It’s been quite a chaotic start for the year so far. We’ve seen a massive bushfire in Australia and unmasked the “most prolific rapist in British legal history.” We have Gigi Hadid being called for jury duty at Harvey Weinstein’s trial while Prince Harry and Meghan announced they’re “stepping back” as senior members of the Royal Family aka “Megxit.” The whole world went survival mode after World War III became closer to reality thanks to Donald Trump ordering the assassination of a popular Iranian general. Then there’s the Ukrainian plane accidentally shot down by Iranian forces killing all 176 innocent people on board. And now, we have volcanic eruptions in Mexico, Philippines and other parts of the world. While volcanic eruptions are quite normal, the one in the Philippines is currently endangering lives.
All these newsworthy events in just the first couple of weeks of 2020. This just goes to show that anything can happen at any given time. While we can’t do anything about the Royal Family and supermodels on jury duty, we can do something about bushfires, rape, armed conflicts, and volcanic eruptions. We have to be prepared so we can avoid or survive these tragic scenarios. For now, let’s talk about how to prepare for volcanic eruptions.
Importance of Preparing for A Disaster
Here at Gentleman Pirate Club, we keep yakking and yakking about the importance of preparedness. If you’ve ever been caught unprepared when disaster strikes, you know the truth in our words.
Most disasters cannot be predicted. You just know that they may happen. No one really knows when and where in particular. Such is the case with volcanic eruptions. Geologists and other experts on vulcanology use their knowledge and a bunch of equipment to determine if a volcano is active, inactive or dormant. They can also figure out if a volcano is threatening to erupt. However, it’s impossible to tell when exactly it will blow.
This is what happened with Taal Volcano in the Philippines. The famous volcano has been on Alert Level 2 since 2018 but suddenly erupted on January 12, 2020. Without any tell-tale signs, everyone was caught off-guard.
As such, the people living near the volcano should have been prepared for this. The fact that they set up residence near an active volcano is enough reason for them to have a disaster preparedness plan in place.
There are no human casualties as of this writing so they’re probably prepared enough. However, there is news that people are struggling inside evacuation centers, which means there’s definitely room for improvement in terms of preparedness. Obviously, that’s not enough. If you struggle with something that means you’re not prepared for that something.
In prepping, you prepare for all possible situations. When a volcano erupts, it’s almost always accompanied by earthquakes. And since the biggest crater of Taal Volcano is a lake, the threat of a volcanic tsunami is real. This is also true with underwater volcanic eruptions.
(Related: What Would I Do If A Tsunami Is Coming)
You need to make sure you have enough food and water to keep you going until things get back to normal. Your bug out bag should have all the things you need to be as comfortable as possible when you have to evacuate. You shouldn’t depend on the government and the generosity of other people to survive a disaster.
Prepare for Volcanic Eruptions Before They Happen
The simplest way to prepare for volcanic eruptions is to get out of the way. Settle somewhere that’s far from any volcano. That’s quite a reach, though. There are about 1,500 active volcanoes all over the planet and that doesn’t include the ones on the ocean floor. In the United States, there are 169 potentially active volcanoes. That puts us third in the country with the most volcanoes after Indonesia and Japan.
Create An Evacuation Plan
The best way to survive a volcanic eruption is to be ready for it. Ask about the evacuation plans of your local government. It’s important to know what they have planned in case of natural disasters. Make sure you learn where the shelters or evacuation centers are so you can plot out the routes in case you have to bug out.
Designate a meeting point where everyone in the family will go in case of an emergency. You should also get someone to check on everybody else. Talk to a close relative or family friend and ask them if their home can be your bug out location. That means everyone should go there in case they get separated during an emergency. The relative or friend should also check on your family through phone calls or what-have-you’s. Your bug out location should be full of food, water and other supplies.
Familiarize yourself with the warning signals. Most disaster-prone areas use sirens. You can also stay updated by watching the news or listening to weather radios.
Build Your Emergency Kit
Another important aspect of disaster preparedness is your emergency kit. Every household should have at least one while every member needs his or her own bug out bag. Ideally, you should also have an emergency kit in your car and in your place of work.
Just to be clear, a survival kit is slightly different from an emergency kit. The former is the items you bring with you when you go on an outdoor adventure such as a hike up a mountain or a camping trip in the woods.
A bug out bag is an emergency kit that includes everything you need to prepare for volcanic eruptions and other disasters. You grab it as you leave your home or shelter in case SHTF and you have to evacuate. This is why it’s also called a grab bag or go bag. Your bug out bag should contain food and water that will last for at least 72 hours aside from other survival gear. A get home bag, meanwhile, is an emergency kit that will help you survive long enough to get home to your family in case you’re at work when disaster strikes.
Despite their slight differences, one thing is clear — you need these kits and bags to survive a disaster or emergency situation.
LifeShield Bug Out Bag
You can readily purchase emergency kits online or from physical stores. Another option is to build your own. You can also start with a pre-made emergency kit and add whatever item you think is necessary. Remember, you’re preparing for every possible emergency not just volcanic eruption or earthquakes or hurricanes but all kinds of natural and man-made disasters.
Start off with something like the LifeShield® Bug Out Bag, which includes 6 different survival kits courtesy of Frog & Co, formerly Survival Frog. The bag, which comes in tan or black, contains the Warmth & Outdoor Shelter Kit, Emergency Food & Water Kit, Mess Kit, Emergency Light & Communications Kit, Disaster Survival Essentials Kit with Neck Knife, and a First Aid Kit.
As you can imagine, this emergency kit has many of the basic survival gear you’ll need. If you’re a sucker for details, the items included in the kit are a two-person tube tent, emergency poncho, Tact Bivvy (bivouac shelter), body warmers, emergency food rations, water pouches, and LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.
The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is necessary in case you run out of clean drinking water. This is possible considering the ashfall from the volcanic eruption may have contaminated water sources. The 8.8 inches long personal water filter, which is made of sturdy ABS plastic, can filter up to 1000 gallons of water.
The bug out bag also comes with waterproof matches, Flint & Steel Fire Starter, WetFire Tinder 5 Pack, emergency candle, LED Mini Tact Flashlight, glowstick, and the Kaito KA208 palm-sized AM/FM Emergency Radio. There’s also a P-38 can opener, spork multi-tool, stainless steel camping cup, fuel tablets, and the Survival Frog Pocket Stove.
You need some way to boil water and cook food when you’re stuck inside an evacuation center. The foldable Pocket Stove is so portable that there’s no reason for you not to have it in your emergency kit.
Other pieces of survival gear include an digger shovel, 11-in-1 wallet tool, survival neck knife, a paracord survival kit, a first aid kit, radiation blockers, and an emergency whistle. The Guardian Survival Whistle from Frog & CO is a whistle, compass, signal mirror, flint fire starter, and waterproof container in one.
Perhaps one of the most important items to have in the event of a volcano eruption is the N-95 Respirator. Volcanic ash is deadly and to avoid inhaling the poisonous gases and dangerous aerosols, you need to wear a gas mask or an N-95 respirator.
If you don’t have an N-95 respirator, you can use a dust mask with two layers of tissue paper to increase its capability to block the ash. A small wet towel will also do but only if you’re not staying outdoors for too long.
LifeShield Health & First Aid Kit
When a volcano erupts, the most immediate concerns are the toxic gases, suffocating ash, and the deadly lava. Even if you survive volcanic blasts, you still have to deal with other health risks.
The pre-made bug out bag above already comes with a first aid kit. If you’re looking for a separate one, however, you can go with the LifeShield® Health & First Aid Kit also from Frog & CO. Take a closer look at the items included in these kits and add whatever you think are missing.
You need a comprehensive first aid kit to deal with whatever sickness or injury you get when disaster strikes. According to the CDC, the health risks connected to volcanic eruption include burns, infectious diseases and respiratory issues. You can also get hurt from the chaos mixed with poor visibility because of the ash fall. Volcanic ash can also accumulate on your roof. A huge number of people have died or were injured after their roofs gave in to the weight of the ash.
The LifeShield® Health & First Aid Kit is a 34-piece medical kit that helps you treat diseases, injuries and even radiation exposure. It also comes with a hygiene kit to help keep you healthy.
