n What to do before an ashfall
Whether in a car, at home, at work or play, you should
always be prepared. Intermittent ashfall and resuspension
of ash on the ground may continue for years.
Keep these items in your home in case of any natural
n Extra dust masks.
n Enough non-perishable food for at least three days.
n Enough drinking water for at least three days (one
gallon per person per day).
n Plastic wrap (to keep ash out of electronics).
n First aid kit and regular medications.
n Battery-operated radio with extra batteries.
n Lanterns or flashlights with extra batteries.
n Extra wood, if you have a fireplace or wood stove.
n Extra blankets and warm clothing.
n Cleaning supplies (broom, vacuum, shovels, etc.).
n Small amount of extra cash (ATM machines may not
n Explain what a volcano is and what they should
expect and do if ash falls.
n Know your schools emergency plan.
n Have quiet games and activities available.
n Store extra food and drinking water.
n Keep extra medicine on hand.
n Keep your animals under cover, if possible.
Any vehicle can be considered a movable, second home.
Always carry a few items in your vehicle in case of delays,
emergencies or mechanical failures.
n Dust masks and eye protection.
n Blankets and extra clothing.
n Emergency food and drinking water.
n General emergency supplies: first aid kit, flashlight,
fire extinguisher, tool kit, flares, matches, survival
n Waterproof tarp, heavy tow rope.
n Extra air and oil filters, extra oil, windshield wiper
blades and windshield washer fluid.
n Cell phone with extra battery.
n What to do during and after an ashfall
n Close doors, windows and dampers. Place damp towels
at door thresholds and other draft sources; tape drafty
n Dampen ash in yard and streets to reduce resuspension.
n Put stoppers in the tops of your drainpipes (at the
n Protect dust sensitive electronics.
n Since most roofs cannot support more than four inches
of wet ash, keep roofs free of thick accumulation. Once
ashfall stops, sweep or shovel ash from roofs and
gutters. Wear your dust mask and use precaution on
ladders and roofs.
n Remove outdoor clothing before entering a building.
Brush, shake and pre-soak ashy clothing before washing.
n If there is ash in your water, let it settle and then use the
clear water. In rare cases where there is a lot of ash in
the water supply, do not use your dishwasher or
n You may eat vegetables from the garden, but wash
n Dust often using vacuum attachments rather than dust
cloths, which may become abrasive.
n Use battery operated radio to receive information.
n Follow schools directions for care of children at school.
n Keep children indoors; discourage active play in dusty
settings. Dust masks do not fit well on small children.
n Keep pets indoors. If pets go out, brush or vacuum
them before letting them indoors.
n Make sure livestock have clean food and water.
n Discourage active play in dusty settings.
n If possible, do not drive; ash is harmful to vehicles.
n If you must drive, drive slowly, use headlights, and use
ample windshield washer fluid.
n Change oil, oil filters, and air filters frequently (every 50
to 100 miles in heavy dust, i.e., less than 50 feet visibility;
every 500 to 1,000 miles in light dust).
n Do not drive without an air filter. If you cannot change
the air filter, clean it by blowing air through from the
n If car stalls or brakes fail, push car to the side of the road
to avoid collisions. Stay with your car.