A volcano is a mountain opening downwards to the reservoir of molten rock towards the surface of the earth. Volcanoes are made by the accrual of igneous products. As the pressure from gases in the molten rock becomes intense, the eruption takes place. The volcanic eruption can be either quiet or volatile. Its aftermaths include flowing lava, flat landscapes, poisonous gases, and fleeing ashes and rocks.
Threats from volcano
Volcano generates excessive heat. Flowing lava has great fire hazards. It flows to destroy just everything that comes in the path. It can be very acidic, abrasive, gassy, gritty and malodorous. The people suffering from a austere respiratory disease have severe threat. The volcanic ash can harm the machinery, such as electrical equipments and engines. The water mixed with ash can make your roof fall due to its heaviness.
The lateral blasts of volcano can shoot out huge pieces of rock at high speeds for various miles. The volcanic explosions can mar people by its burial and heat. They may knock down the whole forests. The volcanic eruptions can be attached to the other natural hazards, such as mudflows, earthquakes, floods, landslides, rock falls, fire, acid rain and even tsunamis. The danger area of volcano ranges from 20 miles to 100 miles radius and more.
Before a Volcano
- Make a disaster supply kit for your family and add goggles and throwaway breathing mask in it.
- Get information about the volcanoes in your area and stay away from them.
- If you live near an active or inactive volcano, always be ready to evacuate at the moment’s notice from authorities.
During a Volcano
- Follow the authorities’ evacuation order and evacuate at once from the volcano affected area
- Avoid the flying debris, falling ash, lateral blast, hot gases, mudflows, and flowing lava.
- Do not go in river valleys and low lying areas.
- Help the fellow people especially infants, old people and disable people.
- Listen to the battery power radio or television for the recent emergency information.
- Wear full clothes and strong work boots and gloves.
- Use goggles to protect your eyes.
- Use the dust mask or keep a damp cloth near your face to breath.
- Stay off from the areas downwind from a volcano to avoid volcano ash.
- Close all windows, doors, and ventilation in a house such as furnaces, chimney vents, fans, air conditioners etc.
- Avoid running car or truck engines as ash can clog the machinery.
After a volcano
- You may recover from the disaster gradually.
- Help the Injured and check for their injuries. Do not try to move the seriously injured people and if you need to stabilize their neck and back and call for help at once.
- Maintain the body temperature with blankets but the patient must not be overheated.
- Wash your hands completely with soap and water if you come across to touch the debris.
- Watch out for worn out roads, dirty buildings, impure water, gas leaks, glass pieces, stained electrical wiring and greasy floors.
- Stay in contact with the local authorities on the health and safety issues in your .
- Be aware of fatigue and set your priorities and get enough rest.
Lightning is the underestimated killer dangerous for the common gentry. Lightning is abrupt electric expulsion either from cloud to cloud or from cloud to earth followed by the emission of light. Lightning generally strikes after heavy rain and can also occur about 10 miles off from rainfall. Most lightning victims are when people are captivated outdoors in summer during afternoon and evening.
Facts about lightning
In the United States, an estimate of about 25 million lightning flashes each year. Throughout the time of the last 30 years, lightning put to death an average of 66 people each year. The reported lightning injuries in the United States average approximately 300 each year.
The threat of lightning goes on quite longer than what people think actually. You may wait not less than 30 minutes after the last strike of thunder before you leave the shelter. As you see lightning approaching, count the seconds and you will hear the thunder. Always seek shelter wasting no time.
Never get fooled by the sunshine. If the sky is cloudy or mountains or buildings hide your vision, you must keep inside immediately. Most injuries and deaths with lightning occur in the summertime. The outdoor sports activities, camp counselors, coaches, and other activities are often at the greatest risk. It is always safe to have the best precautions. Having some common sense, you can not only increase your safety but also the safety of the people around you.
- Monitor the weather before going outdoors. If lightning is forecast, stay indoors.
- Make a plan in advance to make your safety and evacuation measures. As you first notice lightning, get your emergency plan in action.
