Emergency Management - Landslides, Earthquakes & Flooding

Our emergency preparedness effort has two goals:

  • Protect lives during earthquakes, landslides, and other emergencies
  • Restore essential services after earthquakes, landslides, and other emergencies

We count on you to be prepared. We also work with regional, state, and federal emergency partners to help you prepare for an emergency and to respond after an emergency.

How Are We Involved?

We ensure building safety by:

We help restore essential services by:

  • Quickly evaluating your structure after an earthquake, landslide,or other emergency that causes structural damage
  • Quickly issuing emergency repair permits
  • Conducting emergency inspections following a disaster

Protect Your Home
If you think your property might be at risk from a landslide, check out our GIS Map to see if you are in a landslide-prone area and then contact a geotechnical engineering professional for an evaluation.

How You Can Prevent Landslides

Who to Contact
If a landslide damages your property, leave the premises and call 9-1-1. If your home was damaged by an landslide, you should apply for an emergency repair permit.

  • Landslides on private property: Leave the premises if you have any safety concerns. Call Code Compliance during business hours to schedule an inspection at (206) 615-0808
  • Work in a landslide prone area (including landslide-related repairs): Applicant Services Center
  • Connect to a storm drain or wastewater pipe: SPU Core Tap Procedures for Storm and Sewer Mains
  • Storm drain or wastewater facility drainage complaints and maintenance requests: Seattle Public Utilities 24/7 Field Operations, (206) 386-1800
  • Landslide blocking a street: Seattle Department of Transportation 24/7 Street Maintenance, (206) 386-1218
  • Landslide on Seattle Parks property: Seattle Parks Work Order line, (206) 684-7250

Additional Resources

If your home was damaged by an earthquake, you should apply for an emergency repair permit. You can help protect your home from earthquake damage by getting a Home Retrofit Permit.

If you need to stabilize or conduct an emergency repair to an historical building, you need a permit from us and a certificate of approval from the Department of Neighborhoods.

Additional Resources

How to Restore Electrical Service after a Flood

If your home or business experienced significant flooding, be aware that the buildings electrical service may be hazardous. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) provides guidance on what to do during and after a flood. During a flood, you should keep your distance from downed powerlines and electrical wires, stay on the higher (non-flooded) floors of homes impacted by flooding, and turn off utilities at the main switches if instructed to do so by authorities. After a flood, and once the water has receded, SPU recommends checking with electricity, gas, and water authorities to determine whether supplies to area have been interrupted and are safe to turn on by homeowners and businesses.

SDCI is responsible for endorsing the restoration of all electrical services after a flood or fire.

To restore your electrical service after a flood or fire:

  • If your neighborhood had a utility power outage, the power to your building could be restored without any notice.
  • If the utility has intentionally discontinued power to your property for any reason, such as a flood, fire, or other known hazard, they will not reconnect the power until you provide them with an endorsement from SDCI.
  • To get an endorsement from SDCI to turn on an electrical service, you will need an SDCI electrical permit, a service inspection, and a sticker applied to your meter. To create a new permit, go to Seattle Services Portal.
  • SDCI’s service inspection only applies to the electrical service components, which is usually a mast, meter, and service panel. This inspection does not include the branch circuit wiring throughout the home or building.

To address the branch circuit wiring throughout the building:

  • Any electrical equipment or wiring that has been submerged or exposed to corrosive substances and is not rated to be used in wet locations, must be replaced as defined by the Seattle Electrical Code (SEC) 110.11(A) (1) and (2).
  • You should consult a licensed electrical contractor to determine the extent of the branch circuit wiring that needs replacement per SEC11 (A) (1), or the condition of the existing circuits.
  • After a flood or fire, you should turn off any adversely affected circuits in the electrical panel until they are evaluated by electrical contractor or other qualified personnel. Do not turn the circuits back on until they have been determined safe to use, or you have replaced those that have been damaged.
  • You generally need an electrical permit to replace or alter electrical wiring, devices, and equipment as defined in SEC50 (A) and (B).

If you have questions about restoring your electrical service after a flood or fire, call SDCI’s electrical inspection team at (206) 684-5383.

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.