Saturday, 23 September 2017

How should your prepare your family for the pending Mount Agung Eruption in Bali?

Now that the alert status has been raised to the highest level stage four in Bali meaning that a Volcanic eruption is very likely but not 100 % guaranteed, it’s important to understand how we should prepare for it.

It is also important to understand what happens during a volcanic eruption and also understand that it’s never the same way twice.
The next eruption could be smaller or bigger than the last major eruption in 1963.

What we can learn from 1963 is that most people died because they had no communication and therefore, nobody was alerted to the then pending eruption.

The government at the time had little or no scientific methods of determining that Agung was going to erupt.

Now the Bali government has very modern equipment and is sensing everything including the frequency of tremors, temperature, gas releases, etc. and they have determined that an eruption is probable but not guaranteed.

They have already evacuated over 10,000 locals and a very few tourists from the area within 12 to 13 km proximity of the center of Mount Agung.

Why because in 1963 the last time that Agung erupted everyone outside of that perimeter was safe.

First Let Understand what takes place during an Eruption! Copied and modified from

A volcano is a mountain that opens downward to a reservoir of molten rock below the surface of the earth.

Unlike most mountains, which are pushed up from below, volcanoes are vents through which molten rock escapes to the earth’s surface.

When pressure from gases within the molten rock becomes too great, an eruption occurs. Eruptions can be quiet or explosive.

There may be lava flows, flattened landscapes, poisonous gases, and flying rock and ash that can sometimes travel hundreds of miles downwind.

Because of their intense heat, lava flows are great fire hazards. Lava flows destroy everything in their path, but most move slowly enough that people can move out of the way.

Fresh volcanic ash, made of pulverized rock, can be abrasive, acidic, gritty, gassy and odorous.

While not immediately dangerous to most adults, the acidic gas and ash can cause lung damage to small infants, to older adults and to those suffering from severe respiratory illnesses.

Volcanic ash also can damage machinery, including engines and electrical equipment. Ash accumulations mixed with water become heavy and can collapse roofs.

Volcanic ash can affect people hundreds of miles away from the cone of a volcano.

Sideways directed volcanic explosions, known as "lateral blasts," can shoot large pieces of rock at very high speeds for several miles.

These explosions can kill by impact, burial or heat. They have been known to knock down entire forests.

Volcanic eruptions can be accompanied by other natural hazards, including earthquakes, mudflows and flash floods, rock falls and landslides, acid rain, fire, and (under special conditions) tsunamis.

The danger area around a volcano covers approximately a 20-mile radius however some danger may exist 100 miles or more from a volcano.


Before a Volcanic Eruption:

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of a volcanic eruption.

Build an Emergency Supply Kit, which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car in case you are told to evacuate. This kit should also include a pair of goggles and disposable breathing masks for each member of the family.

Make a Family Emergency Plan (See Below). Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together and what you will do in case of an emergency.

Don’t Panic:

As a former Charter Yacht Capt. for seven years, and a resident of Bali for 21 years and who has survived a hurricane and a class four cyclone I can tell you one of the most important things is, don’t panic. 

Captain Lawrence
Always keep a calm head about you. Don’t listen to rumours, confirm everything. 
Tourists do not need to worry at this time because most likely if it is of same magnitude as 1963 the major tourists areas in Southern Bali which are 40 to 60 km away will have little or no damage.
My favourite saying is always “be better safe than sorry”.

Yes you may prepare for an Eruption and nothing may happen or the eruption may be far smaller than 1963 or much bigger. What matters is that you have a plan

Remember The Less Fortunate:

Remember that although you may live 40- 60 km away from the volcano and may have nothing to fear in your air-conditioned hotel room, home or villa there are tens of thousands of locals that have been forced out of their homes and may lose their homes in the coming weeks or months.

Many of them are sitting in shelters with little hygiene and a government that is overwhelmed trying to fulfill their basic living needs. 

