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FEMA suggests a few simple steps to protect yourself from volcanic activity

The US has many volcanoes with potential for volcanic activity

Follow simple emergency measures to protect against volcanic eruptions. Photo: Mark A. Wilson

Potentially active volcanoes in the U.S. exist mainly in Hawaii, Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

With the recent eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, it is important to remember that the United States also has the potential for volcanic activity. 

When pressure builds up within a volcano's molten rock, it has the potential to erupt, sending forth lava flows, poisonous gases and flying rock and ash that can sometimes travel hundreds of miles downwind.

Stay informed:

Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do.

However, you should listen to NOAA Weather Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.


  • Follow the instructions of local emergency officials.
  • Know your community's warning systems and disaster plans, including evacuation routes.
  • Plan to evacuate quickly and to take your portable emergency supply kit with you.
  • Plan ahead by adding extra goggles and something to cover your nose and mouth to your emergency supply kit. Include something to cover your nose and mouth for every member of your family.
  • If you are unable to evacuate, and in order to protect yourself from falling ash, you should remain indoors with doors, windows and ventilation closed until the ash settles.

For additional information on dealing with volcanic eruptions, please visit the Red Cross website or the government website.

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