Volcano

Volcanoes produce many hazards. Learn what to do before, during and after a volcanic eruption to minimise risk to you and your family.

For general readiness, every household should create and practice a Household Emergency Plan and assemble and maintain Emergency Survival Items and a Getaway Kit. In addition, every household should take precautions and plan for and practice what to do if a volcanic eruption occurs.

Action messages

  1. Determine your risk.
  2. Get your household ready.
  3. Keep goggles and dust masks handy.
  4. Evacuate or take shelter.
  5. Stay inside.
  6. Protect your lungs and eyes.

Download our Hazard App to help you make it safely through a disaster.

More information on how to prepare for and what to do following a volcanic eruption:

Volcano - Civil Defence (PDF)

More about volcanoes

Volcanic eruptions fall into two broad types: explosive and quiet. Hazards from large explosive eruptions include widespread ashfall (sand and dust-sized pieces of fractured rock and glass), pyroclastic flows (very fast flowing mixtures of hot gases and volcanic rock) and massive lahars (volcanic mud flows - fast flowing mixtures of muddy water and volcanic rock). These can all endanger people and property nearby as well as up to hundreds of kilometres away.

Eruptions can even affect the global climate. Hazards from quiet lava flows include fires, building and other structural collapse, and acidic gas clouds.

  • Learn about your community’s risk from hazards created by volcanic eruptions.
  • While you may be located far from a volcano, the ash from an explosive eruption could affect your area.
  • Contact your local council or visit GNS Science's website to find out about the type of volcanic hazards that could affect your area and what you can do to prepare.