January 19, 2020

How to Protect Yourself and Your Home in a Volcanic Eruption

It’s been a week since Taal Volcano erupted. Since then, more than 160,000 residents have been displaced, forced to leave their home for safety.

Unfortunately, most of us aren’t prepared for this volcanic eruption. Taal Volcano has always been a tourist attraction. It’s something that you admire from vantage points in Tagaytay, Mataasnakahoy, Balete, Cuenca and the likes.

But now, she’s showing that she’s not something to mess with.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family

The first thing that you have to do is to educate yourself. There are lots of fake news spreading around and they don’t help because they either cause complacency or unnecessary panic. You can’t go wrong with information taken directly from PHIVOLCS.

They’re very good at providing updates like this one.

If you haven’t done so already, evacuate if you’re in the danger zone. PHIVOLCS has set a 14-kilometer radius as the danger zone. The local authorities are doing their best to evacuate residents within this radius. Please listen to them.

Courtesy of Philippine Star

Sure, it’s hard to leave behind your home and belongings. Remember that they’re just material things that you can rebuild. You only have one life.

Respect the lockdown zone. There’s a reason why specific areas are on lockdown. It’s not safe to go there.

You also have to protect yourself from ashfall. Wear an N95 mask. Inhaling ashfall is bad for your health. Ashfall is basically glass. Imagine inhaling glass. That’s what you’ll be doing if you don’t protect yourself.

You also have to be careful while you’re driving when there’s ashfall. It can make the roads slippery and it can lead to zero visibility. Fortunately for these motorists, they encountered good samaritans.

Make sure that you share these tips to your family. Speaking of family, make sure that you have a clear evacuation plan. Have a go-bag ready in case you need to evacuate quickly. Make sure that everyone is clear on where you’re all going.

How to Protect Your Home in a Volcanic Eruption

You can only do so much if your home is in the danger zone. You’re at the mercy of the Taal Volcano. If a base surge comes rolling towards your house and your house is in the danger zone, you can only hope that no one is there.

You should check out the Hazard Hunter app of PHIVOLCS to assess your home’s risk to hazards. You can also do a check of your home to see if it’s safe. If it’s unsafe, the more the reason for you to evacuate. When this is all over, make sure that you have these issues corrected.

Ashfall is not just an annoyance that you have to power wash. It can wreak havoc to a home. Make sure that you close all of your windows to prevent inhalation and to prevent it from entering your home.

When you get the chance, have a professional clean your roof of ashfall. It can get heavy especially if it gets a few inches thick. It can collapse a roof especially if it gets wet. It’s basically like cement.

Also, don’t flush ashfall. It can clog your drain pipes. This also applies to your gutters so be careful when cleaning your roof.

Remember that ashfall is glass so it’s abrasive. Take that into consideration when cleaning.

If you live in an area that’s severely affected by this eruption, you should move to a safer location. Even whole cities (like Lipa) have moved after the Taal Volcano’s eruption in the past. Your home is an investment. More importantly, this is your life that we’re talking about.

Lastly if you’re able, make sure to help in the relief efforts! Stay safe!

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