Sinkholes are natural or man-made depressions in the ground. What causes sinkholes? They form when the topsoil collapses into the void below either gradually or abruptly. Sinkholes occur all over the world even in the urban or populated areas causing the destruction of property and loss of lives.
Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and Missouri, for example, are just some the states where sinkholes appear out of nowhere with very little to no warning at all. It gives you constant worry for those living around the areas where sinkholes exist. What makes it really frightening is the unpredictability of where and when it’s going to occur. Still, preparation beats getting caught off guard. Here are some survival tips which might help you survive should the ground collapse from underneath.
Sinkholes: Rising Above the Deadly Abyss
1. Be Informed
Take in all there is to know about sinkholes. How they form, their causes and effects, and their potential dangers to lives and properties. Knowing these things will increase your knowledge of how to identify, avoid and survive a sinkhole.
2. Prepare a Disaster Survival Bag
Have one with you within arm’s reach in places you frequent the most at home or in the office. It is also advisable for you to have a disaster kit in your vehicle as well. Should you fall in a sinkhole, there are a lot of items in the bag you can use to increase your chances of survival.
3. Hire a Professional
If you’re located in any of the states with a high probability of sinkholes occurrence, it is best you acquire the services of a licensed geologist to do tests in and around your area. They have the proper training, information, and equipment to determine whether or not a sinkhole may occur on your property. It is not a guarantee but then it will be well worth the price for your peace of mind.
4. Better Safe Than Sorry
If you live in a property or plan to purchase one which has a repaired sinkhole, make sure a licensed engineer certified the repair. Gather all the documents and data on the repair. You wouldn’t want to be investing or living in a ticking time bomb, would you?
5. Be On The Lookout
Constantly check for unusual ground and plant depressions in and around your property. These telltale signs are:
- Dying or wilting vegetation in a circular form
- Sagging trees, posts, fences and other objects in your yard
- Cracks on your floors, walls, nearby surfaces, and pavements
- Cloudy water from nearby wells
Should a sinkhole form in your area, try to move farthest away from the hole as possible. Sinkholes have a tendency to increase in size over time. You wouldn’t want to be standing at the edge when it happens.
7. Call Your Insurance Company
Discuss and determine if your insurance company covers sinkholes on your property. Contact geological services and find out if they can help you repair the damage to your property through assistance and guidance.
Watch this video by The Richest on 10 largest holes swallowing the earth:
There isn’t much you can do, nor is there an agency or method out there which can accurately tell if your property is at risk of a natural or man-made sinkhole. Coordinate with the local state geological survey, county office, and U.S. Geological Survey to find out if the land you live in is strewn with soluble rock. Learn a few more disaster survival skills that might just get you out of a pinch should you fall in a sinkhole.
Do you have any more suggestions or comments about surviving a sinkhole you might want to add? Please add them in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.