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...part of the info series on How to prepare your Personal Emergency Plan  | this pages is also accessed via bit.ly/VolcanoPreparedness

Geophysical Hazards: Volcano | wider impacts of Volcanic Eruptions

Scenario Volcano | wider impacts of Volcanic Eruptions

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Relatively rare events like volcanic eruptions are difficult to anticipate and plan for. In their immediate vicinity they have the potential of being apocalyptic events; i.e.Vesuvius/Pompei (livescience) or the Yellowstone ‘super volcano’ hypothesis (ScienceAlert). Not everyone wants to consider such end-of-the-world scenarios. Volcanos affect us all, however, even if they happen at the other end of the world and lead to long-term climatic changes. An example here is Mount Tambora volcano or Krakatau which resulted in global impacts that included failed harvests in Europe and laundry freezing on the lines in summer in the US city of Boston (Blast from the Past, Smithsonian) 

Volcanic Eruption - Volcanic Ash

Volcanic ash is deadly! A multitude of dangerous particels and gases, such as aerosols, are carried in volcanic ash. Some of these include Carbon dioxide, Sulfates (sulfur dioxide), Hydrochloric acid, Hydroflouric acid. Each have different but serious effects on human health if exposed (see CuttingEdge) . Volcanic ash is also a hazard for air travel, grounding and stranding passengers (i.e. the Eyjafjallajoekull, Iceland, April 2010; Wikipedia; BBC impact on Scotland’s natural resources (info); How it unfolded. The University of Icleland has an info sheet on Volcanic Gas Hazard.

Find out more about Volcanos around the world (i.e. list on Wiki) and especially Mount Etna, the tallest active Volcano in Europe (Sicily, Italy; (BBC).

Recent incidents:   August, September 2014, Bardarbunga + Holuhraun Iceland (Uni Iceland); 05Jun2014 Pavlof Volcano Alaska; 14Feb2014 East Java; 03Feb2014 Ecuador Tungurahua volcano; 01Feb2014 Volcano Sinabung in Sumatra;  30Dec2013 Eastern El Salvador;

You might want to try your hand at the MET Office's eVAcuate game as part of the 2013 National Science & Engineering Week. It is a volcano scenario; list of volcanos in the UK (Wiki); Volcanos of the World (VolcanoDiscovery); Volcanic Ash advisory (for aviation) VAAC Met Office



  • these are rare events and difficult to anticipate unless you live in the shadow of a volcano (check your community response plans also for subsequent events like mud flows, flash floods, landslides, rockfall, earthquakes, acid rain, ashfall)
  • but - there are global implications; i.e. severe travel and supply line disruptions to consider, make your plan accordingly (see UK FoodSecurity)

  • prepare your evacuation plan and disaster supply kit, first aid etc.
  • prepare personal protective gear to avoid contact with ash at all cost
  • prepare to seal windows and doors 
  • stock up on waterpurification to assure safe drinking water supplies 
  • prepare a Go-Bag and shelter-in-place Emergency Kit (what Kit do I need?)

  • if caught out seek shelter. Your safest place is indoors away from hazards
  • close all doors and windows, protect your property from volcanic ash
  • keep informed, tune in to radio, TV etc.
  • follow guidance of the emergency services, shelter-in place or evacuate as advised
  • clear roofs of ashfall when safe to do so, never drive or go out during ashfall

  • rebuild and recover

thank you for sharing!

Select resources: list of volcanoes in the UK;  BGS my volcano app; Protezione Civile Vesuvius Emergency PlanSuper Volcano Wiki, Iceland Civil Protection and Emergency ManagementCDC Emergency Response Volcano; USGS preparing for Volcano; volcano webcam list from wired; interactive map of active volcanoes and earthquakes;

source http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/infocus/grims052311/g01_14485758.jpg2004 Grimsvotn Iceland source http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/images/Grimsvotn2004_small.jpg