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LDS Preparedness 101: Understanding a Volcano

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Understanding a Volcano
What a volcano is and how to survive an eruption.
A volcano is a mountain made of volcanic material. Magma (molten rock) can erupt through the surface of the mountain, causing the volcano to erupt. When this occurs, danger and devastation can be close to follow. It’s extremely important to understand what to do in the case of a volcano eruption.

The first thing that you should do during any volcanic activity is to follow the instructions of the local authorities. If an evacuation is called for, by all means, evacuate.
Be Prepared
Because volcano evacuation is time-critical, it’s important to have a disaster plan in place before an emergency occurs. This means making plans for pets, having emergency kits ready and knowing where to meet members of your family.
If you are indoors when the volcano erupts, close all of your windows, your dampers and your doors. Bring all animals inside and put all machinery inside the garage.
If you are outdoors when the volcano erupts, try to find shelter indoors as quickly as possible. If you are near a stream, move upslope to avoid mudflows. If a rockfall occurs and you are near it, roll into a ball and cover your head with your hands in order to protect yourself.
The actual volcano eruption isn’t the only danger you need to protect yourself from. The ashfall that occurs after the volcano erupts can be just as deadly as the volcano itself.
If you go outside during the ashfall, make sure you wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin and goggles to protect your eyes. Wear a mask or use a damp rag to cover your nose and mouth so you do not inhale the ash. Also remember not to start your vehicles during the ashfall.
Restricted Areas
More likely than not, the local authorities are going to be implementing restricted areas after the volcano hits. Even if the areas are not where lava flow occurred, it is important to avoid the areas that are defined as dangerous. Mudflows, flash floods and wildfires are all life-threatening dangers that can occur far beyond the lava flow of the volcanic eruption.
By taking the proper precautions before, during and after a volcano, you’ll increase your chances of survival and the experience doesn’t need to be so terrifying.

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Posted by Ryan Edgerton on December 20, 2005 2:45 PM | Permalink


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