Disaster Preparedness – The Effects of Landslides

The Effects of Landslides Can Be Devastating


The geological phenomenon known as a landslide occurs when a slope that was previously stable becomes unstable.  This can occur suddenly, such as when an earthquake hits or a wildfire causes deforestation and weakened soil structure, or over time as groundwater pressure increases. 


People can contribute to landslides when they blast for construction or alter the shape or orientation of a slope, among other activities.


The effects of landslides can be extensive and devastating for the people who must deal with them. 


Homes and business properties can be destroyed or buried by debris. 


Landslides also impact agriculture, such as crops and livestock, particularly when they are the result of flash flooding. 

Surviving landslide
Surviving the effects of landslides requires advanced disaster preparedness actions. Landslides caused by flash floods, fires and even long-term groundwater issues can occur at any time of the day or night. 
However, there are often signs that the ground under a home or business property is starting to shift.  If door or windows that previously closed easily suddenly start sticking consistently, search to see if you can determine why it’s happening.  Cracks that suddenly appear in a building’s foundation, changes to a property’s slope or water in places where it hasn’t been seen before are all warning signs that a landslide may be imminent.




Advanced disaster preparedness is key when flash flooding might result in landslides.  If heavy rain is forecast, you should move from the area, particularly if the flooding might occur overnight.  If you have young children or pets, moving to higher ground could be a lifesaving decision.  The time you would need to take to gather children or pets and their belongings might mean the difference between escaping safely and being trapped by the landslide.


Escaping from a landslide requires immediate action. Once the landslide starts to occur, you and your family need to move out of the area as quickly as possible.  If you are leaving the area on foot,  you need to run to higher ground out of the path of the slide. 


Moving away from the landslide itself, particularly if you can reach an area that consists of bedrock or other stable material, is your best option.  If you’re in a car, keep a sharp watch for hillsides beside the road that look unstable.  If you see signs of an imminent landslide, leave the area immediately.


It's very important to prepare a checklist of the important items that you needs during a crisis.


Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landslide


Why do landslide occurs


Water makes up a large part of a landslide.  The dirt dislodged from a hillside or slope becomes mud when water is introduced, and the resulting concoction moves much more quickly than falling rock or debris.  This result makes landslides even more dangerous as the moving water and captured debris flow swiftly down a slope.


Even after the landslide has subsided, it’s best to wait for official confirmation before returning home.  Smaller landslides can still occur which can trap you and your family.  Being prepared for a landslide also means being smart about staying out of the area until it’s safe to return.

Lastly, get a book that help you how to prepare for landslide. Make sure the book covers these areas

  • Prepare a family survival plan    
  • Learn about landslide
  • Things children can do   
  • Feelings    
  • Helpers    
  • Things adults can do