New nationwide strategy brings scientists, communities together to help reduce landslide risks

US Geological Survey

RESTON, Va. —

Landslides are inevitable, but landslide disasters are not. With this in mind, the U.S. Geological Survey has released a new report that details the strategic actions necessary to equitably reduce the Nation’s risk from landslide hazards.

The USGS “National Strategy for Landslide Loss Reduction” fulfills a core requirement of the National Landslide Preparedness Act (43 U.S.C. 3102), which was enacted by Congress in January 2021. Developed by a federal interagency coordinating committee, the new strategy will guide the way the people study, coordinate responses to, and prepare for landslide hazards across the country.

“We may not be able to stop landslides from happening, but we can help reduce their impact,” said Jonathan Godt, program coordinator for the USGS Landslide Hazards Program. “By bringing everyone together from state, local and Tribal governments; colleges and universities; and private, community-based and non-profit organizations, we can lower the risk landslides pose to people and property.”

There are four key goals to this comprehensive strategy:

  1. Assess – Ensure that decision-makers have access to detailed, consistent and relevant information about landslide hazards and risks across the country.
  2. Coordinate – Enable effective coordination of landslide-hazard response, mitigation and recovery efforts across federal, state, Tribal, and local authorities.
  3. Plan – Ensure communities-at-risk, decision-makers and land managers understand and are prepared for potential landslide hazards.
  4. Respond – Ensure surveillance of and responses to landslide events are effective, equitable, cooperative and data-driven to protect life, property, and resources.

Additional aspects of the strategy include the development of a publicly accessible national landslide database, support for existing early warning systems and streamlined capabilities for rapid emergency response.

For more details about the new National Strategy for Landslide Loss Reduction, the full report is available at https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20221075.

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