How to Prepare for Landslides

Landslide undercut a house

Earlier in September you may have heard of the large earthquake in Japan that caused multiple landslides, killing at least nine people. Our hearts go out to their loved ones, along with any who were injured.

After a natural disaster such as this, for those who were in the area, life will never be the same. For the rest of the world, it’s another sobering reminder that earthquakes and landslides could happen at any time, especially if you live along the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Although it’s impossible to predict earthquakes, there are a number of warning signs for landslides. We’ve listed them below, or you can read about them in further detail in this CBC News article:

  • saturated ground in unusual areas
  • sew cracks or bulges in the ground
  • Sunken roads
  • rapid increase or decrease in creek water levels
  • cracking trees

If you’ve already got your earthquake kit ready, but you’d like to get better prepared for the possibility of a landslide, below are a few tips:

  • Read through PreparedBC: Landslide Information for Homeowners and Home Buyers – Advice for Protecting Your Home
  • You’ll also want to discuss safety steps with your family, in case you’re ever caught indoors or outdoors during a landslide. If you’re caught indoors…
    • Find cover indoors, as far away from the landslide as possible
    • Take cover underneath a strong piece of furniture such as a table
    • Hold on firmly, cover your neck and head, and stay still until all of the movement has stopped
  • If you’re caught outdoors…
    • Move as quickly as possible away from where you think the landslide is moving.
    • Stay as far away as possible. Do not return to the area until it is deemed safe by the authorities to do so.

In general, knowing something about your local geology is a wise way to be aware of when the risk of landslides is high. Similarly to other emergency preparedness practices, the more you communicate with your household about how you’re preparing and what your survival plan is, the better!

Large landslide in Cusco Peru

If you know of other resources for emergency preparedness, especially as regards landslides, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share a note on our Facebook page or shoot us an email!

-Article Written by Sophie Wooding

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