Ready for Anything: Responding to Landslides

The advice listed here is taken from Ready for Anything, our guide to responding to disasters and calamities big and small. For your free copy, email us at csdpool@mcgriff.com.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

  • Avoid new construction near slopes, mountain ledges, drainage easements, or natural erosion points
  • Consult with engineers for preventive building upgrades
  • Get ground assessments of your property to select the safest place for construction
  • Minimize internal hazards by having flexible pipe fitting for water and gas

LANDSLIDE WARNING SIGNS

  • Change in water run off patterns
  • Change in terrain appearance or other evidence of land movement
  • Cracks in walls, foundations, or plaster
  • Exterior stairs, sidewalks, or walls begin to pull away from building
  • Underground utility lines break
  • Ground bulging near slopes
  • Tilting utility poles, trees, fences, or walls
  • Unusual sounds such as rumbling or cracking
  • Collapsed pavement in roads

IN CASE OF LANDSLIDE OR AVALANCHE

  1. Move away from the path of the debris flow as quickly as possible
  2. If you cannot escape the flow, curl into a tight ball and protect your head
  3. If you become buried, stay calm, breathe slowly, and call for help if you hear anyone nearby

AFTER A LANDSLIDE OR DEBRIS EVENT

  1. Stay away from the immediate area, there may be additional slides
  2. Check for injured persons near the slide, but don’t enter the area directly
  3. Direct rescuers to any buried survivors
  4. Watch for broken utilities such as gas lines, electrical wires, or water or sewer pipes
  5. Replant any uprooted trees and shrubs as soon as possible to avoid erosion and flash flooding
  6. Consult engineers and experts to evaluate for further landslide risk
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