Photo: Soufriere Hills Volcano

Photograph by Vincent J. Musi

A volcanic eruption can be an awesome and destructive event. Here are some tips on how to avoid danger and what to do if you're caught near an eruption.

Safety Tips

• Stay away from active volcanoes.

• If you live near an active volcano, keep goggles and a mask in an emergency kit, along with a flashlight and a working, battery-operated radio.

• Know your evacuation route. Keep gas in your car.

If a Volcano Erupts in Your Area

• Evacuate only as recommended by authorities to stay clear of lava, mud flows, and flying rocks and debris.

• Avoid river areas and low-lying regions.

• Before you leave the house, change into long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use goggles or eyeglasses, not contacts. Wear an emergency mask or hold a damp cloth over your face.

• If you are not evacuating, close windows and doors and block chimneys and other vents, to prevent ash from coming into the house.

• Be aware that ash may put excess weight on your roof and need to be swept away. Wear protection during cleanups.

• Ash can damage engines and metal parts, so avoid driving. If you must drive, stay below 35 miles (56 kilometers) an hour.

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