A volcano is a vent through which molten rock escapes to the earth’s surface. When pressure from gases within the molten rock becomes too great, an eruption occurs.
Eruptions can be quiet explosive. There may be lava flows, flattened landscapes, poisonous gases, and flying rock and ash. Because of their intense heat, lava flows are great fire hazards. Lava flows destroy everything in their path, but mostly move slowly so people can move out of the way. Fresh Volcanic ash, made of pulverized rock, can be abrasive, acidic, gritty, gassy, and odorous. Ash can cause lung damage to small infants, older adults, and those with severe respiratory illness. It can also damage machinery and mixed with water can become heavy enough to collapse roofs.
A volcanic eruption can also be accompanied with, Earthquakes, mudflows, flash floods, rock falls, landslides, acid rain, fire and sometimes tsunamis.
Before a Volcano
Add a pair of goggles and breathing mask to your kit
To protect yourself from falling ash you should:
Wear long sleved shirts and pants
Use goggles and eye glasses instead of contact lenses
use a dust mask or damp cloth to protect your airway
Avoid areas downwind from the volcano
Stay indoors until ash has settled if it is safe to do so.
Close all doors windows and vents entering the house if possible
Avoid driving in heavy ash and avoid running engines volcanic ash can damage moving parts and stall engines
If you can avoid being near an active volcano all together.
When it comes to disaster preparedness i think a lot of people forget the first step in being prepared.
That is to avoid the situation all together.
These posts are for the unavoidable
My adventures have thrown me into many dangerous situations and when i look back they could have almost all been avoided. But for those that live in areas that are in possible danger of volcanos or any disaster please be ready and prepared.
I always keep a dust mask and goggles in my kit. Also consider what else you might have in your kit that can be useful. Protective layering, bandannas. anything that can be used to protect you from the ash and aid you in evacuation.
Also in your bug out plan make sure you have a further bug out location.
A Little bit from Wikipedia( not usually my first place to look)
In 1980, a major volcanic eruption occurred at Mount St. Helens, a volcano located in state of Washington, in the United States. The eruption (which was a VEI 5 event) was the only significant one to occur in the contiguous 48 U.S. states since the 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California. The eruption was preceded by a two-month series of earthquakes and steam-venting episodes, caused by an injection of magma at shallow depth below the volcano that created a huge bulge and a fracture system on the mountain’s north slope.
Prior to the eruption, USGS scientists convinced local authorities to close Mount St. Helens to the general public and to maintain the closure in spite of local pressure to re-open it; their work saved thousands of lives. An earthquake at 8:32:17 a.m. PDT (UTC−7) on Sunday, May 18, 1980, caused the entire weakened north face to slide away, suddenly exposing the partly molten, gas- and steam-rich rock in the volcano to lower pressure. The rock responded by exploding a hot mix of lava and pulverized older rock toward Spirit Lake so fast that it overtook the avalanching north face.
An eruption column rose 80,000 feet (24 km; 15 mi) into the atmosphere and deposited ash in 11 U.S. states. At the same time, snow, ice and several entire glaciers on the volcano melted, forming a series of large lahars (volcanic mudslides) that reached as far as the Columbia River, nearly 50 miles (80 km) to the southwest. Less-severe outbursts continued into the next day, only to be followed by other large, but not as destructive, eruptions later in 1980.
Fifty-seven people were killed, including innkeeper Harry R. Truman, photographer Reid Blackburn and geologist David A. Johnston. Hundreds of square miles were reduced to wasteland causing over a billion U.S. dollars in damage ($2.88 billion in 2014 dollars), thousands of game animals were killed, and Mount St. Helens was left with a crater on its north side. At the time of the eruption, the summit of the volcano was owned by the Burlington Northern Railroad, but afterward the land passed to the United States Forest Service. The area was later preserved, as it was, in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.