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Originally published Friday, June 10, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Where to get more information on landslides

Special to The Seattle Times

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Knowing whether you are in a slide-prone area is the first step in preparing for and preventing landslides. Here are some places to start research.

King County

• Office of Emergency Management Landslide page: www.kingcounty.gov/safety/prepare/residents_business/Hazards_Disasters/Landslides.aspx

• King County Landslide Map: http://your.kingcounty.gov/dnrp/library/water-and-land/flooding/local-hazard-mitigation-plan-update/landslide-hazard-map.pdf

Seattle

• Landslide Emergencies: www.seattle.gov/dpd/Emergency/Landslides/default.asp• Emergency Permit Requests (Seattle Department of Planning and Development)

www.seattle.gov/DPD/Emergency/Landslides/DPDS_005996.asp

Washington state

• Regional Public Information Network Landslide page

www.rpin.org/rpinweb/LandSlides.aspx

• Washington State Department of Ecology, covering most of Western Washington

www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/landslides/index.html

• Slope Stability Maps (Washington State Department of Ecology)

For King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Island, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom, Thurston, Mason, Jefferson and Clallam counties

www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/landslides/maps/maps.html

Northwest Insurance Council's disaster-preparedness page

www.getreadynw.org

Surplus Line Association of Washington

www.surpluslines.org

Preparedness steps:

King County hosts a page on how to prepare for any disaster http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/prepare.aspx

You may also want to:

• Get a ground assessment of your property. Your county or city geologist or planning department may have specific information on areas vulnerable to land sliding.

• Seek advice of geotechnical experts for evaluating landslide hazards or designing corrective techniques to reduce landslide risk.

• Plant ground cover on slopes to stabilize the land, and build retaining walls.

• Plan at least two evacuation routes since roads may become blocked or closed.

• Make arrangements for housing in the event you need to evacuate your home.

• Plan for "earthquakes" and "severe storms" that can cause a landslide.

Landslide warning signs

• Doors or windows stick or jam for the first time.

• New cracks appear in plaster, tile, brick or foundation.

• Outside walls, walks or stairs begin pulling away from the building.

• Slowly developing, widening cracks appear on the ground or on paved areas such as streets or driveways.

• Underground utility lines break.

• Bulging ground appears at the base of a slope.

• Water breaks through the ground surface in new locations.

• Fences, retaining walls, utility poles or trees tilt or move.

• You hear a faint rumbling sound that increases in volume as the landslide nears. The ground slopes downward in one specific direction and may begin shifting that direction under your feet.

• Sinkholes. A sinkhole occurs when groundwater dissolves a vulnerable land surface, such as limestone, causing the land surface to collapse from a lack of support.

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