Volcano Preparedness

Earthquake, Tsunami & Volcano Programs

​Am I at Risk of a Volcanic Eruption?

Do you know if you live, work, shop, or play in an area at risk of volcanic eruption? To determine your risk, visit the United State Geological Survey Volcanoes and Current Activity map.

California is home to a variety of volcanoes, many of which most people are not aware. See a list of volcanoes in California.

For more information, visit your local county emergency management website.

​Prepare your Home and Family

Preparing your family for a possible volcanic eruption will not only help protect your health and property from volcanic ash and lava, but may be the difference between life and death.

Preparing a plan of approach is vital, as is educating everyone in your family or household to better ensure their safety and wellbeing when a volcano erupts.

Below are steps you can take to minimize impacts to your family and home in the event of volcanic eruption:

1. Know where the active volcanoes are in your area and how close you are to them.

2. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy, and if necessary, increase your level of coverage to ensure you are covered adequately.

3. Obtain proper respiratory protection such as an air purifying respirator, also referred to as an N-95 disposable respirator. This can be found at your local hardware store.

4. If there are disaster warning sirens in your area be aware of what they sound like. When a volcanic eruption occurs, you'll want and need to listen for them.

5. Create an emergency evacuation plan with your family. Review it often so that each person knows what to do, how to find each another if you're apart, and how to contact neighbors and/or emergency services if you cannot get away from the property using your own transportation. 

 -Take into account anyone with functional and/or access needs, children, pets, and livestock. 
 -Know how to turn off all utilities.

6. Create an emergency kit for your car including maps, tools, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, flares, additional non-perishable food, booster cables, sleeping bags and/or emergency blankets, and a flashlight.

There are many more ways to prepare your family. Please visit our partners’ websites for further information.

​Prepare your Workplace

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey, in 2013 the average work day for full time employed Americans (age 25-54 with children) was 8.7 hours. An eruption could occur anytime in that 8.7 hours. Are you prepared for that? Preparing your workplace is just as important as preparing your home. There are many ways to improve your safety in the event of a volcanic eruption. Here are just a few suggestions:

1. Know if your workplace isin a location at risk of volcanic eruption.
2. Be familiar with your company’s emergency plan.
3. Know your local evacuation routes and evacuation sites.
4. Keep a small bag of personal supplies (including walking shoes) that can be grabbed quickly and easily.
5. Keep a list of emergency numbers handy.
6. Listen to your radio for updates and an official “all clear” message before returning.

For more ideas and information visit the websites in our “Tools and Resources” Section.


Volcano Preparedness for Businesses and Organizations

Since volcanic eruptions can occur with little warning, it is important to be prepared. Developing a volcano preparedness plan is one of the most strategic decisions you can make if you are responsible for a business or organization. A workplace should follow accepted volcano safety guidelines, but have in place a personalized, well-rehearsed plan to help safeguard your organization during a volcanic eruption. Developing, and putting into place, a Disaster Plan will not only protect employees, but will help minimize the financial impact and help you recover more quickly from the disaster.

Many organizations play a role in assisting business owners with their disaster planning. The following websites can get you started preparing before the next disaster with sample plans, checklists, suggested educational programs for employees, exercise methods, and how to improve plans that are already in place.

Volcano Preparedness for Schools and Educators

While volcanic eruptions have occurred throughout history, our knowledge and understanding of preparing for them is much more recent. Through planning and education, we are now in a position to ensure the current and upcoming generations make volcano preparedness a regular part of their routine. As preparedness actions become the norm, students can take this information and teach their families and friends how to be prepared too.

As we learn more, our partners are applying that knowledge to assist teachers, parents and schools in the education of students of all ages and abilities by providing lesson plans, curriculum, activities, games, materials, publications and a multitude of other resources.

For easy access to resources for earthquake teaching resources, visit the "Tools and Resources" section.

​Volcano Preparedness for Governments and Tribes

Cal OES Earthquake, Tsunami and Volcano Program staff are available to support California governmental agencies to increase the protection and safety of the populace in the event of a volcanic eruption. To this end, the Program staff are available to provide guidance and assistance to our partners in the preparation of plans to mitigate and plan for, respond to and recover from volcanoes impacting our State. In addition, many tools, resources and guidance materials are available for review to walk developers through the planning process.


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