Volcanoes

A volcano is a point on the Earth’s surface from which lava, volcanic gases and pyroclastic material are being extracted. The most active terrestrial volcanoes are found in the so-called Fiery Ring of the Pacific Ocean. In this zone, there’re more than 90% of active land volcanoes on the Earth, the highest of which is Ojos del Salado in Chile. A volcanic eruption may cause a flow out of a volcanic lava that can move at a high speed up to 100 km / h, destroying everything in its path. Additionally, it can pollute drinking water, significantly reduce visibility, irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat, affect breathing through smog and harmful gases in the air. A volcanic dust might travel over 100 km and cause serious health problems and damage machines (e.g. aircraft engines).

Before

• Be aware of the risk of a volcanic eruption in your area
• Ask local emergency services about evacuation and shelter plans and potential ash protection measures
• Prepare your personal evacuation backpack in case of emergency. Remember the specific needs of each family member, including medications. Don’t forget the animals’ needs
• Practice Communication and Evacuation plans with your family members
• If there’s a risk of volcanic dust and ash appearance, prepare an emergency plan at home
• Keep important documents in a safe place. Create digital copies protected by password
• Find out what will your house’s insurance policy cover in case of a volcano’s eruption

During

• Follow the messages and alerts
• Obey local authority’s evacuation instructions. Evacuate early. Take your evacuation backpack along with you
• Avoid river valleys and areas below the volcano. The debris and ashes will be carried by wind and gravity
• Choose a temporary shelter against a volcanic ash. Cover the vents and seal the doors and windows
• If you’re outside, protect yourself from falling ash that can irritate your skin and hurt your airways, eyes and open wounds. Use a well-fitting dust mask
• Avoid driving with strong ash drops, particles that get into the engine might stop it

After

• Follow the authorities’ announcements to find out when will returning home be safe after the explosion
• Text or use social media to reach family and friends. Telephone systems are often overloaded after a disaster. Make emergency calls only
• If you have breathing problems, avoid any contact with the ash. Stay at home until the authorities find it safe to go outside. Then, contact your doctor
• Don’t climb onto the house’s roof to remove the ash unless you have instructions or a training to do so. If you need, be very careful because the ash make the surface slippery. Additionally, make sure that you don’t put extra strain on an overloaded roof

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