When people think about preparing for a weather emergency event, the ones that come to mind are probably hurricanes, earthquakes, and even a power outage. Many people probably don’t think about ever having to deal with a volcanic eruption, but as Hawaii has seen recently and countless times before, you need to be prepared for anything emergency that could happen in your community.
A volcano is an opening in the Earth’s crust that when erupting, allows molten rock, debris, and gases to escape from the core to the surface. Lava and debris from a volcanic eruption can flow up to 100 mph, destroying everything in its path. Volcanic ash can travel hundreds of miles and cause severe health problems to those breathing in the contaminated air. While volcanoes are most commonly attributed to Hawaii and Alaska, California and Oregon also have the most active volcanoes in the US. However, that does not mean other states do not also have potentially active volcanoes. Here is everything you need to know to prepare for the possibility of a volcanic eruption, like the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Make a Plan
The first step in preparing for a volcanic eruption is to understand if your community is in danger of being directly impacted by one. Know the direct risk of being in the path of volcanic lava, and learn evacuation routes and local shelters. Sign up for the local alert system to know all information as soon as possible, and be ready to act immediately. Finally, find out if your home insurance covers damage from volcanic eruptions.
Build a To-Go Emergency Supply Kit
It is best to always have a basic emergency supply kit fully stocked year round. Stock your kit with plenty of water, non-perishable foods that don’t require a long cooking process, and utensils. A volcanic eruption can contaminate local water supplies, so it is imperative to have one gallon of water per person in your household per day, which the CDC recommends should be three days. Be sure to have first-aid supplies, like bandages and anti-bacterial creams, in an easy-to-find location to prevent any panic in case you find yourself needing a patch-up. It is also very important in case of a black-out to have enough batteries on hand, in a wide variety of sizes, and flashlights.
Consider a Portable Generator
Volcanic eruptions can cause damage to machinery and reduce visibility through smog and harmful gases, making it hard to breathe and causing irritation to the eyes, skin, nose, and throat. This means it is very possible that you may lose power following an eruption, and it may be difficult or impossible for crews to start immediate work to restore power. With the outdoor conditions, it is usually advised for everyone to stay indoors. If you’re without power, you’ll want to have a backup generator to keep the refrigerator running, the lights on, and your phone properly charged to be able to communicate with others. The HomePower ONE has wide-ranging compatibility and can provide up to seven days of essential power.
While volcanic eruptions may seem unlikely, December’s Hawaiian eruption has shed light on the importance of always being prepared for weather emergencies to affect your community. Always have an emergency supply kit fully stocked with plenty of water, make a plan for evacuation and shelter, and practice it with your family. Consider purchasing a backup battery supply like the HomePower ONE to keep your home devices powered during an inevitable power outage.
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