Difference Between Urgency and Emergency

When everything is going well we have nothing to worry about, we relax and enjoy the moment; However, it is common that when we least expect it, a setback arises or something happens that puts our safety and even our lives at risk. In such cases, it could be considered as “urgent” that a particular action is taken or it is thought that given the state, receiving a certain type of attention or care is an “emergency”. Difference Between Urgency and Emergency

How do I know what term to use at the right time? You can only know that once you learn the definition of each of these concepts and know how to identify what differentiates them?

If you have questions about it or just want a little more information, keep reading, because below we will explain what the difference is between emergency and urgency.

EMERGENCY  Difference Between Urgency and Emergency

Any situation that immediately threatens the life, health, property or the environment of one or more individuals is considered an emergency. When these situations arise, then urgent measures are taken   to prevent things from getting worse; although sometimes these measures fail to prevent what is feared, but simply serve as a palliative to an unsolvable problem.

It is good to note that what is considered an “emergency” could also depend on which agency is responsible for responding to the situation, the procedures to be performed, and the jurisdiction. When it comes to a State or Nation, it is the government that must establish standards and protocols that make it possible to determine what an emergency is and how to handle it.

Types of emergencies:

  • Damage to life: it  could be natural disasters that affect a large number of people.
  • Damage to health:  when someone needs immediate medical attention due to a failure or injury to their body.
  • Property damage:  a burning building, houses about to collapse or sink …
  • Damage to the environment:  forest fires, oil spills …


On the other hand, “urgent” refers to a state that requires immediate action; not necessarily because life, health, environment or property is in danger, but it could well be because something must be completed in a certain period of time that is very close to expiring.

Finally, a situation can be described as “urgent” when it is critical and; in the case of a State or Nation, it is also the government that must establish the necessary parameters. What is called “urgency” depends a lot on the context. A medical emergency is not the same as that of some pilots or that of other professionals.

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