down radio stations. This means he could shut down forms of communication, such as cell towers. Make sure you have a plan with your family to communicate. This could be a meeting place if communication is shut down or having a walkie talkie for more local communication. Other forms of communication should be considered based on your location and financial situation since it may mean purchasing some equipment.
#2 Have Enough Food and Water
A state of emergency has to be reevaluated every 6-months. This means that if SHTF gets really bad, you will want to make sure you can survive for 6-months. During a state of emergency, there could be curfews or stores could be shut down preventing you from getting essential items you need.
Could you feed you and your family 3 meals a day for 6-months without going to the store? Do you have at least 4-gallons of water per person per day in your household for 6-months? If not, you need to consider how to move in the direction and make sure you start stocking up an item at a time.
#3 Medications for National Emergency
Some of us are on medications that keep us alive, such as insulin. It may be difficult to stock up on prescription medications because they only get filled once a month or once every 90 days. If you want to be prepared, you can discuss this with your doctor and figure out how to increase your inventory.
Depending on the doctor you have, your doctor may be willing to send in more than what you need in the short term so you have some to store away. All you can do is ask.
#4 OTC Medications
We tend to only get things like Tylenol and cough medicine when we need it. But, you will want to make sure you have a variety of different OTC medications that can handle indigestion, the flu, sunburn, other burns, cuts, and scrapes, etc.
#5 Hygiene Products
Shampoo, conditioner, soap, pads, and deodorant are things we use almost daily. You will want to make sure you have enough stored up in case you can’t make it to a store to get more for several weeks or months. Again, just try buying a few at a time. Also, plan where you can properly store the new items.
#6 First Aid Kits
I don’t know about you, but I sure wouldn’t want to be trying to go to the doctor or hospital if we have the military patrolling the streets. Make sure you have a first aid kit and know how to take care of a non life threatening situation. I recommend always having super glue!
Preparation Posts to Read
If you are looking for more detailed preparedness information, please read the following posts from my blog:
- What to Store in Your Pantry for an Emergency
- 35 OTC Medications You Should Store
- First Aid Kit-What You Need to Survive
- What You Need in Your Hygiene Kit For Survival
- Prepping Advice that Just Makes Sense
- How to Find Other Water Sources in an Emergency
- 30 Pioneer Skills We Cannot Lose
How to Prepare for a National Emergency
A national emergency doesn’t necessarily mean we are in a panic situation where we live. However, by being prepared for other SHTF scenarios like natural disasters, job loss, or even a pandemic, we will have what we need to survive if a national emergency affects where we live and work. Remember, luck favors the prepared, and a plan is even better. May God Bless this world, Linda
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