Do you know what to do in case of an ashfall?

Photo: USGS

Hawaii County and the Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) are warning of the possibility of an explosive eruption at Halemaumau.  HVO has indicated that an explosive event similar to one that happened in 1924  could be caused by the withdrawal of lava from Halemaumau’s summit lake leading to a steam-driven eruption. The eruption could generate ash plumes as high as 20,000 feet. The area affected could be as wide as 12 miles.

Hawaii County Civl Defense has issued the following advisory on what to do in case of an ashfall.


Volcanic activity in Kilauea crater could result in an explosion that sends an ash plume into the atmosphere. If you’re in the area, know what to do in case of an ashfall.


  • Close doors and windows.
  • Place damp towels at door thresholds and other draft sources. Tape drafty windows.
  • Protect sensitive electronics and do not uncover until the environment is totally ash-free.
  • Disconnect drainpipes/downspouts from gutters to stop drains clogging, but allowing ash and water to empty from gutters onto the ground.
  • If you use a rainwater collection system for your water supply, disconnect the tank prior to ash falling.
  • If you have chronic bronchitis, emphysema or asthma, stay inside and avoid unnecessary exposure to the ash.
  • Ensure livestock have clean food and water.
  • If you have children, know your school’s emergency plan and have indoor games and activities ready.

For more information on preparing for an ashfall: