May is Volcano Preparedness Month in WA State

The Washington governor declared May as Volcano Preparedness Month.

On Friday, May 17, the city of Puyallup will conduct a lahar evacuation exercise with the Puyallup School District, Washington Emergency Management Division and other community partners. More than 9,000 students and staff from 15 public and private schools located in the Puyallup valley lahar hazard area will practice their emergency evacuation routes.

On Saturday, May 18, the 39th anniversary of the catastrophic 1980 eruption, scientists and preparedness experts from U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory and Washington Emergency Management Division will be on site from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Mount St. Helens to talk about the eruption and why it’s important to be 2 Weeks Ready for all hazards. There is also a book signing for “A Hero on Mount St. Helens,” written by Melanie Holmes about the life of volcanologist David. A. Johnston, who lost his life when Mount St. Helens erupted. The Johnston Ridge Observatory is named for the volcanologist.

…Washington state’s Emergency Management Division website contains a section about the state’s volcanoes and volcano preparedness measures. Educational materials for children, families and communities are found in the publications section. Follow the agency’s Twitter feed, and Facebook page for breaking news and information. The Washington Geological Survey (a division of the Washington state Department of Natural Resources) has developed a volcano-specific webpage.  Check out its Geologic Information Portal to learn about the hazards where you live, work and play.

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LiDAR shows the lava flow potential from Mount Adams, courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Preparing for future eruptions

The USGS–CVO, the PNSN, and the National Science Foundation-funded EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory work to improve eruption forecasting and warning capabilities for Cascade volcanoes as part of the National Volcanic Early Warning System.

An update to the threat assessment for all of the country’s volcanoes was released last fall.

A new fact sheet about living with volcanoes is also now available.

 

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