- Know all the emergency telephone numbers and also of the authorities.
- Immediately go to a building or a vehicle.
- Avoid the plumbing appliances and fixtures.
- Do not employ showers or faucets.
- While in a car, stay till the storm passes.
- While in a boat, go to shore at once.
- If in the forest, go out at once. If you cannot, proceed to a low-level area that has low and thick tree growth.
- If in the open area, go to a lower area. Do not lie on the ground.
- Do not enter the steel built concrete buildings or go near the metal objects.
- Avert beaches, hilltops, open water and small constructions in open.
- Hair standing on end indicates that lightning will strike. Immediately drop to your knees and bend forward. Do not lie flat but put your hands on the knees.
- Do not come together or cluster together with other people.
- Do not use a telephone or other electrical equipment.
- Follow the 30-30 rule and stop all your activities at first clap thunder.
- Do not panic and follow the orders of the authorities.
- The injured persons do not have electrical charge in their body and should be taken care.
- Use all First Aid methods to help the lightning victim. Problems such as cardiac arrest, irregularities, nerve damage, burns are common. Call 911 or send for medical help at once.
Winter freeze storms are serious threats for people and their property. They include snow, frozen rain, strong winds, and extreme cold. You have to take precautions in order to protect yourself, your family, home or property.
Before winter freeze
- Stay indoors and keep your pets too indoors.
- Protect the walls and attic.
- Caulking and weather strip windows and doors can help to reduce wind drafts.
- Put up a storm and cover windows with plastic film from inside.
- Separate the gardening hoses and shut off the water supply.
- Install valve covers to all outside faucets.
- Keep the space heaters away from the flammable materials. You must not leave them unattended. Always take your space heater outside to refill it.
- If you are using subsidiary heating sources like kerosene heaters, fireplaces, always make sure that you have proper ventilation. Also, keep a detector for Carbon Monoxide in place.
- Set up the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The batteries have to be replaced in every six months.
- Keep your vehicle in the garage.
- Have an emergency survival kit. It should include battery power weather radio, portable AM FM radio, sleeping bags, blankets, first aid supplies, flashlights, additional batteries, medicines, baby products, non-perishable food, water, and important pet items.
During winter freeze
- Stay inside.
- Close all the occupied rooms of your home.
- Do not use charcoal fire devices.
- Keep your self-protect with layers of loose fit, lightweight and warm clothing. Avoid warming, perspiration and succeeding freeze.
- Place the thermostat in the house and set it no less than 55 degrees.
- Allow the slow drip of water flowing particularly if the valve is on an exterior wall.
- Open valve to let a little but regular drip to prevent getting freeze.
- Take out the garden hoses and drain water from the valve.
- Let the heat to get in uninsulated pipes with the open cabinet doors under the sinks and appliances.
- Eat high-calorie foods and drink lots of non-alcoholic fluids.
After winter freeze
- Make out the possible damage to your home and office.
- Make out the possible damage to your home and office.
- Report all damage, including broken pipes and bust tree branches or power lines to the authorities or utility company
- Avoid the area stuck with winter freeze to avoid personal injury.
- Never attempt to defrost the frozen pipe using the flame or torch.
- Block off the water supply and call a licensed plumber.
- Clear the walkways and sidewalks to avoid your injury or anyone else.
- Use caution to avoid excessive exertion.
- Keep out the snow buildup on your roof. It may avoid the ice and snow damage to the interior of your home from the roof.
A Hurricane is a tropical cyclone, a low pressure system that usually builds in the tropical. The typical cyclone comes with thunderstorms and a counterclockwise spread of winds near the surface of the earth.
Facts about Hurricane
Hurricanes can make far-flung torrential rains. The coastal areas of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico are subjugated to hurricanes. Some areas of the Southwest United States and Pacific Coast receive heavy rains and floods each year from the hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season is in the month of June to November. The high season ranges from mid August to the late October month.
