There are many things you can do to protect yourself and your family from the dangers a volcanic eruption can cause. Following are links to current volcanic activity as well as tips on what to do after an eruption and when there is ashfall in your area. From Discovery we share a brief 4 minute video that shares some lifesaving tips to survive a volcanic eruption.
Volcano Preparedness Tips and Response Planning
How to survive volcanoes - Discovery Channel
Officials: Volcanoes in the USA are monitored by USGS and worldwide by the global Volcanism Program If you live near a volcano be familiar with when you feel its best to evacuate. When time and circumstances permit, local authorities such as your mayor or local emergency management agency will give you instructions on community wide evacuation alerts and if necessary, on how to evacuate (leave the area) or take shelter where you are. Information on how to prepare for a volcanic eruption, is available at the Red Cross as well as USGS and the Volcanism Program.
Current Eruptions: https://earthquakes.volcanodiscovery.com/
Alerts: Sign up for your local emergency management alerts and for volcano status alerts you can sign up at Volcano Alerts.
What can you do to help? Volunteer to help monitor emerging events for your region. Train as a local responder, learn first aid. Join Humanity Road and help remotely.
After a volcanic eruption
- Do not approach the eruption area.
- Be prepared to stay indoors and avoid downwind areas if ash fall is predicted.
- Evacuate if advised to do so by authorities.
- Be aware of stream and river channels when evacuating.
- Move toward higher ground if mudflows are approaching.
- Follow the evacuation signs posted along roads and highways.
If there is ash fall in your area:
- Protect your lungs. Infants, the elderly and those who have respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other chronic lung and heart diseases should be particularly careful to avoid breathing ash.
- Stay inside. Close doors, windows and dampers. Place damp towels at door thresholds and other draft sources.
- When outside, wear a single-use (disposable) facemask. Remember that these masks may not fit small children properly. (Note: Masks may make breathing more difficult for people with respiratory conditions.)
- Those most at risk should limit outdoor activities. Keep children and pets indoors.
- If you have asthma or another respiratory condition – or have a child with asthma – pay attention to symptoms such as wheezing and coughing, or more severe symptoms such as chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath and severe fatigue. Stay indoors and follow your asthma management plan. Contact your doctor if you have trouble breathing.
- Replace disposable furnace filters or clean permanent furnace filters frequently.
- If you wear contact lenses, protect your eyes by wearing glasses or protective goggles or by removing your contacts.
- If you find ash in your drinking water, use an alternate source of drinking water such as purchased bottled water.
- Put stoppers in the tops of your drainpipes.
- Protect dust-sensitive electronics.
- Keep roofs free of ash in excess of 4 inches.
- Remove outdoor clothing before entering a building.
- Wash vegetables from the garden before eating.
- Minimize travel — ash may be harmful to your vehicle.
- Frequently change oil and air filters in your automobile
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Official Ash Monitoring sites
- Washington DC, US
- Anchorage (Alaska), US
- Tokyo, Japan
- Darwin, Australia
- Wellington, New Zealand
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Toulouse, France
- London, United Kingdom
- Montreal, Canada
Volcanic eruptions are one of Earth’s most dramatic and violent agents of change. Not only can powerful explosive eruptions drastically alter land and water for tens of kilometers around a volcano, but tiny liquid droplets of sulfuric acid erupted into the stratosphere can change our planet’s climate temporarily. Eruptions often force people living near volcanoes to abandon their land and homes, sometimes forever. Those living farther away are likely to avoid complete destruction, but their cities and towns, crops, industrial plants, transportation systems, and electrical grids can still be damaged by tephra, ash, lahars, and flooding.
Fortunately, volcanoes exhibit precursory unrest that if detected and analyzed in time allows eruptions to be anticipated and communities at risk to be forewarned with reliable information in sufficient time to implement response plans and mitigation measures.