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Preparing for Potential Volcanic Eruptions

What should you or anyone you know do if a nearby volcano starts acting up? Read this guide and use it as a checklist!

Many in Batangas still remember the stress they endured from Taal’s last major activity in January 2020. That event forced tens of thousands of civilians to evacuate, with many suffering from breathing problems, skin ailments, and roadside blindness. Now, it’s happening all over again, and many Batangueños are ready for Taal’s grand show should it continue to erupt. 

How did they prepare, you ask? And what should you or anyone you know do if a nearby volcano starts acting up? Read below and use it to prepare for potential volcanic disasters.

Pack in the Goods

First, if you live near a volcano, chances are you’ve already enrolled in several life and non-life insurance policies in the Philippines. If not, now’s a good time to do so. Philippine home insurance not only helps you financially recover in the event of a catastrophic eruption, but they also provide insurers hospitalization assistance should they require it.

Next, you will need to create a checklist of essentials to bring with you during evacuation. Water, food, first aid kits, backup phones, extra cash, and flashlights are just some of the basics. Make sure you shop for sturdy travel backpacks that can fit all of these and more and then store them in a room temperature closet so you can quickly evacuate if the situation worsens.

Radio, TV, and Online News

If the volcano has started spewing magma and ashfall, keeping yourself informed through any trustworthy news outlets is of the utmost importance. The PHILVOCS website and social media post constant updates on volcanic activity and alert level updates.  You should also keep tabs on announcements from local officials, as they work hand-in-hand with other government bodies to ensure that everyone evacuates before the eruption. 

Other things to consider

Living near a live volcano is like breathing in fire— a sure warning that it’s a good time to leave town. 

  • If you suffer from respiratory ailments like asthma, evacuate as soon as possible.
  • Use face masks and face shields to protect yourself from breathing in the ashfall.
    • Additionally, invest in goggles and thick shoes to prevent further injuries.
  • Avoid cleaning up ashfall on elevated areas with no railings (roofs, open stairways) until the volcano calms down.
    • Ashfall can also clog up car engines, so avoid using those.

Final Reminders

For those with pets and livestock, try to secure a temporary space far away from the affected areas where you can store your animals. Any place with a nearby veterinarian will do. Keep in mind that volcanic ashfall is just as harmful to animals as it is to humans, so it’s paramount to evacuate them as soon as possible. 

Stay safe and stay prepared. Better yet, coordinate with your neighbors so that when the time comes, you can help each other out in the process of evacuation. Only you can turn a bad situation into a bearable one.