What to Do During a Volcanic Eruption

If a volcano near you erupts then you need to take protective measures immediately. Turn on the radio and television and follow the advice given by local officials. Do not think you know better than them. They have sophisticated equipment that tells them which way ash clouds are blowing and which way lave flows.



If a flow is headed towards you then evacuate the area immediately. Do not wait for the radio to tell you what to do if you see the lava is headed your way.



If you re in a vehicle then make sure that you roll up the windows and keep the doors closed. Drive away from the danger. Do not attempt to drive across the path of anything dangerous unless you have absolutely no choice.  It is also a good idea to watch for any unusual hazards in the road such as dead animals, burning fallen trees or fallen rock.  You might also encounter people fleeing the disaster on foot or crashed or abandoned vehicles.



If you cannot leave and you are indoors then bring all pets and livestock in. Close all windows, doors, fireplaces and dampers and turn off al fans, heating and air condition systems.  Do not suck ash into the home.



If you are outside then seek shelter indoors.  If you are caught in fallen rock then roll into a ball to protect your head.  If you are near a river or stream be aware that mudflows and lava can raise water levels and cause problems.



If you are burned by flying burning stones or lava then seek care for burns immediately.  Administer prompt First Aid Measures if you have to.



To prevent your eyes, throat and nose from being irrigated by volcanic gases and fumes keep moving away from the source. Wear a gas mask if you can to prevent yourself from inhaling toxic fumes.



To protect yourself from ash fall stay inside and wear long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Wear goggles. If you think your building may collapse due to a build up of ash on the roof then you need to leave.


If you live near an active volcano it is important to keep air purifying respirators on hand. These N-95 respirators are disposable particulate style respirators and are very easy to obtain.  Try to stay outdoors for a short a time as possible if you can to prevent injury to your resperitatory system.



The important thing is to stay abreast of local announcements that can tell you if fire, flying debris, lava or ashfall is about to come your way.