28 January, 2009

Volcano Watch - Orange Alert

We're on Orange Alert (Watch) for volcanic eruption from Mount Redoubt (pronounced reed-out). It's all over the news, and there are all kinds of tips for emergency preparedness: three days of non-perishable food & bottled water; face masks; bring your pets inside (The ash can get into the water supply, and remember this for your animals. There are no masks for them, so keep them inside and have their food and water supply ready as well.); if possible, don't drive. Seems that stores are having a rush on respirator masks. Volcanic ash is nasty stuff.

At work, we put plastic bags over all the computer equipment before leaving (after turning it all off, of course). I didn't think to get a picture before I left, but it looks like I'll have another chance. According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, "we would expect such an eruption to begin within the next few days or weeks". My desk and workbench have been hermetically sealed (mostly). I didn't cover the power strip (because I didn't want to crawl around in the dust under the far side of my desk). If we do get ash fallout, I'll just deal with it then. But my phone, computers, monitors, mice, & keyboards (as well as the toys that sit on my monitor, the fiber optic Christmas tree that I haven't put away yet, and the paper airplane-a-day calendar) are protected. Whew!

One of the news articles has a great tip: When it comes to driving cover your car with a tarp. If the ash fall is severe do not drive at all. I know that it'll be hard for me to drive with a tarp over my car, not to mention dealing with the potentially severe ash fall, but I'll manage somehow.

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