Good preparation for a volcanic eruption can be the difference between life and death. This will most likely help you protect yourself and protect your belongings from exposure to dust. Creating an emergency response plan is key to preparing, while educating people at home can help ensure their safety and security in the event of an eruption. When the disaster strikes, you must follow official government guidelines, and be prepared to evacuate or evacuate.
Method 1 of 3: Creating an Emergency Response Plan
Step 1. Draw an emergency communication flow
Volcanic eruptions are very dangerous so people living in the area around the mountain should be well prepared. The first step to preparation is to draw a comprehensive flow plan on how to communicate with your family in an emergency.
- Start by writing down all communication options between you and your family, and compiling all relevant phone numbers and email addresses. Don't forget to write down the landline number.
- Eruptions can occur suddenly when family members are not at home. So, it is very important to know the emergency response plans of schools, workplaces and local governments.
- Choose someone from out of town, such as a family member or relative, who can serve as a communication meeting point.
- If you're separated and can't communicate with other family members, contact an out-of-town person to link information between you and the rest of the family.
Step 2. Define an emergency meeting point
As part of your contingency plan, you must define one specific place so that all family members can go there when an eruption occurs and you must evacuate. If there is a person with a disability in your family, make sure the place has adequate access. Include pets in the plan and find a place that can accommodate animals. Choice of four different meeting points.
- The first meeting point is indoors, such as a house or evacuation area, where you can escape wind and volcanic ash.
- The second meeting point is in a neighborhood that is not your home. If for some reason you can't go to your own home, a location close to your home is the best option.
- The third meeting point should be in the city where you live, but outside your neighborhood. A public building in the city center, such as a library or community center, is a good choice.
- Finally, choose a meeting point outside the city. It's a place where you can meet up with your family if you have to leave town unexpectedly. Where family or relatives live outside the city is a good choice for this purpose.
Step 3. Discuss the plan with your family
Take the time to discuss the plan with the rest of the family so they understand, and make sure everyone keeps a copy of the contact details in their wallet or purse. All members of your family must know what to do if an evacuation warning appears and understand that ignoring an evacuation warning will only make it difficult for other family members.
- You can simulate an emergency plan and evaluate it when you are with your family to make sure everyone involved feels a part of the plan.
- Talking to children about the possibility of a disaster happening is much better than pretending that it will never happen.
- If children know that everything has been planned, and know what to do, their fear and anxiety will be reduced when disaster strikes.
Step 4. Consider the possible financial implications
Just like preparing for an emergency response, you also have to take care of other things related to disasters. This includes considering using insurance to cover potential damage from a volcano and considering the impact of an eruption on your business. If you have a business located near a volcano, create a business continuity plan to ensure employees are safe while protecting stock of products, equipment, and other critical assets.
- If you run a business, you have the same responsibilities to your employees as you do to your family.
- Volcanoes can cause severe property damage. Consider using insurance if you live in a high-risk area.
Method 2 of 3: Ensuring Availability of Necessary Logistics
Step 1. Prepare an emergency supplies kit
This kit is a must-have for people living in volcanic eruption zones. This kit should contain a first aid kit, a supply of food and water, a mask to protect yourself from volcanic ash such as those used when you are mowing the grass, a manual can opener, a flashlight with an extra battery, medicine, thick shoes, goggles or other eye protection, as well as a battery-powered radio.
- Make sure everyone in the house knows where the kit is stored and keep the kit in an easy-to-reach place.
- A versatile device that functions as a flashlight, cell phone charger and radio, and is either solar powered or pumpable, it is the ideal tool to have at home in case of a natural disaster. Pack the tool if you have one.
Step 2. Make an emergency kit for your car
Just like a normal emergency kit, you'll need to put the things you'll need in an emergency into your car. This kit should combine common emergency supplies, such as food, first aid kits, sleeping bags, blankets, and spare batteries, with equipment to keep the car in good condition. Make sure you have a map, booster and jumper cables, a fire extinguisher, and some other equipment.
- Make sure the fuel tank is full. If you can't use a private car, make arrangements with neighbors or friends to ride their car.
- Discuss this with neighbors or friends ahead of time and don't wait for an evacuation order to be issued.
- If you don't have any means of transportation, tell the emergency services during the evacuation.
Step 3. Consider the use of respiratory protective equipment
One of the health hazards of volcanic eruptions is the emergence of volcanic ash which can damage the respiratory tract. Ash can be blown by the wind for hundreds of miles and can cause health problems for babies, adults, or people with respiratory illnesses. If one of your family members belongs to a group with a more severe risk, you can buy an air purifier for breathing.
