Mudslide: risk control actions you can take:

Depending on where you live, Mudslide can be a major concern.  With Mudslide, there are risk control actions you can take to prepare or actions to take after the occurrence… you should know if exposed.

The frequency of this event, is linked to the frequency of periods of intense rain.

If you live in a Mudslide prone area and hear about the potential on the news or radio, keep in mind how to protect yourself.

What is Mudslide?

Mudslide is when a mass of earth, rock, and water fall or shift/move, typically after substantial rainfall.   This typically occurs in areas unsuited to support existing structures.

Ignoring soil stabilization practices, can contribute to exposures to damage from mudslide.


Most structures, once damaged from mudslide, are typically difficult to salvage or repair, typically are total loss.  See the image above, or look around at mudslide images on the internet.

Rarely would someone be able to revive a property, given the water/soil and structural damage to properties.

What you can do to prepare?

Make sure you are insured for this peril.

As mentioned in our article, Pre-Loss vs. Post-Loss Funding, there are also options in risk control that can be taken pre-loss or post-loss.

Pre-loss actions

There are examples of actions individuals can take to prepare, pre loss.  For example, an area known to be susceptible to mudslide should be surveyed by geologist, engineer, or landscape architect.  Other examples include:

  • Professional survey of the land
  • Alter the slope to reduce exposure
  • Install natural features to alter the mudslide path – barriers, earth dikes, trenches, etc
  • Increase structural support for exposed buildings to withstand impact
  • Relocate the structure
  • Transfer the risk

Post-loss actions

In addition to pre-loss, it is important to act post-loss.  An example would be secure the property to keep unauthorized guests away. Other examples include:

  • Temporary support installed for stress building structures
  • Inspect for damage and protect against further harm
  • Start salvage and cleanup as soon as possible.
  • Inspect equipment and components
  • Coordinate with appropriate authorities
  • Contact insurance provider or agent or broker.


We tend to see mudslides on the news after periods of heavy rain, but how many of the people exposed are taking the appropriate actions to protect their property?

Insurance carriers would likely appreciate understanding this risk prior to quoting, but the asset owners should be aware of ways to control their risk.

These Mudslides typically occur as a result from building in areas unsuited to support the soil – keep in mind if you can avoid building in these areas – might be a good start.

About the author

Arnold Smith

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