Hurricanes are able to cause huge damage to the coastal areas and hundreds of miles of inland. Winds can blow more than the speed of 155 miles per hour. Hurricanes can also bring tornadoes, microbursts and storm surges near the coast. It can cause huge damage due to heavy rainfall.
Categories of Hurricane
Hurricanes are classified into five categories. They are based on wind speed, pressure and potential to do damage.
Hurricanes in Categories One and Two are very dangerous. They can warrant you the full attention.
Hurricanes in Category Three are termed as major hurricanes by trade winds that blow towards opposing directions that make the storm spin. The rising warm air makes the pressure to reduce at the higher altitudes.
Here is how you can face the Hurricane, taking the following measures-
Before a Hurricane
- Have a secured property with permanent storm shutters. They are the best way to have protection.
- Board the windows of your home with marine plywood. It must be fit to size and ready to install. The tape may not prevent the windows from collapsing.
- Install the straps with extra clips to fasten the roof to building structure firmly and securely. It will minimize the chances of roof damage.
- Be sure to trim the trees and shrubs around your home properly.
- Do not allow the loose downspouts and rain gutters to clog.
- Make sure how you can make your boat safe.
During a Hurricane
- Stay updated with the latest information through the radio or TV.
- Be safe in your home and close the storm shutters. Stay away from the windows and glass doors.
- Make your outdoor objects secure.
- Turn off all the utilities on the authorities’ instructions.
- Turn the propane tanks off.
- Do not use the phone until it is serious.
- Keep enough water for sanitary purposes in a bathtub or some big containers.
- Evacuate immediately when the local authorities tell you to. Follow all their instructions.
- Never stay in mobile home high-rise buildings, on the coast, floodplain, near a river
- If there is a risk to evacuate, try to find a safe refuge.
After a Hurricane
- Return home but with great caution.
- Check for the injuries around you.
- Do not move seriously injured persons and call for help. Still, while moving injured people first make their neck and back steady.
- Keep the battery operated radio with you and listen to all emergency and news updates.
- Keep safe from dangerous wildlife and other animals
- Stay indoors.
- While going out look for fallen objects, such as electrical wires, heavy objects, open ditches or walls, weak bridges or roads.
Wild areas catching fire is a grave problem for the people who live in and around the wild areas. The dry conditions of the different times in the year and also in different parts of United States can increase the possibility for wildfires. If you are prepared with advanced plans and know how to protect the buildings in your area, you can actually reduce the damage caused by wildfire. To protect your home and the neighborhood areas from wildfire is your duty and responsibility.
Here is what you can do to face wildfire-
Before a wildfire
- Find out the risk of wildfire in your area.
- Beware of the weather. If there is a long period with no rains, it may increase the possibility of wildfire.
- Get a professional inspection of your home or your property to get recommendations to reduce the risk of wildfire.
- Know about the ability of your community to respond to wildfire. Do you have straight and wide roads near your property? Can the firefighting machine pass through those roads easily?
- Learn the safe fire practices and also and teach them to others.
- Always keep away ready to extinguish the fire fast and totally.
- Keep the smoke detectors on each level of your home and sleeping areas.
- Always be prepared for the emergency evacuation and make safety zones around your home.
- Make a 30-foot safety zone around your house. Modify or eliminate trees and other vegetation near your home. The more the distance between your home and the vegetation is, the better is the protection.
- Keep loads of water in your buckets, pool, hot tub, and other big containers
During a Wildfire
- Wear protective clothing.
- Stay in your vehicle in case of a serious emergency or main fire. Roll up the windows and close all air vents. One can easily survive the firestorm while staying in your vehicle than trying to run from the fire running.
- Drive slowly with headlights on but do not drive in smoke. When you need to park, keep headlights on, ignition off and away from heavy brush and trees.
- If trapped in a home, get on the floor and cover yourself with a blanket or coat.
- Stay calm and as the fire front comes, go in the house.
After a Wildfire
- Inspect the roof of your home immediately. Put off any fire, spark or ember.
- Check attic for hidden burning sparks.
