COREHEALTH FAMILY WALK-IN CLINIC  I  10059 North Reiger Road  I  Baton Rouge, LA 70809   I  PHONE: 225-456-2330

Do you know the difference? 

The difference between “emergency” and “urgency” is that an emergency is an immediate threat to the well being and urgency is threat to the well being, in near future.



Emergency is considered a situation where the life, health, property or environment faces an immediate threat. In emergencies, urgent measures have to be taken to prevent the situation from worsening. In some conditions, the urgent threat cannot be prevented and only be palliated by giving help later on.


The definition of emergency depends upon the agencies which respond to emergency situations, the procedures involved in taking care of a situation and jurisdiction. The government is responsible for setting the standards as they are the ones who manage emergencies.


Some emergencies, like natural disaster, which threaten many lives at the same time, are self evident. Nobody needs to observe it and declare it as an emergency situation. For example, the situation, that has arisen in Japan after the tsunami and the earthquake. Some incidents, which happen at a smaller scale, require some body to observe them and then declare it as an emergency situation. Like emergency call by a pilot or emergency declared in a war like situation in a city or country.


Types of emergencies

Danger to life; when life is in danger due to natural disasters. It is at the highest priority, as human life is considered the most important thing.

Danger to health; when someone is in immediate need of some help regarding his health, so that his life is not in danger in the near future.

Danger to property; when the property is in danger, like a fire in building.


Danger to Environment; as forest fires and oil spillage. It is not considered emergency which causes immediate threat to anybody or anything, but has long lasting effect later on, in the future.



Urgency is a state when there is immediate need of action. It can be described as a critical situation of haste. When something is urgent, it needs prompt attention, or it might worsen.


The standards of urgency are also set by the government and the agencies which take care of them. Urgency is different for medical professionals, pilots and other professionals.



1. The difference between emergency and urgency are set by the government and the agencies which plan them and manage them. The emergency for medical professionals, for pilots, for natural disaster management agencies are different and compiled in their rule books.


2. The main difference between emergency and urgency is that in emergency there is immediate threat to life, health, property or environment; whereas in urgency, there is no immediate danger or threat to life, health, property or environment but if not taken care in a given period of time, then the situation may turn into an emergency situation.