Experience with ashfalls from around the world suggest the following emergency planning measures for ashfall:
  • Conduct a vulnerability analysis of equipment and facilities to determine which would be the most affected by ashfall and which are adequately and inadequately protected.
  • Identify appropriate methods of protecting vulnerable equipment and facilities from ash (for example, see section Keeping Ash Out of Buildings and Special Maintenance of Vehicles.
  • Develop a priority list of facilities that must be kept operative versus those that can be shutdown during and after ashfalls. Identify effective and efficient ash-removal methods for equipment and facilities.
  • Develop communication plans and procedures for notifying employees of potential ashfall warnings, reducing or shutting down operations and accelerating maintenance of buildings and machinery during cleanup operations.
  • Stockpile spare parts for critical equipment, including oil and air filters and cleaning and disposal equipment.
  • Do not start cleanup operations until the ashfall is over (except when buildings are threatened by overloading of roofs).
  • Personal-protection gear and logistical support will be needed for employees during ashy conditions, especially those involved in cleanup operations. For example, filter masks, respirators, eye protection, hats or helmets, food and water, auxiliary lighting and even portable toilets to minimize walking traffic into buildings.
  • Establish a control and communications center to coordinate cleanup activities and disseminate ash and eruption cloud notices and information to employees.
  • Provide educational materials about ash to employees regarding physical properties of volcanic ash, potential health effects, and personal-protective equipment.
  • Prioritize and sequence areas for cleanup (top to bottom) and coordinate with public organizations and communities.
  • Identify short-term and long-term equipment availability and needs; consider resources that might be available elsewhere.
  • No single cleaning technique will be the best in all situations; a range of measures often provides the best results. Constant monitoring of ash effects and mitigation procedures is encouraged to achieve the most effective balance between operational requirements and damage limitation.