Volcanic Eruption: What to do before, during, and after
With the country on Alert Level 4 for “hazardous explosion” being possible in Taal within days, if not hours, Filipinos are starting to prepare for potential disaster. To help everyone stay safe, here’s a quick guide on what to do before, during, and after a volcanic eruption:
BEFORE THE EXPLOSION
- Evacuate immediately if you live or are staying within the radius of affected areas. Long before the explosion, affected areas would have been given a warning to evacuate the premises by local government units.
- Stay tuned to national news and your local community’s channels to be on top of the situation and stay informed with local safety plans and evacuation areas. Whether it’s through local radio, TV news, or official social channels of news outlets, make sure that you’re getting reliable information from trusted sources and not potentially dangerous misinformation from hoax accounts.
- Charge your electronics. Keep your mobile devices and power banks charged in case of power interruptions.
- Know disaster hotlines and other emergency hotlines. Save these numbers in your mobile phone:
- National Emergency Hotline: 911
- Philippine National Police: 117
- PHIVOLCs – (02) 8426-1468 to 79
- Philippine Red Cross – 143 or (02) 8790-2300
- Bureau of Fire Protection – (02) 8426-0246
- National Disaster Risk Reduction And Management Council (NDRRMC) – (02) 8911-5061 to 65 local 100
- Here’s a complete list of government hotlines: https://www.gov.ph/hotlines
- Prepare a go-bag in case of evacuation. This should include:
- A mask per person (N95 or makeshift)
- Copies of personal documents
- Phone and powerbank
- Flashlights and batteries or candles and matches
- 3 gallons of potable water per person
- 3 days worth of non-perishable food
- Hygiene and sanitation items
- First aid kit and maintenance medication
- Extra cash
DURING A VOLCANIC ERUPTION
- Use an N95 dust mask to protect yourself from pulmo-respiratory injuries and diseases. If these are unavailable, use a damp handkerchief or makeshift one from an old t-shirt.
- Protect your skin and eyes with proper clothing and glasses or goggles. Ashfall is sharp and abrasive, so don’t rub if any comes into contact with your skin or eyes.
- Secure your pets inside your home. Fine, volcanic ash is harmful for them too.
- If you are outside, seek cover immediately in case of rock or ash falls.
- If you are inside, stay tuned to the news to keep informed of recent developments. Close all doors and windows. Dampen curtains to keep fine particles from coming through.
- If you are driving a vehicle, pull over and stop if there is a heavy ashfall.
- Cover food and water containers to avoid contamination with ash.
- Wash all utensils thoroughly before eating. Fine ash particles may have settled on them.
- Stay away from rivers or streams to avoid lahar flow.
AFTER THE ERUPTION
- Do not leave your home or indoor shelters until notified by the local government that it is safe to do so. Evacuate to safer grounds only when notified.
- Keep a watchful eye on your kids or loved ones who may be tempted to go out to see what’s going on outside.
- Wear protection. Use masks, glasses/goggles, long sleeves, pants, and shoes when clearing out ash to protect your lungs, skin and eyes.
- Clean your gutters and roof with water after clearing out the ash to prevent corrosion.
- Wait for further announcements from LGUs or national news related to the volcanic eruption.
Stay safe everyone!
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