Landslides occur when mud, rocks, or debris move quickly down a slope. Debris flows, also known as mudslides, are a common type of fast-moving landslide that tends to flow in channels.
Programs can make sure they are prepared for landslides and mudslides using the strategies below.
Know your risk.
Landslides most often occur after heavy rains, or they follow droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. They can happen anywhere but are more likely in the Appalachian Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Coast Ranges, and some parts of Alaska and Hawaii. Programs near steep mountains or hills are at the highest risk.
Know what to do.
Preparing for any disaster has three parts: preparedness, response, and recovery. To learn more about creating an emergency plan, consult the Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs.
The recommended response to a mudslide or landslide is to evacuate to a safer location if you are able.
Emergency plans are essential. Whether you work alone or in a center, all staff must know what to do in an evacuation. Use a Job Action Sheet to help you identify responsibilities to fit the needs of your program.
Practice your evacuation plan.
Rehearse the evacuation plan that is right for the children in your program.
- Infants and toddlers: using an evacuation crib, a stroller with multiple seats, a wagon, or an infant vest or carrier.
- Preschoolers: having children line up and follow instructions while holding a walking rope or jump rope.
- Children with special health care needs: referring to a child’s care plan and emergency information form to make sure your evacuation plan meets the needs of every child in your program. Appoint a staff person to help children with special health care needs evacuate efficiently.
Review this sample evacuation drill worksheet.
Contact local experts to help with your emergency plan.
While developing your emergency plan, use community resources for different perspectives and recommendations on preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. These resources can include but are not limited to:
- Child care health consultants
- Head Start health managers
- Child care resource and referral agencies
- First responders: fire, health, safety, law enforcement, public works, and emergency medical services
- State or territory child care licensing agencies
- Mental health consultants
- Emergency management agencies
- Transportation partners (e.g., bus companies)
- Public health departments
Your community is there to help you!
Resource Type: Publication
National Centers: Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Last Updated: August 4, 2023