Landslides can happen without warning. They are often triggered by heavy rain, earthquakes and, in some cases, human activity. Find out what to do before, during and after a landslide.

About landslides

In New Zealand, we have a lot of natural hazards. Earthquakes, floods, landslides, severe weather, tsunami, volcanic activity, and other hazards can happen any time and often without warning.

Landslides can happen without warning. They are often triggered by heavy rain, earthquakes and, in some cases, human activity

You can reduce the impacts of landslides by checking if your area might be prone to landslides. Areas that are prone to landslides include areas with:

  • Existing old landslides
  • Steep slopes
  • Drainage channels on steep slopes
  • Streams and riverbanks, or
  • Coastal cliffs.

You should also review your insurance regularly. Having insurance cover for your home and contents is important to help you get back on your feet if you suffer damage in a disaster.

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A house

We can't predict disasters, but we can prepare for them. One of the best places to start is with your home. Find out what you can do to make your home safer.

Get Ready before a landslide

Get ready before a landslide.

  • Work out what supplies you might need and make a plan with your whānau.
  • Know the warning signs so you can act quickly if you see them. Regularly inspect your property, especially after long dry spells, earthquakes or heavy rainfall. Look for:
    • small slips, rock falls and subsidence at the bottom of slopes
    • sticking doors and window frames
    • gaps where frames are not fitting properly
    • outside fixtures such as steps, decks, and verandas moving or tilting away from the rest of the house
    • new cracks or bulges on the ground, road, footpath, retaining walls and other hard surfaces; and
    • tilting trees, retaining walls or fences.
  • Be alert when driving, especially where there are embankments along roadsides. Watch the road for collapsed pavements, mud and fallen rocks.
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Hands marking off a checklist

Make a plan online with your whānau to get through an emergency. Think about the things you need every day and work out what you would do if you didn't have them.

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Emergency supplies on some pantry shelves

In an emergency, you may be stuck at home for three days or more. Your house is already full of emergency items disguised as everyday things. Figure out what supplies you need and make a plan to get through.

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Find your local Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Group.

What to do during a landslide or if you think a landslide is about to happen

Know what to do during a landslide or if you think a landslide is about to happen.

Get out of the path of the landslide quickly.

Evacuate if your home or the building you are in is in danger — take your grab bag and pets with you if you can do so quickly.

Warn neighbours and help others if you can.

Contact emergency services and your local council.

What to do after a landslide

After a landslide, stay alert for future landslides. Stay away from the landslide area until it has been properly inspected and authorities give the all clear.

Report broken utility lines to appropriate authorities.

Help others if you can, especially people who may need extra help.

Re-plant damaged ground as soon as possible. Erosion caused by the loss of ground cover can lead to flash flooding.

If your property is damaged:

  • Do not do anything that puts your safety at risk or causes more damage to your property.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
  • If you rent your property, contact your landlord and your contents insurance company.

Take photos of any damage. It will help speed up assessments of your claim.