Preparing to evacuate
- Tune in the radio or television for volcano updates.
- Listen for disaster sirens and warning signals.
- Review your emergency plan and gather your emergency supplies. Be sure to pack at least a 1-week supply of prescription medications.
- Prepare an emergency kit for your vehicle with food, flares, booster cables, maps, tools, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, sleeping bags, a flashlight, batteries, etc.
- Fill your vehicle's gas tank.
- If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation, or follow authorities' instructions on where to obtain transportation.
- Place vehicles under cover, if at all possible.
- Put livestock in an enclosed area. Plan ahead to take pets with you, but be aware that many emergency shelters cannot accept animals.
- Fill your clean water containers.
- Fill sinks and bathtubs with water as an extra supply for washing.
- Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature. If the power goes out, food will stay cooler longer.
As you evacuate
- Take only essential items with you, including at least a 1-week supply of prescription medications.
- If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity and water.
- Disconnect appliances to reduce the likelihood of electrical shock when power is restored.
- Make sure your automobile's emergency kit is ready.
- Follow designated evacuation routes—others may be blocked—and expect heavy traffic and delays.
If you are told to take shelter where you are
- Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate. Local authorities may evacuate specific areas at greatest risk in your community.
- Close and lock all windows and outside doors.
- Turn off all heating and air conditioning systems and fans.
- Close the fireplace damper.
- Organize your emergency supplies and make sure household members know where the supplies are.
- Make sure the radio is working.
- Go to an interior room without windows that is above ground level.
- Bring your pets with you, and be sure to bring additional food and water supplies for them.
- It is ideal to have a hard-wired (non-portable) telephone in the room you select. Call your emergency contact—a friend or family member who does not live near the volcano—and have the phone available if you need to report a life-threatening condition. Remember that telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency.
In the end, you have got to do what you feel is best for you and your family.
Personally, I would be extremely hesitant to live in very high-risk areas along the west coast or near the Yellowstone supervolcano. This is especially true considering how dramatically global seismic activity is increasing.
But others point to the fact that these "danger areas" have not seen any major events in decades, so they wonder what all of the fuss is about.
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