Reminder: Are YOU Prepared for Landslides?

–Wet weather is approaching

Did you know that most landslides occur between the months of November and March? 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 Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) 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 inspecting them 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 SDCI at (206) 615-0808 so that a building inspector can respond and perform an initial assessment of the structure.

View the current conditions of the USGS rainfall threshold for landslides.

Landslides: What to Do and How to Prepare

Safety is our number one priority here at City Light, and our partnership with Take Winter By Storm demonstrates our commitment to both safety awareness and emergency preparedness. With the recent landslide in West Seattle, we wanted to share a few tips that can help prepare you for such an event and provide information on what to do in case of a power blackout.

 

A landslide in West Seattle on Feb. 15, 2017


How does a Landslide occur?

The USGS defines a landslide as “the movement of a mass of rock, debris, or earth down a slope.” A landslide can be triggered by earthquakes, volcanic activity, snowmelt, changes in water level, or in this case, heavy rainfall. The topography (and weather) of Washington State increases our susceptibility to these types of natural disasters so it’s important to be aware of its causes and to be prepared.


How to Prepare for a Landslide

If you know that your home or place of business lies in a potential landslide path, prepare, prepare, prepare!

  • Power up: As seen in West Seattle, your power can go out in the event of a landslide. It’s important to have alternative forms of power on-hand. Whether it’s battery-operated, solar-powered, or crank up, a radio is a good emergency device to have. It will keep you connected to critical news and information until your power is restored. Flashlights and emergency light sticks are other useful tools that will keep your area lit.
  • Have a plan: Devise a plan with those around you so you know what to do in case of an emergency. This will also ensure you have a headcount for those of whom you’re responsible.
  • Emergency backpack: Never underestimate the *power* of an emergency supply. Stash yours with warm blankets, sweatshirts, water, and nutrient-filled snacks, to keep you warm and nourished until your power returns. This checklist by Take Winter by Storm provides more in-depth detail about what your emergency backpack should contain (including a first aid kit).
  • Get weather ready: Winter is arguably Mother Nature’s harshest season. Be prepared with this detailed pamphlet from Take Winter by Storm, outlining necessary steps to get your home weather ready.


What to do During a Landslide

If caught in a landslide, there are multiple safety measures you can enact:

  • Call 911: This should be the first thing you do. Authorities can best assess the situation, take the right steps to ensure safety, provide orders of evacuations, and aid to injured parties.
  • In case of a blackout: Report any power outages to our hotline at 206-684-3000. Want to know the status of an outage and the area affected? Check out our power outage map or follow us on Twitter (@SEACityLight) or Facebook for updates. Don’t go near any fallen power lines or wires, and don’t try to fix your electricity. Know that Seattle City Light crews are working hard and fast to get your power restored.
  • Be alert: This applies for all activity, but is especially important when driving. Roads are often affected by landslides so watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other signs of fallen debris. Should you come across a fallen power line, keep a safe distance and report it to 206-684-3000.
  • Sound matters: Pay close attention for any unusual noise (e.g. trees cracking, rocks tumbling) that can indicate moving debris.

 

For more safety tips and information, visit takewinterbystorm.org. For updates on power outages and more, follow Seattle City Light on Twitter at @SEACityLight, on Facebook at or visit our website at http://www.seattle.gov/light/.

Protect Your Home From Landslides and Earthquakes

The City of Seattle is hosting two upcoming presentations on February 11 to help you prepare for an emergency. Our landslide awareness presentation will explain how you can prevent landslides on your property. Our earthquake retrofit presentation covers what you need to do to help your home survive an earthquake.

Event Details:

Saturday, February 11, 2017
Filipino Community Center
5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way S.
2nd Floor Conference Room
(This venue is ADA accessible.)

Presentation Schedule:

  • 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Earthquake Retrofit
    Earthquake retrofit expert Tony Holder will give an overview of how Seattle’s geology can make your home vulnerable to damage during an earthquake. The presentation will discuss how to assess your house to see if it needs to be retrofitted. We’ll also explain how to retrofit your home, including a brief overview of the permitting process.
  • 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Landslide Awareness
    Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Dean Griswold, P.E., will explain why landslides happen and where landslides typically occur in Seattle.  He will explain how to determine if your property is in a landslide-prone area, preventative measures you can take to protect your property from landslides, and who to call in case of a landslide.

 

These presentations are part of the South Seattle Home Fair (February 11, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., at the Filipino Community Center). In addition to the above presentations, the City, along with local organizations, are offering free one-on-one Q&A sessions to discuss services and answer questions. We’ll have information about emergency management, rental housing, affordable housing, raingardens, building permits, building and electrical inspections, code requirements, and much more.

Habitat for Humanity, Home Sight, Rebuilding Together Seattle, Southeast Seattle Tool Library, Office of Emergency Management, the Seattle Emergency Communications Hubs, and many others will also be on hand to answer questions.

For more information about this event, view the calendar description at http://bit.ly/2hVsSGG.

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.

Are YOU Prepared for Landslides?

Did you know that most landslides occur between the months of November and March? As rainfall continues to increase throughout the fall, the threat of landslides will continue to rise this winter.

Landslide season is upon us. Although the Seattle rainfall is currently slightly below the landslide threshold, 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 Department of Planning and Development 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 DPD 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.