Unit HomeStay InformedNatural HazardsVolcano
Ready Marine Corps


Ready Marine Corps

Emergency Preparedness Program

Brought to You By Your Marine Corps Emergency Management Team

 Smoke from a volcano is shown.

Photo by: Lance Cpl. Christopher M. Burke

When volcanoes erupt, molten lava, poisonous gases, and flying rocks can travel many miles away. Volcanic ash and acid rain can fall hundreds of miles downwind. Volcanoes can be incredibly destructive to your home and dangerous to your family. In addition to the direct hazards, an eruption can be accompanied by landslides, mudflows, flash floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

If you live anywhere near an active or dormant volcano, you should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice as eruptions are not always predictable. The danger area around a volcano covers approximately a 20-mile radius; however, some danger may exist 100 miles or more from a volcano.

How to Prepare
  1. Verify and update official contact information in the Marine Corps Enterprise Mass Notification System (eMNS), and register all cell phones, home phone, email addresses, etc. in eMNS
  2. Know whether your area has the potential for volcanic eruptions.
  3. Know the evacuation zones.
  4. Make a written family evacuation plan.
  5. Make a written emergency communication plan in case family members are separated.
  6. Stay away from volcano sites that show signs of activity.
  7. Build an emergency kit that includes goggles and breathing masks.
What to Do If There Is a Volcanic Eruption
Collapse All Expand All
  • Stay tuned to radio, TV, and eMNS alerts for information and instructions.
  • Keep car engines off and avoid driving.

  • Stay inside if possible.
  • Once you are in a safe place, follow your command’s protocols for personnel accountability and contact your command’s designated Point of Contact to check-in and report your location and situation.
  • Continue to listen to radio and TV. An evacuation may still be issued.
  • Close and lock all windows and outside doors.
  • Close fireplace dampers.
  • Turn off all heating and air conditioning systems and fans.
  • Gather your emergency supplies.
  • Go into an interior room with no windows above the ground level.
    • Do not wait. Leave immediately.
    • Turn off gas, electricity, and water if time allows.
    • Take your emergency kit.
    • Follow designated evacuation routes.
  • If you are trapped outdoors:
    • Seek shelter immediately.
    • If you are caught in a rock fall, curl up in a tight ball to protect yourself.
    • Be aware of mudflows and flooding if you are near a stream.
  • Protect yourself from hazardous falling ash:
    • Stay away from areas downwind of the volcano.
    • Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.
    • Wear goggles to protect eyes.
    • Wear a mask or use a damp cloth over your face to minimize breathing in ash.
What To Do After An Eruption
Collapse All Expand All
  • Continue to stay tuned to radio, TV, and eMNS alerts for information and instructions.

  • Stay away from affected areas until otherwise instructed.

  • Be careful when entering damaged buildings.

Set your own course through any hazard: stay informed, make a plan, build a kit.
Live Ready Marine Corps.

Where to Find Additional Information

Department of Homeland Security (Ready.gov) & FEMAwww.ready.gov/volcanoes

Downloadable PDF