Tim is hauling explosives through Oregon when ash begins falling on his truck. Hmmm … must be one heck of a giant cigarette or the Old Gal is erupting again. Tim doesn’t know where he’s going to go when the volcano blows, but he knows it’s going to be as far away as possible.
HOW TO ESCAPE A VOLCANIC ERUPTION
1. Take the quickest route away from the volcano.
2. Decrease your speed and drive as if on ice. The ash, especially when combined with rain, makes the road slick. Plan for increased stopping distance.
3. Use fog lights. Suspended ash reduces visibility.
4. Beware of driving over bridges. Volcanoes can trigger flash floods, earthquakes, rock falls and mudslides.
5. Change air filters every three hours. During the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, engines failed because air filters clogged with ash.
REMEMBER: The horizontal forces from volcanic explosions, known as lateral blasts, can shoot large chunks of rock at very high speeds for miles. These explosions have been known to knock down entire forests. Most deaths attributed to the Mount St. Helen’s eruption were caused by falling trees and other results of lateral blast.
Sources: www.fema.com and John Sallak, director of safety and training for Oregon Trucking Association.