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.