Known as being a part of the “Ring of Fire”, Indonesia is one of the regions with many active volcanoes. Despite contributing to the arable lands and soils, active volcanoes can be hazardous too, such as the flows of lava, volcanic ash, and other pyroclastic materials which have extremely high temperatures. Volcanic ash rains and poisonous volcanic gas are harmful for your respiratory system. Cold lava flooding can also cause damages to the infrastructures nearby as it sinks houses, buildings and roads.
If you live on the hill or valley under the mountain or near a volcano, find some information from the internet or by asking to local authorities, such as Indonesian Local Board for Disaster Management / Badan Penanggulangan Bencana Daerah (BPBD) and Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysical Agency / Badan Meteorologi, Klimatologi, dan Geofisika (BMKG). Always prepare an emergency kit at home. Know your evacuation routes and the location of the nearest shelter. Make sure you have prepared your complete documentation (such as identity card and family identification card) in your emergency bag and that your data has been recorded by the local government.
Check the emergency status of the active volcano in your area. When the volcano is in severe or ‘standby’ (siaga) level, children, older people, and people with disabilities should evacuate immediately to the shelter. During the extreme or ‘beware’ (awas) level, all populations residing in the area near the volcano should also be evacuated because the volcano will erupt any time soon. Avoid any evacuation route that approaches the river or flooding area, as there might be some high temperature lava flows or pyroclastic flows there. If ash rains occur during or after the eruption, close the doors, windows, ventilations, wells, and other water storage facilities. Use protective equipment such as masks, safety glasses or goggles, clothes that cover your whole body, shoes, hat, gloves, and other equipment. Volcanoes can also emit poisonous gases during the eruption so make sure to protect your nose and mouth.
Once you arrive at the shelter or evacuation camp, stay there and do not wander around. Inform your location and condition to your family and friends. Always look for trusted and important information. You can return to your house after the local authorities provide an instruction or information about the safety of the current situation.