Volcano Preparedness Guide
Potentially active volcanoes in the United States exist mainly in Hawaii, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. When pressure builds up within a volcano's molten rock, it has the potential to erupt, sending forth lava flows, poisonous gases and flying rock and ash that can sometimes travel hundreds of miles downwind.
What to do Before a Volcanic Eruption
What to Do During a Volcanic Eruption
- Add a pair of goggles and disposable breathing mask for each member of the family to your disaster supply kit.
- Stay away from active volcano sites.
- If you live near a known volcano, active or dormant, be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.
If a Volcano Erupts Where You Live
Protection from Falling Ash
- Follow the evacuation order issued by authorities and evacuate immediately from the volcano area to avoid flying debris, hot gases, lateral blast, and lava flow.
- Be aware of mudflows! The danger from a mudflow increases near stream channels and with prolonged heavy rains. Mudflows can move faster than you can walk or run. Look upstream before crossing a bridge, and do not cross the bridge if a mudflow is approaching.
- Avoid river valleys and low-lying areas.
- Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance - infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities.
All information above is from FEMA's website under disaster and emergency preparedness.
- Listen to a battery-powered radio or television for the latest emergency information.
- If you have a respiratory ailment, avoid contact with any amount of ash.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Use goggles and wear eyeglasses instead of contact lenses.
- Use a dust mask or hold a damp cloth over your face to help with breathing.
- Stay away from areas downwind from the volcano to avoid volcanic ash.
- Stay indoors until the ash has settled unless there is a danger of the roof collapsing.
- Close doors, windows, and all ventilation in the house (chimney vents, furnaces, air conditioners, fans, and other vents.
- Clear heavy ash from flat or low-pitched roofs and rain gutters.
- Avoid running car or truck engines. Driving can stir up volcanic ash that can clog engines, damage moving parts, and stall vehicles.
- Avoid driving in heavy ash fall unless absolutely required. If you have to drive, keep speed down to 35 MPH or slower.
For more information and resources on Volcano Preparedness, please visit the web sites below.
US Department of Homeland Security - FEMA
FEMA “Are you Ready?” Online Publication – An in-depth 204-page guide to emergency preparedness.
American Red Cross
American Red Cross Volcano Preparedness
American Red Cross Preparedness Checklists
Ready Gov - Volcano Preparedness
CDC - Center For Disease Control and Prevention
CDC - Volcano Preparedness