Washington State Department of Ecology
home
about slides
slide signs
what to do
prevention
getting help
site info
frequently asked questions
 
slope stability maps
slide show
getting help with slide hazards

Getting help with slide hazards
Information, advice, engineering, insurance, and links.
getting help with slide hazards
 
getting information

Local planning or public works office
Check with your local planning department for information about required setbacks, vegetation removal, septic placement, drainage, and any restrictions on your property.

Conservation districts
Another good source of assistance in some areas are local Conservation Districts and Cooperative Extension Offices.
 
getting advice

You may need a range of experts
Who you turn to for assistance will depend on the nature of your situation. There are a broad range of professionals who can address questions about slope stability, site development, and stabilization measures. Some individuals and firms can provide all of these services competently, but some are limited in their expertise. You may need to consult several experts. Counties and cities may maintain lists of experts who work in your area.

Geologist
If you are considering buying a piece of property, you may wish to contact a geologist familiar with the area who can evaluate the stability of the site or make recommendations as to how the site might be developed. Ask friends and neighbors for suggestions.

Geotechnical engineer
If your home is threatened by a recent landslide, contact a geotechnical engineer who can evaluate and design drainage systems, retaining walls, or other measures necessary to stabilize the site.

Contractor
If you seek advice from a contractor, make sure they are qualified to address geological and slope stabilization issues. Some contractors will only recommend those measures that they are prepared to construct. Regardless, you should seek someone familiar with your area, with landslides, and with local regulations that might impact your decisions about developing a site or stabilizing a slope. Check references.
 
drainage
drainage
bulkheads and seawalls
bulkheads and seawalls
slope modifications
slope modifications
defensive measures
defensive measures
buttresses
buttresses
retaining wall
retaining wall
 
engineering approaches

Methods vary
A variety of methods exist to stabilize steep slopes and landslides, ranging from simple drainage improvements to complex retaining structures. In general, engineering measures involve either reducing the driving forces that cause landslides (drainage, regrading the slope) or increasing the resistance of the slope to those forces (toe buttresses, retaining walls).

Expensive and site dependent
Stabilizing slopes can be extremely expensive and solutions are highly site dependent. Landslide mitigation efforts should be based on rigorous geological evaluation of the site, a thorough review of available options, and good engineering design. Do not underestimate the value of advice from a competent geotechnical professional.
 
engineering reports

Reports may be required
Often, you may be expected to submit a report to support an application to build on or near a potentially unstable slope. Even if not required, you should generally obtain a geotechnical evaluation prior to constructing any kind of slope stabilization project.

Reports and recommendations
Typically, a geologist or an engineer will provide you with a report. Different professionals will provide different reports (e.g., geotechnical reports, soils reports, geological reports.) Engineering reports may range from a simple letter to a detailed analysis of a site and proposed project, with recommendations for construction.
 
insurance

Most policies don't cover slides
Most homeowner's policies do not cover damages from landslides and earth movement. Landslide insurance can be purchased through some underwriters, but it can be costly -- due to the risk of serious damage to homes located in unstable areas.

Federal flood insurance
Homeowners can purchase federal flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This coverage may cover certain landslide related losses. Contact your state Insurance Commissioner, the National Flood Insurance Program, or your Insurance Agent.
 
online resources
Drainage on bluffs and slopes
An online guide to constructing and maintaining drainage on coastal bluffs. Important information for coastal property owners concerned about slides and erosion.
managing drainage on coastal bluffs
Managing vegetation on slopes
An online guide to managing vegetation on coastal bluffs, with slope stability in mind.
managing vegetation on coastal slopes
Controlling erosion using vegetation

An online guide to using vegetation for slope stabilization and erosion control. What and how to plant.
controlling erosion using vegetation
Our Puget Sound Shorelines
Tips for living on Puget Sound: buying property, construction, landscaping, septic system maintenance, protecting beach ecology, and much more.
Puget Sound Shorelines
 
slide guide

Types of slides
Causes of slides
Slide signs
What to do
Prevention
FAQs
Getting help
Slide maps

Slide show
Shallow slides
Deep slides
Large slides
Benches
Geology
Insurance
Links

Hiring experts
Engineering
Drainage
Bulkheads
Retaining walls
Slope modification
Toe buttresses
Defensive approach
 
linkss

Answers to Questions about the National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA. Getting coverage, filing a claim, etc.

National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA.
More about the National Flood Insurance Program.
   
home | about slides | warning signs | what to do | prevention | help | faq | maps | slide show | site info | sea program home | ecology home