Do you know how to survive a sinkhole after falling in? Hopefully, you’ll never actually fall into one. Like our other survival guides, we stress the importance of preparing before the fact by getting the right information to prevent ever becoming the victim. This one is no different.
We’ll cover how to identify a sinkhole, where you’re likely to encounter one, how to spot them before getting too close to them, and also how to spot them before getting to close.
Sinkholes are holes that are in the ground and are caused by the collapse of the surface layer and are caused by the erosion of water and provides a route for surface water to disappear underground. Sinkholes are common in a few places across the globe and this includes:
- Naples, Italy
- Solikamsk, Russia
- Bowling Green, Kentucky
- Para, Brazil
- Ruijin City, China
- Guatemala City, Guatemala
- Toronto, Ontario
- Ottawa, Ontario
Sinkholes swallow everything in their paths, let it be a car, bus, train, house, building, and possibly YOU. They can be very dangerous and if you are not informed enough then you will be set up for disaster. This guide will let you know everything there is to know about the warning signs. Here are some tips on how to survive and what to do if you fall into a sinkhole.
Sinkholes can form when the water dissolves the minerals into the bedrock and it leaves the structure that is on top of the ground and the soil starts to loosen and quickly wash away. There are a few signs that you should look out for in case you think that your home is in danger of a sinkhole. These warning signs may be:
- When a sinkhole is in the process of forming and there is a structure on top of it there are a few hints that you will see: for example, sagging fences and the trees are starting to lean sideways.
- Some more subtle signs will be the door and the window won’t close like they’re are supposed to.
- Heavy rains can also provoke a sinkhole that has already been forming very slowly.
1. Stay informed
You should learn that you can about sinkholes. You should learn about how they are formed, causes, the effects, and the potential damage that can be caused to the property, animals, and to human lives. Learning about these things will strengthen your knowledge and skills on how to know what a sinkhole looks like and how to avoid and survive a sinkhole incident.
2. Prepare a survival bag
If your area can be affected by sinkholes then you should have a survival bag with a ton of necessities that you will need. You should place multiple bags in frequent areas in your home and in places of your work or office area as well. It is also important to put a survival bag in your vehicle as well because a sinkhole can occur when you’re in your car. A survival bag can be especially handy in case you fall into a sinkhole, the bag can help you survive and increase your chances of living.
3. Seek a professional
In case you’re in an area that has a high probability of succumbing to a sinkhole, then you can hire a licensed professional guide you. A trained professional will possibly be a licensed geologist and will give you information and equipment that will help you with sinkhole incidents.
4. Getting repairs
If you already live on or are planning to buy a property that has had a repaired then you should consult a licensed engineer repairman. You should gather all the important documents and data on the repairs.
5. Be Aware
You should consistently check your ground for anything unusual such as dying vegetation, cracks in the walls, leaning trees or fence posts, and cloudy water.
6. Contact insurance company
You should contact your insurance company to see if your property is covered for sinkholes. You can also contact geological service that can tell you if your home can be repaired if there is damage from a sinkhole.
If there is a sinkhole in your area then you should evacuate the area immediately and get away as far as possible. It’s important to evacuate as far as possible because sinkholes sometimes can grow in size over time and you don’t want to be at the edges of the hole.
What Happens When Someone Falls Into A Sinkhole
When someone falls into a sinkhole, the fire chief and their team will work together to get them out quickly and call for assistance. They will call nurses, paramedics, roofers, airplane mechanics, and volunteering firemen. Before they start the rescue, they take into consideration the edge of the hole because fire trucks are quite heavy and the edge of the sinkhole is unstable.
Then the city engineers will come and take into consideration if there any gas lines, water lines, foundations, and subways. If you are in the sinkhole with your car then you have a higher chance of survival because of your seatbelt, airbag, and the crumple zone will protect you if the road disappears from underneath your vehicle.
If you are still conscious while in the sinkhole, then the rescue team will keep in contact with you in order to find out what injuries you have and what state of mind you are in for the entire time you in the sinkhole.
There is not much that we can do when a sinkhole hits and there is also no agency or method that can actually tell you if you or your property will be in the danger of a sinkhole unless it was hand-made. But you can be prepare and highly informed on what to do if you ever have to encounter a sinkhole or if you find yourself in a situation where there is a sinkhole in your area.
Make sure that you study up as much as possible about the area you are living in and see if your area has had sinkhole incidents prior and if it has then you should start to prepare in case another incident ever happens.
I hope this survival guide on how to prepare for and survive a sinkhole. Knowing all of these details about them, what they are, and how they’re made will make you more prepared than 99% of people.
If you liked this post, you may also want to check out the Volcano Survival Guide on how to survive a volcanic eruption.
To see the complete guide that tells you how to survive nearly any disaster that exists, you can go to the disaster preparedness guide.
Further Reading on Sinkhole Survival: