Get prepared for a landslide

An illustration of a landslide

Landslides are the down-slope movement of rock or debris. As more homes are built onto steep slopes, landslides become a greater hazard for both people and buildings.

It’s important to take time to prepare and understand what to do before, during and after a major landslide.

Climate change and landslides

The chance of damaging landslides has increased in recent years, due in part to increases in severe wildfires and heavy rains and flooding. Wildfires and floods affect topography and soil stability.

Read about how B.C. is preparing for and adapting to climate change.


Be prepared

To prepare for a landslide, be aware of changes that could signal one. To report suspected landslide indicators, call the 24-hour provincial toll-free number at 1-800-663-3456, contact 9-1-1 or call your local fire, police or public works department.

Landslide or debris flow indicators may include:

  • Sudden changes in stream flow
  • Rapid changes or pulses in stream flow (e.g. changes in volume) or pulses of sediment (e.g. changes from clear to murky water)
  • Abnormally dirty water
  • Accumulation of large logs or debris
  • Rapid accumulation of sediment or bed-load along a flat section of a creek channel
  • Tension cracks near the top of a slope
  • Falling rocks or boulders or flowing or sliding soil. This may precede a much larger landslide

If your home or property is in a landslide risk area, download guides and plans to help you develop a household plan and put together an emergency kit for your home and car.


Stay safe

Leave the area immediately if you observe the following:

  • A faint rumbling sound that increases in volume
  • Unusual sounds, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together
  • If you are caught in a landslide with no option to evacuate, curl in a tight ball and protect your head and neck

Recover

Take these initial steps after a landslide to ensure your safety:

  • When you are safe, report the situation by calling 9-1-1
  • Stay away from the slide area as there could be subsequent slides
  • Listen to local radio or television stations for the latest emergency information
  • Watch for flooding, which may occur after a landslide or debris flow

Landslide information guide

Prepare your household, protect your property and know what to do if a landslide occurs. 

For more information or inquiries about this guide, please contact us at PreparedBC@gov.bc.ca.