Prior to Intense Storms:
Become familiar with the land around you. Learn whether debris flows have occurred in your area by contacting local • officials, emergency management officials, State geological surveys or departments of natural resources, and university departments of geology. Slopes where debris flows have occurred in the past are likely to experience them in the future.
Support your local government in efforts to develop and enforce land-use and building ordinances that regulate construction
• in areas susceptible to landslides and debris flows. Buildings should be located away from steep slopes, streams and rivers, intermittent-stream channels, and the mouths of mountain channels.
Watch the patterns of stormwater drainage on slopes near your home and note especially the places where runoff water
• converges, increasing flow over soil-covered slopes. Watch the hillsides around your home for any signs of land movement, such as small landslides or debris flows or progressively tilting trees.
Contact your local authorities to learn about the • emergency-response and evacuation plans for your area and develop your own emergency plans for your family and business.
During Intense Storms:
Stay alert and stay awake! Many debris-flow fatalities occur when people are sleeping. Listen to a radio 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 an area susceptible to landslides and debris flows, consider leaving if it is safe to do so. Remember that travel • during an intense storm is hazardous.
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 flows. If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and for a change from clear to muddy water. Such changes may indicate debris-flow activity upstream, so be prepared to move quickly. Don’t delay! Save yourself, not your belongings.
Be especially alert when driving. Embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides. Watch the road for • collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible debris flows.
What to do if you suspect imminent landslide danger:
Evacuate, if possible.•
Contact your local fire, police, or public works department.•
Inform affected neighbors.•
After landslides occur:
It is best to stay away from the slide area, as there may be danger of additional slides; however, this is not always possible • or desirable.
Check for injured and trapped persons near the slide area. Give first aid if trained, and call for help.•
Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance—infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.•
Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest • emergency information.
Remember that flooding may occur after a • mudflow or a landslide.
Check for damaged utility lines. Report any damage to the utility company.•
Check the building foundation, chimney, and surrounding land for damage.•
Replant damaged ground as soon as possible because erosion caused by loss of ground cover can lead to flash flooding.•
Seek the advice of geotechnical expert for evaluating landslide hazards or designing corrective techniques to reduce • landslide risk.