Volcanoes blast hot, solid and molten rock and gases into the air. As a result, ash can fall hundreds of miles downwind of a volcano. If you live near a volcano, active or dormant, be prepared to follow instructions from your local emergency officials by listening to the radio and television. Volcanoes occur on the West Coast, in Alaska and in Hawaii.


  • Have a disaster plan.
  • Know whether or not you are at risk for danger.
  • Be prepared for mudslides, flash floods, earthquakes, ash falling, acid rain and tsunamis.
  • Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home and car. Include a first aid kit, canned food and a can opener, bottled water, battery-operated radio, flashlight, protective clothing, dust mask, goggles and sturdy shoes.
  • Know evacuation routes.


  • Follow the evacuation order issued by authorities.
  • Avoid areas downwind and river valleys downstream of the volcano.
  • If your caught indoors, close all windows and doors, put machinery inside a barn, and bring animals inside.
  • If you’re trapped outdoors, seek shelter indoors. If you’re caught in falling rocks, roll into a ball and protect your head. If you’re caught near a stream, be aware of mudflows. Move to higher ground.
  • Protect yourself when ash falls. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Use goggles to protect your eyes. Wear a dust mask and keep car engines off.


  • Cover you mouth and nose. Volcanic ash can irritate your respiratory system.
  • Wear goggles and protect your eyes.
  • Keep your skin covered.
  • Clear roofs of ash. The ash is very heavy and can cause the building to collapse.
Weather information