Alaska’s Mount Redoubt has been erupting intermittently since Sunday causing cancelled flights and prompting state authorities to issue warnings and survival tips.
The National Weather service has issued an ash warning, and residents are advised to have clean water supplies on hand because the ash may contaminate drinking water, according to Associatedcontent.com.
In addition to that, doors and windows should be thoroughly sealed as volcanic ash can be harmful if inhaled.
It is a good idea to wear disposable face masks, goggles and protective gear – or at least long sleeves – when outdoors, even after the eruption has ceased. However, the best option is to stay indoors until the danger has passed and secure livestock and pets.
The office of the mayor of Anchorage furthermore advises contact lens wearers to switch to traditional glasses to minimize eye irritation.
It also emphasizes that infants, children and those with asthma or chronic lung diseases such as emphysema are at particular risk from exposure to ash and should be careful to seek shelter during ash events. They should be evaluated by a heath provider if they experience any adverse symptoms.
Finally, volcanic eruptions are known to cause power outages and disrupt radio transmission in certain cases, so residents should be prepared for that contingency as well.
Most of the necessary equipment such as dust masks and flashlights can be purchased at local hardware stores.