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Impacts from volcanic events can last for months to years after the eruption ends

Actions to take for ashfall include cleaning-up vehicles. Clean windshield wipers before using them to avoid scratching the windshield.

Eruptive activity can ramp up and ease down for weeks to years after the start of the eruptive cycle. Volcano monitoring and hazard assessment will continue by Volcano Hazards Program scientists to track changes and provide public volcano-status notifications.

Actions to take after an eruptive event are dependent upon whether the eruption is continuing, the level of impact, and type of eruption. The most important thing to do is to watch and listen for updates from local authorities; they will determine when to lift or revise evacuation orders and organize relief response.


For detailed information about volcanic ash, visit the Volcanic Ashfall Working Group website.

  • Don't rush into the clean-up operation without making a plan; read resources for proper techniques of ash removal and disposal on the Volcanic Ashwebsite.
  • Avoid cleanup until ash has stopped falling, and use a 'top down' and 'up-wind' method to prevent recontamination of cleaned areas.
  • Minimize driving to avoid damage to vehicles. Driving on ash-slickened roads with reduced visibility can be hazardous.
  • Be prepared with clean-up resources on hand such as dust masks, extra medications, plastic sheeting, and heavy-duty tape.

Lava Flows

Lava enters Harry K. Brown Park in Kalapana, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai...
Lava enters Harry K. Brown Park in Kalapana, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i

Lava flows typically move slowly enough for local officials to have issued evacuation notices. Roads may be blocked by lava, so it is important to find alternative means to return to an inundated area once the all-clear has been issued. Pay attention to closures and instructions from local officials.


Until a lahar deposit solidifies, the thick slurry may not support a significant amount of weight. Do not attempt to drive across a lahar by vehicle and be cautious in walking across the deposit. As it travels downstream, the lahar can incorporate sharp metal and other hazardous materials. Use gloves and tools to clean up lahar debris. Be aware that lahar sediments will be remobilized by rain and normal river drainage for years after a volcanic event, which may result in destructive flooding.