VANCOUVER, Wash. — May is Volcano Awareness Month in Washington State. While no volcanoes in Washington currently show indications of immediate reawakening, experience has taught us that volcanoes often give just a few days’ warning before an eruption begins. Preparing to survive and recover from Washington's next volcanic eruption will help keep our communities safe and get back to normal sooner after that next eruption occurs.
As proclaimed by Gov. Chris Gregoire, scientists, safety officials and educators are encouraged to discuss the hazards of volcanoes with their communities. The U.S. Geological Survey and Washington State are commemorating the month by conducting a variety of volcano-related trainings for emergency managers, aviators, health care personnel, park interpreters, and school students. The Washington Military Department's Emergency Management Division is highlighting volcano preparedness materials with a dedicated issue of its "InFocus" web page. Information about Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes in the United States is on the USGS Volcano Hazards Program website.
Consider these facts:
To prepare for future eruptions and thus reduce their negative consequences, Washington EMD and USGS partner with local and Federal emergency management agencies in developing emergency plans with communities and coordinating communication and recovery efforts. The USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory works to improve eruption forecasting and warning capabilities at Cascade volcanoes as part of the National Volcanic Early Warning System.
In commemoration of Volcano Awareness Month, 2012, and to ensure Washington State's citizens are prepared for volcanic eruptions, many public resources are available. To learn more about Cascade volcanoes and the USGS volcano monitoring program, visit the USGS Volcano Hazards Program website. Other volcano preparedness materials, along with the Governor's Proclamation, can be found on the Emergency Management Division website.
Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.