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EMA Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Emergency Management Agency

The Evansville/Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Agency is responsible for the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery from major emergencies and disasters that would affect the City of Evansville and Vanderburgh County.


Means any preventative activity or action that is taken before an emergency or disaster strikes a community. Just like you have been to the doctor for a vaccination, the City and County have taken actions to lessen the effects of an earthquake or other emergency. Some examples of what we have done include:


This file cabinet is "strapped" to the wall so it will not tip over during an earthquake. This is an example of mitigation.

  • Structural strengthening of area fire stations as to protect the fire engines inside.
  • Drilling a well at Deaconess Hospital so the community would have a secondary source of drinking water.
  • Securing and strapping bookcases, water heaters, and light fixtures to withstand high wind and ground movement.
  • Establishing partnerships between the public and business communities.



Means getting ready for an emergency or disaster to strike. One of the most important parts of our job is to be sure that the City of Evansville and Vanderburgh Co. are prepared for not only an earthquake, but also any disaster or major emergency. Some examples of preparedness are: 

 Meeting EMA Staff John @ Watch Dsk 
  • Development and review of the City and County's Emergency Operations Plan. This plan is our "instruction book". It tells us what to do in an emergency or disaster.
  • Just like every school has fire and tornado drills, we plan and hold drills and exercises to test our Emergency Operations Plan and to help our Police, Fire, and other officials practice for a real emergency.



Dist ATV-UTV  Gen  Rescue Boats

Some of many actions that we would take in the response phase of an emergency or disaster are:

  • Briefing the Mayor, County Commissioners and other local officials of the situation.
  • Warning and notifying the public of impending threats or hazards.
  • Providing appropriate information and instructions to the media and public.
  • Collecting, collating, and disseminating information concerning such things as: damage assessment, amount of injuries, status of hospitals, shelters, and other public places, resources and personnel used, as well as other information that our community's leaders and public safety workers might need. In an earthquake.  One type of information that we would be collecting would be the location of the earthquake's epicenter, the depth of the earthquake, and it's Richter Scale.
  • Activating the Emergency Operations Center. The Emergency Operations Center becomes the "headquarters". All of the operations associated with the community's efforts to deal with the emergency or disaster are coordinated from this location. It is at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) that you would find the Mayor, County Commissioners, Sheriff, Police Chief, Fire Chief, and other representatives from city, county, and state government. You will also find representatives from other local organizations and business involved in the response to the emergency or disaster.
  • Coordination and management of the communities resources and assets. When an emergency or disaster strikes, the fire fighters, ambulances, police cars, and other equipment that is used to respond to that incident are called resources. Like any community, our resources are limited. It is very likely that during a major emergency or disaster, we will need more resources than we possess locally. The Emergency Management Agency is responsible for ensuring the most efficient use of the resources on hand in the community as well locating and procuring additional resources as the need for them is identified. When the majority of the community's resources have been committed to the emergency or disaster, we must look to the state for additional resources and assistance. Before this can happen, the Mayor or the Commissioners will declare a "Local Disaster Emergency".
  • Recommending to our Chief Elected Officials that a Local Disaster Emergency be declared, as well as preparing and disseminating that declaration to the Governor and media. Once the Governor has received our declaration, he can declare our county a "Disaster Area".
  • When this happens, we can begin receiving assistance and resources from the State of Indiana. If the Disaster is of such a large scale that the state would need assistance from the Federal Government, our Governor can ask the President of the United States to declare us a "Federal Disaster Area". This entitles us to Federal Assistance. Help for both citizens and local government is available at this point. Grants and loans to individuals and businesses are among the aid that the Federal Government would offer.



The phase when we pick up the pieces and rebuild our community. This is when we all work together to restore things to they way they were before the disaster struck. If we are to do this effectively, we will have go back to the beginning and consider mitigation as we rebuild and recover. It is important that the community learns from experience. For example, we can keep repairing damage to a house that gets caught in a flood year after year, or we can spend the money once to move the home to an area that will not flood.

Mill Road Funnel 2  Storm Damage  Flood Warning Road closed 

When we complete the recovery phase, it is our goal that we will be better able to resist, respond, and recover from any emergency or disaster than we previously were