Before an Eruption
your community warning systems and emergency plans.
prepared for the hazards that can accompany volcanoes:
-Mudflows and flash floods
-Landslides and rockfalls
-Ashfall and acid rain
If you live in a known volcanic hazard area, plan a route out and
have a backup route in mind.
an emergency communication plan.
In case family members are separated from one another during a volcanic
eruption (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work
and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together.
an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family
contact," because after a disaster, it's often easier to
call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address,
and phone number of the contact person.
disaster supplies on hand:
-Flashlight and extra batteries
-First aid kit and manual
-Emergency food and water
-Non-electric can opener
a pair of goggles and a throw-away breathing mask for each member
of the household in case of ashfall.
your local emergency management office or American Red Cross chapter
for more information on volcanoes.
it may seem safe to stay at home and wait out an eruption, if you
are in a hazardous zone, doing so could be very dangerous. Stay
safe. Follow authorities' instructions and put your disaster plan
During an Eruption:
Follow the evacuation order issued by authorities.
areas downwind and river valleys downstream of the volcano.
-Close all windows, doors, and dampers.
-Put all machinery inside a garage or barn.
-Bring animals and livestock into closed shelters.
-Seek shelter indoors.
-If caught in a rockfall, roll into a ball to protect
-If caught near a stream, be aware of mudflows. Move
upslope, especially if you hear the roar of a mudflow.
yourself during ashfall:
-Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
-Use goggles to protect your eyes.
-Use a dust mask or hold a damp cloth over your face
to help breathing.
-Keep car or truck engines off.
out of the area defined as a restricted zone by government officials.
Effects of a volcanic eruption can be experienced many miles from
a volcano. Mudflows and flash flooding, wildland fires, and even
deadly hot ashflow can reach you even if you cannot see the volcano
during an eruption. Avoid river valleys and low lying areas. Trying
to watch an erupting volcano up close is a deadly idea.
you see the water level of a stream begin to rise, quickly move
to high ground. If a mudflow is approaching or passes a bridge,
stay away from the bridge.
Mudflows are powerful "rivers" of mud that can move 20
to 40 miles-per-hour. Hot ash or lava from a volcanic eruption can
rapidly melt snow and ice at the summit of a volcano. The melt water
quickly mixes with falling ash, with soil cover on lower slopes,
and with debris in its path. This turbulent mixture is dangerous
in stream channels and can travel more than 50 miles away from a
volcano. Also intense rainfall can erode fresh volcanic deposits
to form large mudflows.
to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency
After an Eruption:
If possible, stay away from volcanic ashfall areas.
-Cover your mouth and nose. Volcanic ash can irritate
your respiratory system.
-Wear goggles to protect your eyes.
-Keep skin covered to avoid irritation from contact
roofs of ashfall:
Ashfall is very heavy and can cause buildings to collapse. Exercise
great caution when working on a roof.
driving in heavy ashfall.
Driving will stir up more ash that can clog engines and stall vehicles.
you have a respiratory ailment, avoid contact with any amount of
ash. Stay indoors until local health officials advise it is
safe to go outside.
to help our neighbors who may require special assistance --
infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.
information obtained from the
American Red Cross