Evansville / Vanderburgh Flood Informatiom



Nobody can stop a flood. But if you are faced with one, there are actions you can take to protect your family and keep your property losses to a minimum. The most important thing is to make sure your family is safe.



            If you have a programmable SAME weather radio, the Vanderburgh County code is 18163. For more information see the Flood Warning Discussion. (LINK)

  • Know if you are in the floodplain. To find out call the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Building Commission at  436-7867

Flood Insurance

  • One of the most important things that you can do to protect your home and family before a flood is to purchase a flood insurance policy. You can obtain one through your insurance company or agent. Flooding can cause significant damage to homes and businesses, so protect yourself from the financial risk and/or loss by purchasing flood insurance. Contact your insurance agent or broker about eligibility for flood insurance, which is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program.  There is a 30-day waiting period for this policy to become effective, so don't wait until the last minute to apply. Visit http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/
  • Safeguard your possessions - Create a personal flood file containing an inventory of your possessions, important personal documents and a copy of your insurance policies.  Keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container.  Store important documents and personal objects where they won't get damaged.

Prepare Your Family and pets

  • Develop a family emergency plan – Plan and practice a flood evacuation route from your home, work or school that takes you to higher ground.  Make sure your family knows how to contact one another in the event of an emergency, and ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact. (And don’t forget to plan for your children and pets.)
  • Assemble and have ready a 72 hour kit  as recommend by American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/flood
  • Be prepared to evacuate.  Move to a safe area before access is cut off by rising water.

Prepare Your House

  • Install a backflow valve in the sewer system to prevent floodwaters from entering your home.
  • Place openings in your foundation walls that will allow the entrance and exit of floodwaters to prevent foundation failure.
  • Have sandbags and other house protecting items (plastic sheeting, plywood, portable pumps) at the ready.
  • If you have a basement or crawl space make sure your sump pump is working and install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure.
  • Elevate utilities (electrical meter and circuit breaker box, furnace, and water heater) and major appliances (tv, washer, and dryer) above the projected flood elevation.
  • Keep a battery-powered radio tuned to, and follow emergency instructions.
  • If the waters start to rise inside your house before you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor, the attic, and if necessary, the roof. Take dry clothing, a flashlight and a portable radio with you. Then, wait for help. Don’t try to swim to safety; wait for rescuers to come to you.
  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if evacuation appears necessary. Follow local building codes.
  • Use flood-resistant materials and techniques.
  • Consider elevation of the entire structure.
  • Move valuables, such as papers, furs, jewelry, and clothing to upper floors or higher elevations.
  • Bring outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans inside, or tie them down securely.


Do not drive through a flooded area.
More people drown in their cars than anywhere else during a flood. Your car may float. Vehicles can be swept away by less than 2 feet of water.
Do not walk through flooded areas. As little as six inches of moving water can knock you off your feet.

  • Do not drive around a barricade.

Driving around a closed road sign is a violation of
City Ordinance 10.10.050.  Driving past barricades or removal of barricades http://www.codepublishing.com/in/evansville/html/Evansville10/Evansville1010.html#10.10.050
County Ordinance Chapter 10.36.  Temporary Highway Closures or Restrictions

  • Save yourself, not your belongings
  • NEVER allow children to play unsupervised near high water, storm drains, creeks, or rivers.
  • Do not visit disaster areas following a flood. Your presence may hamper urgent emergency response and rescue operations.
  • Be especially cautious at night, when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Food, clothing, shelter, and first aid might be available from the American Red Cross.
  • Listen to the direction of local officials and stay updated by following local news reports.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is the number two cause of flood deaths.. Electric current passes easily through water.
  • Do not enter a building if it is still flooded or surrounded by floodwater.
  • Bring ID. You may need to show proof of residence to re-enter an evacuation area once the all clear is given.


  • Look out for animals – especially snakes. Animals lose their homes in floods, too. They may seek shelter in yours.
  • For safe clean-up of food, water supply and property contact the Vanderburgh County Health Department County at: http://www.vanderburghgov.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9155
  • Wait to go home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • If your home, apartment or business has suffered damage, call the insurance company or agent who handles your flood insurance policy right away to file a claim.

Document your losses. Photograph damages and record repair costs.
Make a list of damaged or lost items and include their purchase date and value with receipts, and place with the inventory you took prior to the flood. Some damaged items may require disposal, so keep photographs of these items.

  • Before entering a building, check for structural damage. Don’t go in if there is any chance of the building collapsing.
  • Before you begin repairs, Contact the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Building Commission at 436-7867for permitting iformation.
  • Pump out flooded basements gradually (removing about 1/3 of the water volume each day) to avoid structural damage. Pump out flooded areas gradually to avoid structural damage.
  • Upon entering the building, do not use matches, cigarette lighters or any other open flames, since gas may be trapped inside. Instead, use a flashlight to light your way. Let the house air for several minutes to remove foul odors or escaping gas.
  • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. If possible, turn off the gas at the outside main valve. Call the gas company. If the gas has been turned off for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
  • Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety.
  • Prevent mold by removing wet contents immediately.
  • Wear gloves and boots to clean and disinfect. Wet items should be cleaned with a pine-oil cleanser and bleach, completely dried, and monitored for several days for any fungal growth and odors.
  • Everything that comes into contact with floodwaters should be considered contaminated.  This important assumption must be considered in decisions involving personal safety such as immunizations against disease as well as what items may be salvaged and what must be discarded.

            Throw away all food that has come into contact with flood waters.
            Tetanus vaccines are available for free through the Vanderburgh County Health Department, for more information call: 435-5692

  • Flood waters pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories. If your home has been flooded, protect your family’s health by cleaning up your house right away. Throw out foods and medicines that may have come into contact with flood water. Clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
  • Until local authorities proclaim your water supply to be safe, boil water for drinking and food preparation vigorously for five minutes before using.
  • Seek necessary medical care. Do not neglect minor wounds or illnesses.
  • Be careful walking around. After a flood, steps and floors are often slippery with mud and covered with debris, including nails and broken glass.
  • Wells should be pumped out and the water tested for purity before drinking.
  • Take steps to reduce your risk of future floods. Make sure to follow local building codes and ordinances when rebuilding, and use flood-resistant materials and techniques to protect yourself and your property from future flood damage.

For more information on Recovering From and Coping with Flood Damaged Property See the FEMA webpage that has detailed information about this:
            http://www.ready.gov/floods and http://www.ready.gov/recovering-disaster
Also the Vanderburgh County Health Department has information for Environmental Emergency Preparedness.at: http://www.vanderburghgov.org/index.aspx?page=1879


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