(Air quality index > 100)


  • During ash fall
    • Stay Indoors until ash has settled
    • If outside, seek shelter
    • Use a mask, handkerchief or cloth to cover your nose and mouth
    • Monitor local announcements for information on eruption/wildfire details
    • Do not wear contact lenses as these will result in corneal abrasion
    • If there is ash in your water, let it settle and then use the clear water. If there is a lot of ash in the water supply, do not use your dishwasher or washing machine. Water contaminated by ash will usually make drinking water unpalatable before it presents a health risk.
    • Monitor health of animals
  • Vehicles
    • If possible, avoid driving
    • If driving is crucial, then:
      • Drive slowly
      • Use headlights and ample windscreen fluid (Using wipers on dry ash may scratch the windscreen)
      • Change oil and oil filters frequently, every 50-100 miles in heavy dust
      • Clean wheel brake assemblies every 50-100 miles for very severe road conditions
      • Change air filters frequently


  • Clean-Up Precautions
    • Always wear PPE (minimum of a dust mask or N95 and goggles)
    • Lightly water down the ash deposits before they are removed by shoveling
      • Be careful not to excessively wet the deposits on roofs, causing excess loading and danger of collapse
      • Use extra precaution on ladders and roofs. The ash makes surfaces slippery
  • Clean-Up Procedures
    • Place the ash into heavy duty plastic bags
    • Cut grass and hedges only after rain or light sprinkling and bag the clippings
    • Ensure good ventilation while cleaning
    • Vacuum surfaces before wiping as the fine grit ash will scratch most surfaces
    • Use a wetting agent, damp rag
    • Wash clothing in small batches after brushing away excess ash
    • Use compressed air to clean computer, TV and radio equipment
    • Replace air filters in vehicles and HVAC systems
    • If pets go out, brush them before letting them indoors
  • Seek advice from public officials regarding disposal of volcanic ash in your community


  • Conduct risk analysis of [College/School/Department name] outside operations
  • Develop personnel safety threshold criteria for automatic protective actions implementation
  • Develop incident safety threshold criteria for automatic cancellation or implementation of protective actions
  • Review [College/School/Department name] poor air quality related incidents and their impact upon unit operations