Volcanoes are one of the most awe-inspiring natural disasters out there. They can also be incredibly destructive and deadly.
With over 1,500 active volcanoes on the planet, it’s always wise to prepare for a potential eruption. Here’s your ultimate guide to volcano preparedness.
First Things First: Know Your Volcano Risks
The first step in preparing for a volcanic eruption is to know your risks. Do some research and find out if you live near any active or potentially active volcanoes. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a comprehensive database of all active volcanoes and their current status.
If you’re in a high-risk area, make sure you understand the types of eruptions your volcano is capable of and the hazards associated with each type.
Stock Up on Essential Supplies
Once you’ve assessed your risk, it’s time to start stocking up on essential supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:
Food and water
You should have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water. Make sure to include a manual can opener and water purification tablets.
First aid kit
A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for any disaster preparedness plan. Ensure you have enough supplies to treat burns, cuts, and other injuries.
Volcanic ash can be extremely hazardous to your health. Make sure you have enough N95 respirator masks for everyone in your household.
Clothing and bedding
Have extra clothing and bedding on hand in case you need to evacuate.
Flashlights and battery-operated radio: Make sure you have a way to get information and stay informed in case of a power outage.
Cash and important documents
Make sure you have cash on hand and essential documents such as passports, birth certificates, and insurance papers in a waterproof, portable container.
A Plan of Action
What to Do During an Eruption
The next step in preparing for a volcanic eruption is to have a plan of action. Here’s what you should do:
Stay informed: Keep up to date with the latest information from official sources such as the USGS and your local emergency management agency.
If you’re told to evacuate, do so immediately. Don’t take unnecessary risks and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Protect yourself from ash
If you cannot evacuate, ensure you have plenty of N95 respirator masks and stay indoors as much as possible.
Follow recommended safety measures: During an eruption, it’s important to follow recommended safety measures such as avoiding outdoor activities, wearing protective clothing, and covering windows and doors to keep ash out.
Volcanoes can be incredibly powerful and destructive, but with proper preparation, you can minimize the risks and protect yourself and your loved ones. Stay informed, stock up on essential supplies, and have a plan of action. And remember, a little bit of preparation can go a long way when surviving a volcanic eruption.