Among its contents are different kinds of bandages and gauze, a butterfly wound closure, alcohol prep pads, cotton tip applicators, and antiseptic towelettes. You also get an antibiotic ointment packet, first aid burn cream with aloe packet, Ibuprofen, aspirin, and non-aspirin extra strength tablets. All these are packed inside a hard plastic case.
The hygiene kit contains soap, shampoo/conditioner, hand and body lotion, fluoride toothpaste, toothbrush, plastic dental pick, washcloth, plastic comb, shaving cream, twin blade razor, gel style deodorant, and Maxi pads.
Food and Water
As mentioned, pack food and water that will last for 72 hours or more. This is recommended by most experts. However, if you are able to carry more than that, please do so. You’ll never know how long before you can go back home. The more food and water you have, the better your chances.
Each person needs 1 gallon of water each day. Half of that is for drinking while the remaining half is for hygiene. That means each bug out bag should have at least 3 gallons of clean water. If you have small children and pets, they may have a hard time carrying heavy load so you and the other adults in your group really need to carry more than the recommended amount.
You can maybe place a hydration pack in small children’s bug out bags aside from a couple of water bottles. Emergency water packs or pouches are another option.
There’s always the possibility of your water running out before things normalize. In case you don’t have a clean water source, which is normally the case when volcanic ash is all around, you need ways to clean or sterilize water. Aside from a personal water filter, you can also use water purification tablets and iodine.
LifeShield Warmth & Outdoor Shelter Kit
When a volcano erupts, you should take cover. Stay inside your home unless you’re told to evacuate. Close all the doors and windows at all times. Cover the fireplace and other possible entryways. Avoid going out as much as possible. If you really have to, make sure you have an N-95 respirator on you so you won’t inhale the toxic contaminants from the volcanic ash.
This proves how important shelter is to human beings. A proper shelter will shield us from the elements including the volcanic ash. When you’re forced to bug out, you still need shelter.
The LifeShield® Warmth & Outdoor Shelter Kit is also included in the All-In-One Bug Out Bag though you can get it separately. The kit includes a 2-person tube tent, 20-hour body warmers, Tact Bivvy, and an emergency poncho.
All these items will be useful when you’re in a shelter with other evacuees. The tent and bivvy will provide you with a little privacy while the body warmers and the poncho will keep the cold away. The emergency poncho, which is made of polyethylene, is also waterproof so you can use it when it rains.
Emergency Survival Blanket
Another item that’s included in the LifeShield Bug Out Bag, the emergency blanket is a definite must-have. These lightweight space or thermal blankets looks so ordinary yet they provide a lot of benefits. For one, they keep you warm when it’s cold by retaining up to 90% of your body heat. The reflective polyester film material is also a good way to attract attention when you need help.
Essential Tact Machete Knife with Full Tang Blade
The last thing you want to worry about when a volcano erupts is bad people. Unfortunately, such natural disasters bring out the worse in some. That’s why you need some way to protect yourself and your loved ones from such threats.
The Essential Tact Machete Knife is a good weapon to have when you need to defend yourself. The 15-inch full tang 3CR13 stainless steel blade is enough to scare people away but when need be, it can certainly hurt.
This machete is not only useful for self-defense. You can use it for other tasks such as cutting bush and sawing trees with its 56 bi-directional teeth. The Essential Tact Machete looks gorgeous with its matte black finish, which also helps prevent corrosion. The non-slip handle is comfortable to hold thanks to the slight curve that fits the hand. There’s a lanyard punch hole on the handle and a nylon sheath for the machete.
Your lungs are not the only organ that may get affected by volcanic ash. The eyes can easily be hurt by the debris and toxic gases. You need eye protection.
The DEWALT DPG82-11/DPG82-11CTR Concealer Safety Goggles is a popular choice on Amazon. It protects the eyes from dust and debris with the help of its ToughCoat hard coated lens and dual injected rubber that conforms to the face. The lens also protects your eyes from 99.99% UVA and UVB.
The polycarbonate goggles also boast of the XtraClear anti-fog lens coating, which prevents fogging. Then there are the built-in ventilation channels that allow breathability. The head strap is adjustable
Head on over to Gentleman Pirate Club and enjoy lots of survival tips and other valuable information on how to prepare for volcanic eruptions and other disasters, natural or otherwise.