- In case of fire, get the help of the authorities or your neighbors to fight it.
- The water you kept stored will come handy now.
- Even after several hours of the fire, you should have a watch on fire. Keep checking for spark or smoke all over your house.
Hail comes in existence when updrafts in thunderclouds take the raindrops up towards the extremely cold areas in the atmosphere. They freeze and combine forming the lumps of ice. As the lumps be very heavy and are not supported by the updraft, they fall off with the speeds of about 100 km per hour or more. Hail is created an enormous cloud, also called as thunderheads.
Hail is very dangerous as it can cause panoptical damage in just a few minutes. Hail may or may not predate a tornado. Large hail can appear nearby the area in the thunderstorm. The tornadoes are quite likely to build in such area. The large hail begins to fall off and then one can assume that the tornado may also be nearby. After the hail stops, one should live in the safe area until the storm passes off. It is generally 15 to 30 minutes after the hail breaks off.
Facts about Hail
The season of hail in Colorado is March to October. Majority falls in May month to August. June month has high statewide regularity and Fort Collins has hail most ofttimes in May. The largest size of hail falls in July and August months. Hail primarily happens in afternoon or evening in Colorado. Most of the harsh hailstorms take place between 1:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
The median duration is about 6 minutes and on rare occasions, hailstorms last for more than 15 minutes. Large hail is larger than ¾ inches in diameter. Deep Hail is hail that has amassed a foot deep or more and is flowing. The common size for hail is 1 to 1 ½ inches in diameter. In Colorado, the most common size for hail is 1/4″. The greatest recognized hailstone of 5 ½ inches in diameter fell in Kansas and weighed about 2 pounds.
What to do in hailstorms to avoid personal injury or property damage
- When in a car, stand back from the car windows. Cover your eyes. Get on the floor with your face down. Lay down on your seat with back towards the windows. Cover your small children under you and cover their eyes.
- When in the home or any building, stay inside. Don’t go inside the basement or the windows. They can especially be struck due to hail. Take care of all your family members, fellow occupants, pets, etc. you must not go outside for any reason.
- Move all the weak items such as equipment, cars, and machinery in shelter as hail threatens. Take care that such action does not create any risk for you.
- If you are caught outdoor, keep all the chances of injury to yourself only. You may crouch down and protect your head and neck completely.
- Protect your pets and the livestock.
- Do not use telephones and electrical appliances at the time of dangerous storm to avoid the danger of burning due to lightning.
- Keep off from the areas struck with deep hail.
- Stay away from culverts and plain areas to keep away from being swept away by deep hail.
Water damage can bring a huge damage to your home, its neighborhood and your city. It is very important that you need to prepare for water damage. You must know what you should do during and after water damage.
What to do when water damage happens
- If water leak happens and there is flooding
- From the great number of sources like clogged drains, damaged skylights, broken pipes, windows or construction faults
- Keep your calm always.
- If you see any electrical appliance or outlet near the place of water damage, be extremely cautious and avoid all chances of electrocution. If you see any possible danger, you should immediately leave the area.
- When you identify the source of leak and you are confident that you can stop it, you must unclog drain, turn off water supply, disconnect all appliances from the wall, floor sockets etc.
- Behave as you are directed and help the authorities as they direct you to protect the objects in endangerment. Take all the important steps to keep off or remove quick water damage. You can cover the objects with plastic sheets and move them out of danger.
- Wear protective such as long sleeves clothes and latex gloves.
- If mold is there, you can wear the respirator.
- In case of any health hazard, contact the doctor and mycologist in case of infection.
- Always wash your hands following the usage materials with mold.
Recovery of water damage with mold
- Live mold may look either fuzzy or slimy.
- Do not try to take off the active mold. The inactive mold looks dry and powdery. Always see and follow the safety precautions to handle the mold.
- Stop the mold outbreaks by working to improve the environmental conditions.
- The humidity levels must be kept very low. They can possibly be below 50%. You must use the dehumidifier. The low temperatures are recommended to be below 68° F.
