Updated – Are YOU Prepared for Landslides?

–Wetter conditions expected this winter

Did you know that most landslides occur between the months of November and March? Or that Seattle just set a record for the most rainfall ever in the month of October? As rainfall continues to increase throughout the fall, the threat of landslides will continue to rise this winter.

Landslide season is upon us, so the City of Seattle is urging residents to take preventive measures to protect themselves and their property from possible landslides.

Most landslides are caused by water (e.g. rainfall, uncontrolled stormwater) or human activity that increases the weight at the top of the slope or reduces the stability at the bottom of the slope.

With 20,000 Seattle properties (mostly residential) in landslide-prone areas, the Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections (Seattle DCI) encourages property owners to take preventive measures to protect themselves from landslides by:

  • Checking downspouts; making sure they are functioning/routed to a safe location
  • Maintaining drainage systems by clearing away leaves and debris
  • Inspecting sloped areas for indications of soil movement and erosion
  • Shutting off irrigation systems and checking it out seasonally
  • Keeping fill and yard waste off slopes
  • Knowing when to seek professional help for hillside projects

Visit our website to understand if you’re at risk and how to be prepared. Helpful tools include:

  • Landslide tutorial
  • Interactive GIS Map
  • Landslide Prone Area Map
  • Do’s & Don’ts

If a landslide damages your property and you have an immediate concern for your safety, leave the premises and call 9-1-1. Seattle property owners with structures that may be affected or endangered by a landslide should also contact Seattle DCI at (206) 615-0808 so that a building inspector can respond and perform an initial assessment of the structure.

To view the current conditions of the USGS rainfall threshold for landslides, please visit: http://landslides.usgs.gov/monitoring/seattle/rtd/plot.php.