This is a quick start guide for how to use this website for the general public.
If volcanic ashfall is forecast or has fallen in your area
- Follow the advice of your local Civil Defense or Emergency Management officials.
- Stay up to date with the volcano and ash status and any forecasts from your local volcano observatory.
Consider which of the 'For Public' resources are relevant to you on the Resources
tab at the top of this website, which includes a range of health and public focused fact sheets and brochures in conjunction with the International
Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN).
Key areas of more detailed information on this site that apply especially to public and household situations include:
If you live or work in an area that may receive ashfall in the future, there are a range of things you can do to prepare in advance of the
next ash eruption:
Have a look through the above resources and pages, so you are familiar with the available mitigation options, and can be ready to
take the actions you need at the right time.
- Read the Preparedness section and its various sub-sections.
Key Actions for Everyone in an Ashfall
If ashfall is forecast
While ash is falling
- Go home, if possible, to avoid travelling in ashy conditions.
If you or any members of your family have respiratory or heart conditions, keep your reliever and preventer medications handy and use
as prescribed. If you have any concerns, call your doctor.
- Move pets indoors.
Move vehicles and machinery under cover or cover them with a tarpaulin.
Disconnect downpipes from roof catchment rainwater tanks to keep ash out.
After ash has stopped falling
- Stay indoors.
Keep ash out of the house by keeping doors and windows shut. Shut down heat pumps and air conditioning units that draw outdoor
air into the house.
- If outside, seek shelter (e.g. in a car or building).
If exposed to ashfall, use a mask or cloth over the nose and mouth to help avoid inhaling ash. If possible, wear glasses instead
of contact lenses as ash trapped behind lenses can damage your eyes.
- Do not overload phone networks with non-emergency calls.
- Seek information from official channels and follow any instructions from authorities.
If there is ash in your water, let it settle and then use the clear water. Water contaminated by ash will usually make drinking
water unpalatable before it presents a health risk.
- You may eat vegetables from the garden, but wash them first.