Volcano Recovery

Earthquake, Tsunami & Volcano Programs

​What to Do if an Eruption is Imminent

1. Listen for advice and instructions from local officials
2. Check your emergency kit that you prepared in advance and have it ready to go.
3. Check that you have a full tank of gas and keep vehicles under cover until ready to leave (ash can prevent the engines from working).
4. If you do not have transportation, make arrangements with other family members, neighbors or emergency personnel.
5. Attend to the safety of pets and livestock if possible by enclosing them in a safe area or arranging for transportation to another location. If you take them with you, ensure you have food and water for them.

Preparing for ash fall


If instructed to evacuate:

1. Grab your emergency kit and ensure your car is ready.
2. Turn off the electricity and water in your home. Only turn off the gas if you suspect a leak or are instructed to do so. Gas can only be turned back on by a professional, which could take weeks.
3. Disconnect the appliances in your house.
4. Take the route designated by your local authorities and be prepared for delays.
5. Monitor television and radio stations for updates and further instructions.
6. Do not return to the impacted area until told to do so by the proper authorities.

If instructed to stay put (shelter in place):

1. Ensure you have an adequate supply of drinking water as local water supplies may become contaminated.
2. Gather extra water for cleanup. Use sinks, bathtubs and other containers as available.
3. Close and secure all windows and doors leading to the outside. If needed, seal with wet towels and/or duct tape.
4. Ensure all fans are off, including heaters and air conditioners and clothes dryers.
5. If you have one, ensure your fireplace damper is closed securely.
6. Move all pets or livestock inside. If not in the house, in a barn or garage. Ensure there is enough food and water.
7. Cover your car(s), machinery and electronics as ash may damage them. Do not uncover them until the environment is free of ash.
8. Shelter all family members in a room on the lowest floor without windows.
9. Listen to the television and/or radio for updates.
10. Do not open the house until given the “all clear” from proper authorities.

Preparing for lava flows

If your location is in the path of a lava flow, you must be ready to evacuate immediately when instructed to do so by local authorities. See evacuation procedures above.

​What to Do when Returning Home

Whether you have sheltered in place or evacuated, entering an area covered in volcanic ash can be a risk to your health. If you must do so, there are ways to protect yourself. Here are just some of the recommended methods:

1. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes, remove contact lenses as ash may get behind them and cause corneal abrasions.
2. Use a respirator to protect your lungs.
3. Cover all remaining parts of your body, including your hands, head and face.
4. When entering a building after walking through an ash covered area, remove your outer clothing to avoid spreading ash throughout the building.
5. Do not drive through ash if possible as it can clog the engine and cause abrasive damage to your car.
6. Keep children and animals away from ash. If pets get ash on their fur, hooves or paws, wash them immediately to avoid ingestion. Give them plenty of water for drinking.

Please see our partner’s websites for further protective recommendations and safe removal of volcanic ash.


Local Exercises and Informational Events

Exercises and events will be posted as information becomes available.


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