Preparing Your Home for Extreme Weather: Volcanoes

Is your house ready for extreme weather? If you're a new homeowner or are planning to buy a home in a new place, it's important to understand the types of weather you may face and how to protect yourself and your home. We’ve prepared a Checklist for Preparing Your Home for Extreme Weather that includes a list of things to keep on hand, packed up and ready at all times for any natural disaster situation. If you live near a volcano it's important you understand volcanoes, the possibility that they may erupt and how to prepare your house for them.

Prepare home for a volcano.

About Volcanoes

A volcano is a mountain or hill, typically in the shape of a cone (but not always!), that features a crater or vent, which erupts lava, volcanic ash, gas, and rock fragments from the Earth's crust. There are 169 'active volcanoes' in the US. Volcanic eruptions are most common in Alaska where eruptions occur virtually every year. Others are located throughout the west and in Hawaii. [AGS]

Volcanic ash is twice as heavy as snow, making the air potentially toxic to breathe. And because volcanic eruptions cause severe winds, their effects can be far reaching. Eruptions may cause disruption of transportation, electricity, water, sewage and storm water systems. The most important thing to do during a volcanic eruption is to evacuate. Know your evacuation route and where you will go.

Prepare home for a volcano.

Prepare Your Home

As far as your home goes, here's what you need to know:

  • Place windows facing the volcano so that you can see if it erupts.
  • Make sure you have heavy-weight roof support to withstand the weight of the ash that will land on your roof. Steep sloped roofs with heavy bracing will work best, and ash will slide right off any smooth roof surfaces. Balconies, carports and other structures will also need more support.
  • Use reinforced concrete, which holds up best against a volcano, as well as the high winds and earthquakes that are bound to occur.
  • Seal all windows and openings into your home.
  • Shutter your windows to help create an airtight seal.
  • Avoid gutters, which will fill up with ash and cause severe structural issues.
  • Don’t build or purchase a home downstream from the mouth of the volcano. The pyroclastic flow (the hot gas and volcanic matter referred to as lava) moves very fast and gets very hot and releases toxic gases. It is best to stay clear of its flow. It will destroy everything in its path.
  • Volcanic eruptions often spur many other disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, avalanches, mudslides, fire and more. Evacuation is critical. Volcanic eruptions have been known to clear out entire civilizations.

Want more home advice? Nestiny is a great place for home education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all of your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a free Ready Report that is personalized based upon the information that you entered. This report will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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