- Springs, seeps, or saturated ground in areas that have not typically been wet before.
- New cracks or unusual bulges in the ground, street pavements or sidewalks.
- Soil sidewalks, stairs moving or pulling away from foundations.
- Ancillary structures such as decks and patios tilting and/or moving relative to the main house.
- Tilting or cracking of concrete floors and foundations.
- Broken water lines and other underground utilities.
- Offset telephone poles, trees, retaining walls or fences.
- Sunken or down-dropped roadbeds.
- Rapid increase in creek water levels, possibly accompanied by in-creased turbidity (soil content).
- Sudden decrease in creek water levels when rain is still falling or has recently stopped.
- Sticking doors and windows, and visible open spaces indicating jambs and frames out of plumb.
- Collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flow can be seen when driving (embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides).
- If you have concerns about landslides on your property, have a ground assessment conducted.
- Contact local officials, state geological surveys or departments of natural resources, and university departments of geology. Ask for information on landslides in your area and request a professional referral for a detailed site analysis of your property and corrective measures you can take.
- Do not build near steep slopes, close to mountain edges, or near drainage ways or natural erosion valleys.
- Do not dump materials, leaves, grass or demolition debris on top of or over steep slopes adjoining your property – cumulative added weight increases the chance of a landslide.
- Watch storm-water drainage near your home and note places where runoff water converges, increasing flow in channels.
- Have flexible pipe fittings installed to avoid gas or water leaks (only the gas company or professionals should install gas fittings).
- Plant ground cover on slopes and build retaining walls.
- In mudflow areas, build channels or deflection walls to direct the flow around buildings.
- Remember: If you build walls to divert debris flow, and the flow lands on a neighbor’s property, you may be liable for damages.
Act (During a Landslide)
- If you suspect imminent danger, evacuate immediately! Be sure to contact your local police, fire department and/or public works department.
- Stay alert and awake – many debris-flow fatalities occur when people are sleeping.
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or portable, battery-powered radio or television for warnings of intense rainfall. Be aware that intense, short bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous, especially after longer periods of heavy rainfall and damp weather.
- If you are in areas susceptible to landslides and debris flows, consider leaving if it is safe to do so. Remember that driving during an intense storm can be hazardous. If you remain at home, move to a second story if possible.
- Listen for any unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together. A trickle of flowing or falling mud or debris may precede larger landslides. Moving debris can flow quickly and without warning.
- Be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow near streams or channels, and for a change from clear to muddy water –such changes may indicate landslide activity upstream.
- Be aware that strong shaking from earthquakes can induce or intensify the effects of landslides.