Keep Your Motorhome Safe from a Landslide in Washington
Landslides can strike with little warning. When they do, they can cause major structural damage, serious injuries, and even death. While landslides can occur anywhere in the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey has identified Washington as one of the top five states with the highest risk of this natural disaster. That’s why it’s so important that you have affordable motorhome insurance to guard against this potential challenge.
Before diving into the steps you can take to minimize the risks and stay protected in the event of a landslide in Washington State, let’s start with a better understanding of the phenomenon.
What Is a Landslide?
A landslide is pretty much like it sounds. It’s when a top layer of wet soil slides off a slope, with gravity taking it down at speeds that can hit up to 35 miles an hour. A landslide can occur on a hilly landscape when earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or heavy rainfall cause extreme surface instability.
How Can a Landslide Damage My Motorhome?
The quick-moving mud flow that results from a landslide can heavily damage structures, personal property, and even people and pets. Large objects, such as cars, fences, smaller structures, and other debris swept up in the spill, can cause additional damage upon impact with anything in the way.
Now imagine that your motorhome is parked at the bottom of this fast-moving flow, or it’s in motion as you try to drive out of the way. It’s not only your vehicle at risk but, more importantly, everyone in it or standing nearby at the time of impact.
So, What Can Be Done to Minimize the Risk to Motorhomes, Personal Belongings, and Loved Ones?
We recommend taking the following precautions to steer clear (literally) of the landslide risk or to minimize the damage.
- Know the Risk Beforehand
Landslide safety preparedness starts with simple proactive measures to recognize when the threat of landslide could become a reality — and then moving before it does. Weather conditions and topography both play big parts in inviting the risk.
For instance, don’t park your motorhome on or at the bottom of a steep slope if commercial development or wildfires have stripped it of larger trees or vegetation. Trees can act as obstacles, breaking up and blocking the slide of mud, while roots help lock the soil in place.
Weather risk involves heavy rainfall over an extended period. If you know that the hill in your way has gone through a recent repeat pattern of freezing and thawing, that might spell danger. That’s because layers of soil might have been loosened with that pattern and can easily spill down the hillside.
Also, keep in mind landslides occur where landslides have occurred. If you leave your motorhome in a location with suspicious topography for an extended period, it’s worth taking the time and effort to obtain a Washington State geologic hazard map of the area to see what’s happened in the past and how real the current risk might be.
- Recognize the Warning Signs
You might have mere minutes to dodge the risk, so make sure you take immediate action. Sudden water flow could be an early sign of a landslide starting to happen. You might also hear a rumble as the flow of mud and debris gathers speed and works its way down the hill above you.
It’s likely that you won’t have time to move your motorhome at this point unless it’s already idling. Otherwise, leave it behind and head for higher ground.
- Protect People Before Property
Your motorhome and everything in it can be replaced, especially if you have coverage that includes damage from landslides. On the other hand, you and your loved ones are impossible to replace.
The lesson here is that if, after taking all other precautions, you still sense a landslide is about to happen, but you can’t get your vehicle out of the way, leave it behind.
Protect your family above all else. Get uphill of the threat and as far from the disaster as possible. You can later contact your insurance agent and file a claim for the damage of things. That’s the easy part. Keep your family safe.
- Make Sure You’re Fully Insured
The key to walking away from a natural disaster in good financial standing is to prepare for landslides with a dependable and affordable motorhome insurance policy.
This is critical because your RV might have cost you many thousands of dollars, and the contents in your living space could be worth thousands more. That’s why you need to ask all the right questions and get answers you trust from your motorhome insurance agent.
Make your contact an independent insurance agent — one who has contracted to do business with multiple major carriers and can shop around on your behalf for the most affordable motorhome insurance plan available.
Your independent agent will help you protect against a multitude of threats to your RV while on the road or off it, including collisions with vehicles or wildlife, theft, vandalism, other natural disasters, and off-season storage mishaps.
You’ll learn how to further reduce your coverage costs with such strategies as bundling your policy with others you might already hold from the same insurer and accepting a higher deductible in exchange for a lower premium.
For maximum savings, talk it all out with your independent insurance agent.
Keep Your Motorhome Financially Protected From Landslides (and Other Risks)
Washington State is a beautiful place for motorhome enthusiasts to explore, but it’s also one of the most landslide-prone regions in the country. Don’t let the threat of landslides put a damper on your travels.
Reach out to your independent Vern Fonk Insurance agent at (800) 455-8276 to assist you in finding affordable motorhome insurance to confront various risks. You can also get a quick online quote or find an office near you to discuss your RV or mobile home insurance needs with a trusted agent.
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