During a slip

Responsibilities for helping out in a landslide depends on a number of factors.  This page should help you find the right advice.

Immediately after the slip

If a building or public road is at imminent risk…

  • In the event of an imminent or actual landslip where lives are in danger, evacuate, warn your neighbours, then dial 111.
  • If a road is at risk, or is blocked, dial 111.  If you are confident that it is a low risk, contact your local council instead.
  • If there is property damage (i.e. damage to buildings, not land) but no injuries call your local council Building Compliance team to assess if the buildings are safe to occupy. Normally a phone call is the best way to get a quick response. They can normally visit at short notice.  You can find the contact number for your council here.
  • Stay away until authorities give the all-clear, as further landslides are likely. Landslides can occur progressively, often some time (hours or days) after a the first slip. Be aware of any changes to your property/ground following a landslide or major rainstorm/earthquake. In particular you should look for new cracks or ground bulging.
  • Check for injured and trapped persons and animals near the slide, without entering the slide area. Direct rescuers to their locations.
  • Report broken utilities (water, gas, electricity) to the appropriate companies.  Reporting potential hazards will get the utilities turned off as quickly as possible, preventing further damage or injury.
  • If you can do it safely, take photographs of the damage – this may help with an insurance claim later.
  • Report the slip here

If no homes or roads are at immediate risk…

  • If there is private land damage but no immediate risk, contact a local engineering consultancy to provide advice.  Ask for a Professional Engineering Geologist (with PEngGeol registration) or Geotechnical Engineer (with CPEng registration).
  • Report the slip here
  • If their is public land damage but no immediate risk, contact your local council call centre.

Making it safe

If you need to urgently protect your land from further failures, it’s often best to take some quick actions to prevent the situation deteriorating or becoming unsafe.  This may mean spending money before you know if any insurance claim is successful.  If you do this, it is at your own risk, so take care.

Remember that your life is more important that your property, so stay well away from unstable land.

  • Divert any water flowing towards the slip.  This may include laying sandbags to intercept rainwater runoff, or diverting damaged pipes – you may need to engage a plumber or drainlayer to help.
  • Move any heavy loads away from the crest of the slope (eg parked cars)
  • Drape plastic sheeting over the slip from the crest to stop rain soaking into the slip or eroding the surface.  Tie it in well at the top so that water running over the ground doesn’t run under the sheets.
  • Put barriers in place if there’s any risk of people getting too close.

Once these are in place, contact a local engineering consultancy to provide advice on the next steps.  Ask for a Professional Engineering Geologist (with PEngGeol registration) or Geotechnical Engineer (with CPEng registration).