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By April 2, 2012 Read More →

General Preparedness and Medical Treament During Volcanic Eruptions

<Edited by Dave>

There is a great deal of recent news on the Internet regarding increasing global volcanic events and their accompanying earthquakes.  With that in mind and our own dormant volcanoes coming to life here in California, I felt it appropriate to devote some time and energy to this different subject.  It is hoped that you have moved forward to developing an emergency communications and disaster plan for your family as chances are you won’t be together as a unit when the event happens.  We enjoy watching and learning from the movie Dante’s Peak, it’s very close to the real McCoy.

A low-frequency vibration usually accompanies the earth rocking movement and as it grows longer and stronger you may not be able to stand through it.  Have on hand a good crank-up radio and flashlight with backup batteries.  A well-stocked first aid kit is mandatory, consider taking a CPR and First Aid class before you need it.  Remember that this earthquake event will happen quickly, it’s important not to panic and react calmly.  The ashfall from this occurance will require an N-95 respirator for both you and your animals. In addition, sturdy shoes, goggles, gloves and a hat.  Your pre-packed duffel bag should already contain:  protein bars, a water-filtration bottle, essential medications, a pocketknife and Paracord.

Evacuate when you are told to do so or earlier if it becomes self-evident.  It’s the best way to keep medical issues and loss of life to a minimum, and also the smart thing to do.  In the event of a full-eruption, remember that most roofs cannot support more than four inches of ash fall.  It gets very heavy, so if you are staying home, keep it shoveled off.  The effects of an eruption can be felt for miles and seen from just as far.  Be alert for lightning, flash-floods, lava flows and mudflows that can move 20 to 40 miles an hour.

Please don’t forget your precious animals food, water, toys, chewies, any medication, grooming tools as they do deserve to be kept clean and well cared for.  They depend on you, don’t leave them behind to die.

Medically:

1) expect some respiratory problems for sensitive people inhaling fine silicate dust and maybe dangerous levels of H25, S02 and other volcanic gases.

2) Learn how to treat: broken arms and legs, deep cuts, abrasions and bruises from various impacts.

3) burns ranging anywhere from 1st to 3rd degree on the skin, in the esophagus and in the lungs and probably in critical condition.  A well-trained and prepared triage team available at the very beginning of the event with necessary first aid including antibiotic ointment, electrolyte drinks and eye washes will be most advantageous in keeping injuries and healing under control.

 



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