Response: What to do during volcanic activity

This page provides volcanic activity response messages.

If there is volcanic activity, follow official advice provided by your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Group, the Department of Conservation (for visitors to the Tongariro and Taranaki National Parks), local authorities and emergency services.

If a volcano is active, minimise your time in the summit region and valleys. During volcanic activity, near-volcano hazards may be present. These can be highly destructive and dangerous up to 20 kilometres (km) from the volcano. In rare cases, near-volcano hazards may reach beyond 20 km. If you are in an exposed area and become aware of near-volcano hazards, the best way to protect yourself is to quickly move (run or drive if you can) as far away as possible from the volcano.

If you cannot leave the area, try and do the following:

  • Seek shelter and cover your nose, mouth, and exposed skin to protect yourself from ashfall and pyroclastic flows.
  • Seek shelter and cover your head with your pack to protect yourself from ballistics.
  • Avoid valleys and low-lying areas – getting to higher ground may reduce your exposure to lava flows and lahars.