Surviving a Landslide

Surviving a Landslide

( – Landslides are an often overlooked, but incredibly dangerous, geologic hazard. They occur in every state and cause over a billion dollars in damage each year. On top of that, landslides also claim the lives of roughly 25 to 50 people annually. Across the globe, the number of deaths attributed to landslides each year increases into the thousands.

In March of 2014, 55 miles northeast of Seattle, WA, a small town named Oso became home to the deadliest landslide in US history. The landslide killed 43 people and devastated 49 homes in the process.

Avoid becoming another statistic; take these simple steps to maximize your chances of surviving a landslide.

What to Do Before, During, and After

As with any disaster, preparation is the key to giving you the best chance at living through it. Studies have shown that these behaviors before, during and after the event of a landslide can save lives.

Before a Landslide

Before a landslide ever begins, you need to make sure you’re informed about the potential hazards of the area where you live. Talking to residents who’ve already experienced these nightmare scenarios will also help you understand what you need to do to maximize your chances. Before a landslide hits, move highly occupied areas to the downhill side of a building, or upstairs.

During a Landslide

When a landslide does occur, don’t approach it. Instead, move away from the area of threat. To avoid being swept away by the debris and moving land mass, get to higher ground, even if it’s only on top of a counter or other fixed surface. Move to an interior part of the building, preferably unfurnished. Make sure to open any downhill-facing doors and windows to allow the landslide to escape the building.

After a Landslide

If you’ve found yourself swept away by the debris, be sure to move and make noise to alert others that you’re still alive. Making noise will also improve your chances of being rescued. However, you do need to be careful with your movements if you’re under heavy debris. As the same with an earthquake, the debris may shift, effectively crushing you.

While a landslide isn’t likely to happen to flat land areas, it’s still ideal for people in all regions to learn the dangers and know how to react. You never know when you might move to or visit an area where landslides can occur, so what’s the harm in being prepared?

After all, we never really know when a landslide or similar disaster may strike. The best way to survive one is to be prepared for it. The same holds even more true for winter disasters. Check out how you can survive a power outage during a winter storm.

Have you ever encountered a landslide? Has one happened near your home? Let us know by replying to your email, we would love to hear from you!

~Copyright 2020,