- The short exposure to sunlight and outdoor air circulation can help to dry the mold items quite rapidly.
- There can be light damage due to water, such as fading. You should use this treatment only with materials where the light damage is possible.
- When the mold becomes dormant by way of drying, you can easily remove it. It is easy to use a vacuum cleaner or the soft brush for this purpose.
- After you vacuum it, it is better to dispose of the bag. You must clean the brush to keep off the spread of the mold spores.
- Your safety precautions are very important.
- Water damage to materials can be irretrievable.
- Use fans to offer utmost air circulation. You should not aim the fans straight at the drying objects.
- Absorb the additional moisture using the paper, clean sponge, bath towels, etc.
Flood is one of the most common hazards in the United States and other parts of the world. The effects of flood may be local to a neighborhood or community. If it casts a large impact, the whole river basin and multiple states can be affected. Each state is at risk due to this hazard.
All floods are not the same. Some floods take time to develop and at times they may take just a few days time. Flash floods may build up quickly even without any noticeable signs of rain. They have a grave wall of loud water-bearing rocks, mud, and debris carrying along. Flooding is also caused by dam breaking and causing the effects like flash floods.
You should be cautious of a flood, no matter where you live. Be especially alert, if you reside in low lying areas or near water or downstream from a dam. The small gullies, streams, culverts, creeks, streambeds can also flood.
Before the Flood
- Do not build the floodplain except you may elevate and support your home.
- Lift up the water heater, electric board, furnace if they are liable to flood.
- Install the check valves in sewer holes to put off flood water from clogging in the drains in or near your home.
- Make barriers to block off floodwater from flowing in the building.
During the Flood
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Turn off all the utilities when instructed to do so and also otherwise.
- Do not touch the electric equipment being wet or standing in water.
- Do not walk by the moving water because six inches of flowing water can make you fall. If you really need to walk in water, go where water is not flowing. You can take a stick to ensure the firmness of the ground in your front.
- While driving, do not go in the flooded areas. If you get caught in floodwaters, you should leave your car and if you can, take refuge to high ground.
- Be alert of streams, canyons, drainage channels, and other areas where flood is possible. These are the areas where a flood can happen suddenly without prior alert or even rain.
After a Flood
- Listen to news reports and know whether the water supply of your community is safe to drink.
- Do not face the floodwaters as it may be dirty with oil or sewage. It may even be charged electrically from the drowned power lines.
- Do not enter the areas where the floodwaters have affected. The roads can be weak and can collapse due to the weight of the car.
- Come back home only when authorities tell you to do so.
- Clean and sterilize everything that got drowned in the flood water. The mud left in the floodwater can have sewage and chemicals that can be very dangerous.
Tornado is one of the most violent storms on earth. A tornado looks like a rotating and funnel shape cloud. It expands from the thunderstorm to the ground by way of whirling winds reaching about 300 miles per hour. The damage path can move on to one mile wide and 50 miles long. A tornado may strike quickly with small or no warning.
A tornado may appear almost transparent till it picks up the dust and debris or a cloud makes up in the funnel. On an average, a tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but it may move from any direction. Tornadoes are followed by tropical storms and hurricanes as they move on land. The tornadoes made over water are called Waterspouts.
Most frequently, tornadoes are accounted in the east of Rocky Mountains in the spring and summer months. March is the high tornado season in southern states and ranges through May. In the northern states, the time of tornado is late spring by early summer. It is likely for tornadoes to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tornadoes can cause victims and losses. It may devastate your neighborhood in a few seconds.
Preparing for Tornado
- Look for the approaching storms. Before the tornado hits, the wind may stop blowing. You may see a cloud of debris marking the location of the tornado. Tornadoes may happen close to the trailing edge of a thunderstorm.
- The sky becomes dark and often greenish. You may see clear and sunlit sky behind the tornado.
- Tornado has a loud roar, almost like a freight train.
- Listen to weather radio or commercial radio or television for the latest information about the tornado.
