washington_mudslide-088c6Have you ever seen a mudslide? No, I’m not talking about a fun mudslide that kids love to go down, or even the drink. I am talking about a real mudslide that can be a danger to people and their valuables.

A mudslide is also known as a landslide. These happen, usually after a lot of heavy rain, when earth materials such as mud runs down a slope. These are found a lot of times in places where buildings are sitting on top of soil that is not able to effectively hold precipitation. When a lot of precipitation comes, the steep incline with the weight of the water pushes the dirt and mud downhill. This can be a long, drawn out process or a very quick one. The ones that are considered flash mudslides are the most dangerous. This is when the saturated, heavy dirt suddenly falls down the slope without any warning.

Though a mudslide can happen anywhere in the United States, there are some places more prone to mudslides than others. Because of their hilly terrain, places in the West Coast like Oregon, Washington, and California are more likely to experience a mudslide than other states. Also, areas that have been effected by wildfires or altered by people are at a greater risk to have a mudslide.

If you live on a hilly terrain and are worried about a potential mudslide, you should get in touch with local authorities to see if your area has experienced a mudslide or debris flow in the past. You should also make a plan of evacuation for your business or home in the case of a mudslide. If one happens without warning, do everything you can to safely leave the building. Try to get to higher ground away from the flow. The higher you can get, the better to protect yourself from a mudslide.