The article analyzes and assesses the competence of local government bodies and the rights and obligations of citizens forming local and regional communities during states of emergency. In the first part of the paper we present a brief historical outline and characterize the notion of states of emergency in Poland. The introduction of a state of emergency is a special event in a democratic state ruled by law. Especially if they are unitary states with a decentralized system. This is due to the fact that the introduction of states of emergency modifies the actions of the authorities and public administration in the direction of centralization and is followed by the protection of rights and freedoms of human and citizen. The second part of the article examines the powers of local government units during states of emergency. The subordination of local government units in an emergency is the negation of decentralization of power and public administration in the performance of their duties. Limited is also the independence of local government units, mostly political, but also in the organizational, economic and financial aspects. In emergency situations the structure of decentralization of the authority and public administration structure is replaced with deconcentralization. During martial law and states of emergency units of local government are subordinate to the government administration, and the state of natural disaster may be further subordination between local government units. The last part of the article analyzes the restrictions on freedom and human and civil rights during states of emergency. Restrictions on the rights and freedoms of man and citizen in emergency restrictions apply to personal or real ones. Acceptable directory in / on restrictions is contained respectively in the laws about the state of natural disaster, a state of emergency and martial law.