I highly recommend that you do what our company has done. Yesterday our Company decided to raise money from or staff and purchase basic necessities which will be delivered by several of our staff in person. One of our staff who is a Balinese Priest with family that lives in the area will make sure that everything is delivered to the right people with no middleman.
Center President Lawrence Bellefontaine, Right Wayan Mudisastra, a Balinese Priest
Third From Right Gede. Assit Manager

They need basic essentials such as rice, cooking oil, water, chicken, pork, noodles, vegetables, blanket, pillows, and towels. They must be delivered to many of the locations that are currently being used as shelters. 

If you can’t handle this yourself you can stop off at our office at Emerald Villas office ( Map Below at Jalan Karangsrai # 5 , in Sanur.

My wife, an Indonesian Notaris and I are the owners of the company and we personally guarantee that whatever you drop off including toys for the children will be delivered by our staff member who is a Balinese Priest. You can call 284069 24 hrs for more information.

Finally, please pray that no one is injured or loses their life because of poor planning.

Family Emergency Plan.

Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Step 1: Put together a plan by discussing these 4 questions with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan.

1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?

2. What is my shelter plan?

3. What is my evacuation route?

4. What is my family/household communication plan?
Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like the operation of durable medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

· Different ages of members within your household

· Responsibilities for assisting others

· Locations frequented

· Dietary needs

· Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment

· Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment

· Languages spoken

· Cultural and religious considerations

· Pets or service animals

· Households with school-aged children
Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use them as a guide to create your own.

· Emergency Plan for Parents (PDF)
Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

· Wallet Sized Emergency Communication Plan (PDF)

· Family Emergency Communication Guide (PDF)

· Emergency Plan for Parents or (PDF)

· Emergency Plan for Kids or (PDF)

· Emergency Plan for Commuters (PDF)

· Pet owners PDF

· Steps to make a plan (PDF)

· Tips on emergency alerts and warnings (PDF)

· Protect Critical Documents and Valuables (PDF)

· Document and Insure Your Property (PDF)

· Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (PDF)

· Make A Plan (Video)

During a Volcanic Eruption

Follow the evacuation order issued by authorities and evacuate immediately from the volcano area to avoid flying debris, hot gases, lateral blast and lava flow.

Be aware of mudflows. The danger from a mudflow increases near stream channels and with prolonged heavy rains. Mudflows can move faster than you can walk or run. Look upstream before crossing a bridge and do not cross the bridge if a mudflow is approaching.

Avoid river valleys and low-lying areas.

Remember to help your neighbours who may require special assistance - infants, elderly people and people with access and functional needs

Protection From Falling Ash

If you are unable to evacuate, and in order to protect yourself from falling ash, you should remain indoors with doors, windows and ventilation closed until the ash settles.

If you have a respiratory ailment, avoid contact with any amount of ash. Stay indoors until local health officials advise it is safe to go outside.

Listen to a battery-powered radio or television for the latest emergency information.

Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

Use goggles and wear eyeglasses instead of contact lenses.

Use a dust mask or hold a damp cloth over your face to help with breathing.

Stay away from areas downwind from the volcano to avoid volcanic ash.

Stay indoors until the ash has settled unless there is a danger of the roof collapsing.

Close doors, windows, and all ventilation in the house (chimney vents, furnaces, air conditioners, fans and other vents.

Clear heavy ash from flat or low-pitched roofs and rain gutters.

Avoid running car or truck engines. Driving can stir up volcanic ash that can clog engines, damage moving parts, and stall vehicles.

Avoid driving in heavy ash fall unless absolutely required. If you have to drive, keep speed down to 35 MPH or slower.

After a Volcanic Eruption

Go to a designated public shelter if you have been told to evacuate or you feel it is unsafe to remain in your home.

Local authorities may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. However, you should listen to Radio, watch TV, listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available. Check social media by typing Mount Agung Eruption into Twitter,

Facebook, UTube and other Social Media Sites

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