- As you see the approaching tornado, immediately be prepared to take shelter.
- Take cover and stay off from windows, doors, walls and open space.
- Protect your self from falling debris.
- If in a vehicle, get out at once and take shelter in a substantial structure.
- If you do not find any shelter, you may lie flat in a nearby ditch with your hands covering your head.
What to do throughout a Tornado
- Reach to basement or storm cellar or the last level of a building.
- You can also go to the inner hallway or the little small room with no windows.
- Do not go near the windows.
- Get under the piece of strong furniture.
- Cover your head and neck with your arms.
- When in a mobile home, you should move out and take your shelter somewhere else.
What to do after a Tornado
- After the tornado, you may see much debris. Take care of your safety.
- Listen to radio or television to have the recent emergency information.
- Help the injured and trapped persons. Give them first aid and don’t try to move in the seriously injured.
- Keep your way off the damaged buildings.
- Come back home when authorities declare that it is safe.
- Use the telephone only in an emergency.
- Clean spilled medicines, gasoline or any sort of flammable liquids.
- Leave the building if you smell gas or any chemical fume.
Supplies to face Tornado
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Handy, battery-operated radio with additional batteries
- First aid kit and manual
- Emergency water and food
- Non-electric can opener
- Important medicines
- Credit cards
- Tough shoes
Earthquake is an unexpected and rapid shaking of Earth mainly due to the breakage and shifting of underneath layers. Earthquake strikes all of a sudden at any time of day or night and quite violently. It does not give you any warning. In case of a populated area, the earthquake can cause a huge loss in the amount of human life and property damage.
Effects of earthquake
The earthquake can make the buildings and bridges to fall, disrupt electricity, gas, and phone service. It can even further cause landslides, flash floods, avalanches, fires, and destructive ocean waves, also known as tsunamis. The buildings with unstable foundations, old watercourses, and other unsound structures are greatly at risk.
What to do to face earthquake
Although there is no guarantee of safety at the time of an earthquake, one can identify the potential risk before time. Planning beforehand can not only save your life but also of the people around you. If you face earthquake wisely and know what to do before, during and after an earthquake, you can significantly reduce injuries and damage of property.
Before the Earthquake
- Look for hazards in your home
- Tie the shelves firmly to the walls.
- Support the overhead light fittings.
- Repair the faulty electrical wiring and leaky gas links.
- Refurbish the deep cracks in ceilings or floor.
- Make a family emergency plan and educate yourself and your family members about the disaster by contacting the local emergency management authorities.
- Have disaster supplies at hand, such as, flashlight, batteries, portable radio, First aid kit, emergency food, water, non-electric can opener, medicines, cash, credit cards, shoes etc.
- Develop your emergency communication plan and practice it with your family.
- Make your out-of-state friend or relative your “family contact” in case of emergency.
- Work in your community to inform others with the knowledge you have and make hazard hunt programs and neighborhood emergency plans.
During the Earthquake
- Stay safe and minimize your movements and stay indoors till the shaking stops. The safe places can be under strong furniture, against inside wall, away from shelves and heavy furniture.
- When outdoors, stay in an open area, away from trees, buildings, telephone poles, electric lines, bridges, street lights or elevated freeways.
- If in a car, stop at a safe place. Do not stop near or under trees, buildings, bridges and service wires. Stay in the vehicle.
- If caught under debris, do not move, light match or kick up dust. Use a cloth to cover your mouth. Make sound so that the rescuers can locate you. Avoid shouting as it may cause you inhale dangerous dust.
After the Earthquake
- Be prepared for aftershocks.
- Listen to latest emergency information on the battery-operated radio or TV.
- Stay off from risky areas. Come back home when authorities tell you to.
- If in coastal areas, beware of possible tsunamis. If there is any such warning, stay away from the beach.
- Help the injured people especially the infants, elderly and disabled people. Give first aid when required.
- Do not move off seriously wounded people and call for help.
- Check for gas leaks, electric system damage, sewage, and water lines damage and call for professional help.