Landslides and mud flows cause devastating effects and are especially dangerous because of the shear power and weight of the material plus the debris they carry with them. A mudslide can be caused when water saturated earth turns into a river of flowing mud and debris, picking up more debris and earth as they travel.
1) In mountainous areas, near hillsides, valleys, and canyons, be especially careful not to get trapped in case of heavy rainfall.
2) It’s possible that a storm can occur miles from where you are but the situation can turn deadly if you are in a low-lying area where water will naturally run-off.
3) Thunderstorms that include heavy rainfall can create flash-flooding and you may have little or no time to retreat. Areas that were safe before heavy and or torential rainfall or flashflood can quickly change to a potential landslide area.
4) Anywhere where changes in elevation of land occurs, the possibility of landslides are higher. As this relates to your own property, pay close attention to the drainage patterns after heavy rain and correct problem areas by grading, having proper drainage systems installed.
5) Use plants, trees, and landscaping methods to prevent erosion. Take steps to ensure storm water and heavy rains aren’t allowed to pool or run close to structures and improvements. Get the water as far away from buildings as possible.
6) If you are in a low-lying area or in any place that may flood during heavy rains, move to higher ground and stay there. Do not stay in canyons, or near hillsides where the ground may break away under water saturated conditions.
7) Plan ahead if your home or property has any exposure to potential slides. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
8) Take note of any changes to ground conditions. Look for changes to terrain, cracks, seams, bulging earth, felled trees, and other signs that may warn of impending landslide
9) If you do experience a mudslide or landslide, stay away from the area. It may move again.
10) Remember, take precautions well in advance if you live or travel in areas susceptible to ground movement under water saturated conditions. Mudslides can occur during or quite some time after heavy rainfall or flooding. Be aware of the ground conditions around you.
11) If in doubt don’t enter an area where you fear a potential mud or landslide. Get professional evaluation when in doubt.