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According to, "Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death."

Flooding may:

  • Be caused by rain, snow, coastal storms, and overflows of dams and other water systems. 
  • Develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning. 
  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides. 

At Vanderbilt University, we take all disasters, both natural and man-made, very seriously and work to mitigate against and prepare for all hazards - including floods. Flash Floods can occur within a matter of minutes and sweep people and vehicles into the water, while other large-scale floods, like in 2010, devastate a large area. Our goal is for our Emergency Preparedness Program to minimize the threat to life, safety, and property from flooding or any other incident on our campus.

2010 Nashville Flood

In May, 2010, Nashville experienced one of its worst natural disasters - a flood that killed 11 people and caused $2 Billion in damage. The Cumberland River crested 12 feet above its flood stage, and 13 inches of rain fell during a 36 hour period. Recovery from the flood continues, with several agencies assisting with home repair, reconstruction, and all types of needed assistance. For more information about this historic flood, see Metro Nashville Government's website.


Credit: Metro Nashville Government

Be Prepared for Floods contains several resources to assist you in determining your flood risk, mitigating against flooding, and purchasing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. 

Prepare NOW

Survive DURING

  • Never drive around barricades 
  • Never drive, walk, or swim through flood waters - Turn Around, Don't Drown
  • Follow directions from emergency personnel 


  • Listen to authorities for information and instructions 
  • Avoid driving or walking through flooded areas