With all the hype lately about Yellow Stone’s Volcano and how it could “possibly” erupt a lot sooner than expected, I thought I would put together this article for you on preparing for the aftermath and some things to consider adding to your preparedness supplies.
In all honesty, I had never considered preparing for a volcano until recently. It’s just not something that is really heard of in the United states or discussed much where I am at. This lead me to research what the actual aftermath of a volcano would be like for the earth and air around us. I was in total shock and at that point began to research what I could do to protect me and my family should the eruption actually happen.
According to Survival Prepper if Yellow Stone erupted, this is what we would be in for…..
The cleanup would be immense:
- 80% of the US would be covered with ash
- 30% of the US would be unusable or uninhabitable
- Livestock in their millions would lie dead where they fell
Cities permanently abandoned would include:
- Billings, Montana
- Cheyenne, Wyoming
- Denver, Colorado
- Salt Lake City, Utah
What happens around the globe after Yellowstone erupts?
- Around a month after the eruption ends billions of tons of sulfur dioxide ejected by the volcano would travel around the northern hemisphere cutting down the sunlight.
- Within weeks the temperature would plummet by around 20 degrees plunging the northern hemisphere into a global volcanic winter.
- Then the southern hemisphere would cool.
- Monsoons in India would fail, bringing drought.
It would take years – decades even, before the planet’s climate would return to normal.
My first piece of advice would be to always listen to your local officials. If they tell you to evacuate then please heed that warning. So many people die who do not listen to evacuation Sirens. Here are some good tips to follow as well. These next few things are basics for any natural disaster.
- Have a Bug out Bag prepared to toss in the car and go.
- Have some food ready to throw in the car that is shelf stable and requires no refrigeration. (Here are some examples of wonderful Meals in a Jar. Each jar feeds four people.)
- Have an evacuation plan in place and practice it.
- Have a destination planned out with 3 different ways to get there.
- Know how much gas it will take and have the cash to buy some more if you need to refuel.
The aftermath of Volcanic ash is extremely dangerous. According to the CDC, “Exposure to ash can harm your health, particularly the respiratory (breathing) tract. To protect yourself while you are outdoors or while you are cleaning up ash that has gotten indoors, use a N-95 disposable respirator (also known as an “air purifying respirator”)”
These are the different respirator mask that are approved by the CDC.
A respirator must pass three tests:
- It must be capable of providing adequate protection.
- It must fit you properly and it must be compatible with any other personal protective equipment that you wear at the same time.
- In addition, you must always use it correctly for it to be fully effective.
N95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles. Not resistant to oil.
Surgical N95 – A NIOSH-approved N95 respirator that has also been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a surgical mask.
N99 – Filters at least 99% of airborne particles. Not resistant to oil.
N100 – Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles. Not resistant to oil.
R95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles. Somewhat resistant to oil.
P95 – Filters at least 95% of airborne particles. Strongly resistant to oil.
P99 – Filters at least 99% of airborne particles. Strongly resistant to oil.
P100 – Filters at least 99.97% of airborne particles. Strongly resistant to oil.
“The weight of volcanic ash on roofs can lead to their collapse, especially if the ash is wet and the building is not designed to support a heavy load. When a roof collapses under the strain of ash, people suffer direct injury or be killed. See effects of ash on roofs.” Says Volcanoes.usgs.gov.
Some things to consider adding to your supplies:
- Respiratory Mask: N95 or above
- Half face or Full Face Respirator Mask:
- Half face: Quick Latch Pro Duel Cartridge Respirator and extra cartridges
- Full Face Respirator mask and cartridges
- Tarps to cover your car and anything outside that needs to be protected from ash. You can not drive your vehicle after the volcano erupts. The ash sucked into the engine will destroy your car. I would highly recommend the Kelty Car tarp because it is designed to cover the car but could also be used as protection from the elements. A 2-in1 so to speak.
- Flashlights and batteries
- Sturdy Shoes
- Rolls of plastic and duct tape
- Hand crank emergency radio/flashlight/phone charger
- First Aid Kit
Precautions for general public and public-service workers
- Wear protective clothing and high-efficiency dust masks (the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has approved certain brands of masks). These masks and clothing should be available and easily accessible in preparation for and during volcano-related emergencies.
- If no approved mask is available, a fabric mask improvised from handkerchiefs, cloth, or clothing will filter out the larger ash particles which may contribute to throat and eye irritation. Dampening the fabric with water will improve its effectiveness.
- Patients with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma are advised to stay inside and avoid unnecessary exposure to ash.
- Handle the ash in open, well-ventilated areas, and wet the dust whenever possible to prevent its movement.
- In fine-ash environments, wear goggles or corrective eyeglasses instead of contact lenses to protect eyes from irritation.
- Keep all doors closed when there is a heavy accumulation of ash.
- Personnel not essential to the emergency should be kept inside and made to strictly observe all safety precautions during cleanup.
- Remember that vehicular and industrial accidents are more likely to occur because of reduced visibility. Keep a proper distance between vehicles when driving.
Modified from, FEMA, 1984
Precautions for children
Children face the same hazards from the suspension of ash as other age groups, but their exposure may be increased because they are physically smaller and are less likely to adopt reasonable, prudent, preventive measures to avoid unnecessary exposure to ash. After the ash fall from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, the following recommendations were offered to the public by the Mount St. Helens Technical Information Network:
- Keep children indoors when ash is visible indoors.
- Children should be advised against strenuous play or running when as is in the air, since exertion leads to heavier breathing, drawing small particles more deeply into the lungs.
- Communities in heavy ash fall areas may wish to organize day-care programs to reduce the economic burden of working parents.
- If children must be outdoors when ash is present in the air, they should wear a mask, preferably one approved by NIOSH. Many masks, however, are designed to fit adults rather than children.
- Small children may at times swallow ash, and evidence suggests that ingestion of ash is not a hazard to the health of children and adults.
- Children should be prevented from playing in areas where ash is deep on the ground or piled up, especially if they are likely to roll in the ash.
- More frequent cleaning of home interior areas where children play will minimize the amount of indoor ash exposure in areas of heavy past or future ash falls.
Modified from, Mount St. Helens Technical Information Network (Bulletin 14), 1980
While I have covered some of the basics in this article I strongly recommend you read, “Key Facts about Preparing for a Volcano Eruption.” It covers things in detail I did not touch on here such as livestock.