A volcanic eruption is a powerful natural event characterized by the sudden release of magma, gases, and other materials from a volcano. These eruptions can result in a range of hazardous phenomena, including lava flows, ash clouds, pyroclastic flows, and volcanic gases. The United States, despite being known for its diverse geography, is not exempt from volcanic activity. In this blog article, we will cover the things that we need to prepare and all the necessary precautions that we need to do to survive this volcanic eruption.
How to Prepare Before a Volcano?
When it comes to volcanic eruptions, being prepared can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety and well-being. Here are some essential steps to prepare before a volcano occurs:
Stay updated on the latest volcanic activity in your area. Keep an eye on local news, official websites, and social media channels for updates from trusted sources such as the United States Geological Survey (USGS) or the National Weather Service (NWS). The local government will surely advise everyone about what to do if in case volcanic activity is up.
Produce an Emergency Plan
Develop a detailed emergency plan with your family or household members and
d even your neighbors. You need to identify evacuation routes, establish meeting points, and ensure everyone knows what to do in case of an eruption. Consider the specific needs of children, elderly family members, or pets when creating your plan.
Prepare Volcano Emergency Kit
A first aid kit, prescription medications, non-perishable food, flashlights, water, a battery- or hand-cranked radio, a whistle, batteries, and emergency supplies should all be included in an volcano emergency kit. Add blankets, additional clothing, and items for personal hygiene as well.
Secure Important Documents
You need to gather and store important documents like identification papers, passports, insurance policies, and medical records in a portable waterproof container. Additional, you can create digital duplicates and securely storing them in the cloud or on a portable USB drive. Moreover, you also need to put these important files in a secure place that you can easily access.
Ensure Adequate Shelter
Assess the vulnerability of your home to volcanic hazards and make necessary improvements. Reinforce doors and windows, install shutters or covers to protect against ashfall, and inspect the stability of your roof. If you live in an area prone to volcanic activity, consider building a safe room designed to withstand ashfall and other potential impacts.
Create a Communication Plan
Establish a communication plan with your family and everyone accessible, especially your local government. Designate a specific out-of-area contact person who can serve as a central point of contact during emergencies. This person should be outside the potentially affected area.
Include Solar Generator and Portable Power Station
As part of your preparedness kit, consider including a solar generator or portable power station. These devices can provide a reliable source of power during and after a volcanic eruption, especially if there are disruptions to the electrical grid. They can power essential electronics such as communication devices, medical equipment, or small appliances.
Solar generators and Portable Power Station are designed to convert solar energy into electricity or store power from other sources, such as a regular power outlet or a car's cigarette lighter. Look for models with sufficient capacity to meet your specific needs and ensure they are fully charged and ready for use before an eruption.
What We Should Do When a Volcano Occurs?
During a volcanic eruption, it's crucial to follow the guidance of local authorities and take immediate action to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here are some volcano safety tips for you to be prepared during a volcanic eruption:
Stay Calm and Stay Indoors
If you are indoors during an eruption, stay calm and remain inside unless instructed otherwise by authorities. Close all windows and doors to minimize the entry of volcanic ash into your home. Use damp towels or blankets to block gaps and seal off any drafty areas.
Continuously monitor local news and official channels for updates and emergency instructions. Pay attention to evacuation orders or shelter-in-place directives issued by authorities. Utilize your online presence to know the latest and get prepared for a volcano as well.
Evacuate if Necessary
If instructed to evacuate, do so promptly and follow the designated evacuation routes. Take your volcano emergency kit, necessary medications, and important documents with you. If time permits, turn off utilities such as gas, electricity, and water before leaving your home.
Protect Yourself from Ashfall
If you cannot evacuate and are in an area affected by ashfall, take measures to protect yourself. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, goggles, and a dust mask or N95 respirator to reduce inhalation of volcanic ash. Avoid driving or operating machinery as ashfall can severely impact visibility and damage engines.
Avoid River Valleys and Low-Lying Areas
Stay away from river valleys and low-lying areas, as they can be at higher risk of lahars—destructive volcanic mudflows caused by the rapid melting of volcanic snow or ice during an volcanic eruption.
Seek Higher Ground
If you live near a volcano and there is a risk of pyroclastic flows, move to higher ground as quickly as possible. Pyroclastic flows are fast-moving clouds of hot gas, ash, and volcanic debris that can be extremely dangerous and deadly. Moreover, if the alert is on Level 1, you need to immediately look into your plan and execute it well.
In conclusion, knowing how to be prepared for a volcano is crucial for the safety and well-being of yourself and your loved ones. By following the steps outlined in this blog, you can significantly increase your chances of staying safe during such an event. Remember to stay informed about volcanic activity in your area, create an emergency plan, gather necessary supplies, and be ready to evacuate if necessary. Additionally, seek guidance from local authorities and utilize resources such as volcano monitoring agencies for real-time information. Being prepared is key when it comes to facing the unpredictable forces of nature, and by taking these proactive measures, you can ensure that you are ready to face the challenges presented by a volcano eruption. Stay safe and be prepared!