There are specific procedures to follow if warning of a volcanic ashfall is given. The information relating to Households is primarily from a pamphlet, Guidelines on Preparedness Before, During, and After an Ashfall , prepared by The International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN).
Stocking up on Essentials
A sustained ashfall may keep people housebound for hours or possibly days. Keep these items in your home to be prepared for ashfall:
- Specifically recommended dust masks and eye protection.
- Water to last 72 hours (one gallon per person per day).
- Non-perishable food for at least 72 hours for all family members, including pets.
- Plastic wrap (to keep ash out of electronics).
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries.
- Lanterns or torches (flashlights) and extra batteries.
- If cold, extra wood for a fireplace or stove.
- If cold, extra blankets and warm clothing.
- Extra stocks of medication for both family and pets.
- First aid kit.
- Cleaning supplies (broom, vacuum cleaner & bags/filters, shovels etc).
- Small amount of money (ATM machines may not be working).
- Consider that you could be stuck in your vehicle, so store emergency supplies in your vehicle too.
Preparedness Actions to Take Before Ashfall
- Close doors and windows.
- Place damp towels at door thresholds and other draft sources. Tape draughty windows.
- Protect sensitive electronics and do not uncover until the environment is totally ash-free.
- Disconnect drainpipes/downspouts from gutters to stop drains clogging, but allowing ash and water to empty from gutters onto the ground.
- If you use a rainwater collection system for your water supply, disconnect the tank prior to ashfalling.
- If you have chronic bronchitis, emphysema or asthma, stay inside and avoid unnecessary exposure to the ash.
- Ensure livestock have clean food and water.
- If you have children, know your care provider's/school's emergency plan and have indoor games and activities ready.