- The N-95 mask is a product recommended by the government and can be purchased at your nearest hardware store.
- If you don't have respiratory protection, use a regular dust mask. This product may be able to reduce irritation when exposed to ash for a short time although it does not provide protection like other respiratory protection devices.
- If volcanic ash is in the air around you, stay indoors to prevent the worst effects.
Step 4. Set up communication tools to get updated information
Make sure you have tools to receive new information from authorized personnel that are in good condition and ready to use. Use the radio or television at home to listen to announcements about eruption and evacuation information. Listen to the disaster siren and learn the meaning behind the sound so you know what's going on. When a volcano erupts, you need to hear the siren before escaping.
Method 3 of 3: Taking Appropriate Steps When Eruption Occurs
Step 1. Evacuate when ordered
It is very important to pay close attention to the instructions and warnings issued by the local government and emergency services personnel. Remember that officers are trained in these situations and have better access to information than you. If you are asked to evacuate, do so quickly, calmly and according to the instructions given.
- When evacuating, only bring essential items, such as an emergency kit and a car kit. Make sure you have the necessary supplies of medicine to last for at least one week.
- If you have time, be sure to turn off the gas, electricity and water in the house.
- It is also recommended that you remove electronic devices before leaving. This will reduce the risk of a power surge when the power is turned on again.
- If you are driving, follow the designated evacuation routes and be prepared for traffic jams. Other routes may be closed. So, stay on the designated evacuation route.
- When evacuating, avoid low areas and valleys. There is a chance of cold lava flowing into the area. If you want to cross a river, pay attention to the upstream direction before crossing. If there is cold lava approaching, do not cross.
Step 2. Take care of livestock and pets
When your house or property is directly affected by the eruption, animals will not be able to escape. Do your best to save them. Keep in mind that most refugee areas cannot accommodate animals. If you are bringing pets, you should plan ahead and provide them with food and water.
Place farm animals in an enclosed area or make arrangements to move them as far away from there as possible
Step 3. Take shelter at home if you are asked not to leave the house
If you are not asked to evacuate, but are asked to stay at home for cover, turn on the television and radio so that you can move quickly when needed. While at home, you should take extra steps to ensure your own safety and health. Start by closing and securing all windows and doors that lead to the outside. Make sure the air conditioner and all fans are turned off.
- Store extra water in sinks, bathtubs, and other containers in emergency supplies for cleaning (use sparingly) or purified for drinking. You can also get emergency drinking water from a water heater.
- Gather your family in a room that is higher than ground level and has no windows, if you can.
- Keep up to date with the latest information, but stay indoors until you are authorized to leave by the authorities. This is the best way to avoid the risk of respiratory damage from volcanic ash.
Step 4. Help others in need
When you are asked to evacuate or take cover, you should think about those around you who may need help. If you have elderly neighbors, special needs, or babies, be sure to help them as much as you can. If you are evacuating yourself and have space in the car, offer to help an elderly neighbor. If you are sheltering at home, invite him to take shelter with you or make sure he is safe in his own house.
Step 5. Protect yourself if you go out
You should not go outside unless the condition has improved. However, if you need to go out to help someone else, try to protect yourself as best you can. If you can, wear eye protection to protect your eyes and a mask to protect your lungs. Cover as much of your body as possible and put a scarf around your head.
- Goggles and a swimsuit can be worn to protect your eyes and breathing if that's all you have on hand.
- When entering a building after being outside and exposed to volcanic ash, remove the outer layer of clothing. Ash is quite difficult to clean if it has stuck to objects.
- If you are outside, remove contact lenses and wear protective eyewear. Ash getting behind contact lenses can injure the eye and cause abrasion of the cornea.
- Ideally, keep a telephone in the room where you are sheltering. It can be used to keep emergency contacts active so you can get help when a problem occurs.
- Use phone calls only in an emergency so that the communication system is not full.
- Report damage to public channels to local officials if you see one.
- Check the condition of your friends and neighbors. This is very important, especially if you know they need help or have special needs.
- Volcanic ash is very dangerous for breathing. This ash is dangerous for everyone, especially for patients with respiratory ailments, such as asthma or bronchitis.
- Don't look around! In addition to endangering themselves, people who see natural disasters usually cause problems for emergency workers and rescue teams. Stay away from restricted areas when disaster strikes.