Where to get more information on landslides
Special to The Seattle Times
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.
• Office of Emergency Management Landslide page: www.kingcounty.gov/safety/prepare/residents_business/Hazards_Disasters/Landslides.aspx
• Landslide Emergencies: www.seattle.gov/dpd/Emergency/Landslides/default.asp• Emergency Permit Requests (Seattle Department of Planning and Development)
• Regional Public Information Network Landslide page
• Washington State Department of Ecology, covering most of Western Washington
• Slope Stability Maps (Washington State Department of Ecology)
For King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, Island, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom, Thurston, Mason, Jefferson and Clallam counties
Northwest Insurance Council's disaster-preparedness page
Surplus Line Association of Washington
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.