I Say I Want To Be Alone

Spent the afternoon at the dentist and can’t feel my face except for the parts that feel like someone whacked a tuning fork against them. So let’s talk about something cheerful.

How to Prepare for a Volcanic Eruption

Awesome.

Protecting your family in the event of a volcanic eruption can mean the difference between life and death. However, knowing how to prepare for a volcanic eruption can be confusing without the right information. Organizing a plan of attack is key to proper preparation, and educating everyone in your family or household will help to better ensure their safety and well being when disaster erupts.

Volcanoes fear being outflanked, so you’re already making them nervous.

Know beforehand where the active volcanoes are in your area. Find out whether they’re likely to affect you where you’re living. If so, be prepared at all times.

Things you should know: 1. Where are the cool clubs everyone wants to get into? 2. Where are the cool active volcanoes? Word to the wise: if you see smoke rising from the cool volcano, DON’T BE A VIRGIN and do run away in the very latest ember-repellant asbestos tuxedo!

Put together an emergency supply kit. This kit is something that anyone living in a volcano zone should have prepared at all times. The kit should include such items as a first aid kit, food and water supplies, a manual can opener, a flashlight with extra batteries or preferably a crank model, any necessary medications, sturdy shoes, goggles or other eye protection, and a battery-powered radio. Ensure that everyone in your family knows where the emergency supplies that you prepared are located.

None of these things will burn up in a pyroclastic flow so you’re A-OK no matter what!

Set an emergency evacuation plan with your family. Review it in depth with them, so that each person knows what to do in the event of an eruption, how to find one 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.

Ah! The important part: drive away!

If anyone has disabilities, these need to be taken account of in the plan.

Roll away!

Include pets and livestock in the plan.

Trot away!

Discuss with your family what you will do if there are warnings to evacuate and any of you don’t want to leave. Bear in mind that it is not fair to other family members if some of you choose to stay behind in spite of evacuation warnings, and precautions should always be taken to ensure that those family members who want to leave can do so.

Abandon ship!

Know how to switch off all utilities and ensure that every family member old enough to be responsible for turning off utilities knows how to do so.

Um…safety first?

Talking to children about the possibility of a disaster and what to do in the event is better than pretending it may never happen. If children are aware that everything is planned should something go wrong, their fear and anxiety will be reduced in the event of a disaster because they’ll know how to respond.

Show me on the doll where the volcano touched you, pumpkin.

Create an emergency kit specifically for your car. It should include maps, tools, a first aid kit if you haven’t already packed one with your other emergency supplies, a fire extinguisher, flares, additional non-perishable food, booster cables, sleeping bags and/or emergency blankets, and a flashlight.

When you’re finished RUNNING AWAY! it’d be excellent to join the fire department and go back in.

Attend to livestock and pets. In the event that your house and property are directly impacted by the volcano, your animals will not be able to escape. Do what you can within reason to ensure their safety.

Place your livestock in an enclosed area or make arrangements to transport them as far offsite as possible.

Make transportation plans for your family pets. Be aware that most emergency shelters will be unable to accommodate them. If keeping your pets with you, you’ll need to be sure that you have planned ahead for enough food and water for them. Alternatively, leave messages on social networking sites such as Twitter asking for people who are available in the area who can board your pets temporarily until the disaster is over. You are bound to get a lot of kind offers.

What? We trotted away paragraphs ago! Wait, are you saying my livestock which are supposed to huddle close together to avoid flying cinders depend for their survival on dorks who don’t know enough to evacuate and my pets go all Blanche DuBois? Oh. My. God. I’m a terrible person who doesn’t deserve the love of a Schnauzer!

The most likely hazard during a volcanic eruption is ash fall. Knowing how to deal with it is important whether you’re remaining in place or you’re traveling.

Stay indoors. Close all windows and doors; some may need to be sealed with tape or similar (damp towels work well). Stopper up any vents to outside if possible. Avoid using anything that sucks in air from outside such as air-conditioning or dryers.

Bring all pets indoors. If you have livestock, bring them into sheds, barns, or other shelters. Even the garage will do as a temporary shelter. Ensure that livestock have enough food and water.

Fill your bath and other containers with water. This may become a very important water source if ash impacts local water supplies.

Protect sensitive electronics until the ash fall has well and truly ceased; only uncover them when the environment is totally ash-free.

So much for the Twitterati feeding my livestock at the trough of my tub.

After the ash fall, stay indoors and follow the radio instructions. When you do go outside, keep away from ash falls and build-up of ash and continue to wear protective clothing.

Don’t drive through ash fall. It will clog your car’s engine severely and cause serious abrasion damage to the car.

Keep children, pets, and animals indoors. If pets and animals have ash on their fur, hoofs, or paws, wash it away to prevent them from ingesting it and give them plenty of water to drink.

Huh. This sounds like a Wile E. Coyote moment. Umbrella, anyone?

If your home or property is in the path of a lava flow, pyroclastic flow, surge, or lahar, it is important to be ready to evacuate immediately when local authorities ask you to.

And as my last meal at home, I will eat an entire herd of carpaccio, because I am AWESOME.

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