As we look back, it’s a good opportunity to look forward as well. What are we doing to prepare for the next major eruption?
As with earthquakes, it’s only a matter of time until the next volcano sends ash over Kodiak Island.
Three years ago, Mount Redoubt erupted, shutting down air traffic and disrupting marine traffic. Before that, it was Augustine Volcano.
While we can’t control volcanoes, we can prepare for them. That means keeping an emergency kit stocked with food, medicine and important documents.
When the Department of Homeland Security suggested stocking duct tape and plastic sheeting a few years ago, it was mocked. But those simple materials, used properly, can shield a home from volcanic ash and create a comfortable family shelter.
If an emergency happens, you want to be ready. Help, especially if a volcano shuts down travel to and from Kodiak, might be days or weeks away.
If a volcano shuts down communications and knocks out power, are you ready?
You can find advice and instructions for preparing your home and family at http://ready.alaska.gov/
We trust that our local and state governments are prepared, but in the event that they are not, it is up to us as individuals to be ready.
When you look back at the Katmai eruption, ask yourself — what will I do when it happens again?