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Online events slated for Volcano Awareness Month

Online events slated for Volcano Awareness Month

The Washington Emergency Management Division is teaming up with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Cascades Volcano Observatory this month for Volcano Awareness Month. Together, the agencies invite the public to join scientists and preparedness experts for the next three Wednesdays, to stream a popular volcano movie together, ask those questions you’ve always wanted to know about volcanoes using the popular site Reddit, and attend a webinar to learn about volcano dangers and preparedness in Washington.

This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the Cascades Volcano Observatory based in Vancouver, Washington.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a proclamation recognizing Volcano Awareness Month. “The people of our state should become familiar with volcano hazards in their communities, become 2 Weeks Ready for any disaster and have awareness of evacuation routes in order to prepare and respond effectively,” the signed proclamation states.

The month of May is chosen each year to be Volcano Awareness Month in Washington to commemorate the tragic eruption of Mt. St Helens that happened May 18, 1980, killing 57 people, spewing forth 540 million tons of ash and changing our understanding of Washington volcanoes forever.

“May is Volcano Awareness Month, a time we want you to not just look at Mt. St. Helens, but remember we have four other active volcanoes in our state – Mount Rainer, Mt. Adams, Mt. Baker and Glacier Peak,” says Brian Terbush, volcano program preparedness coordinator for the Washington Emergency Management Division. “If there’s a volcano in your backyard, it’s a perfect time to understand how it’s eruption might impact your life and what you can do to prepare for it!”

Three online events are planned this year:


From 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, May 11, join scientists and preparedness experts as they live tweet while watching the movie Dante’s Peak. They’ll be using #VolcanoAwareness to tag their tweets. Follow the Great Washington ShakeOut. Some scientists from partner agencies may choose to use their own accounts. We suggest using your local library to borrow a copy or rent it if unable to find on a major streaming platform as part of your subscription.


From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 18, scientists and preparedness experts will field your questions during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. A free Reddit account is needed to participate.


From 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 25, scientists and preparedness experts will host a webinar talking about the Cascades Volcano Observatory’ 40th anniversary, how volcano monitoring has changed since the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, a brief update on the status of Washington’s Cascades volcanoes, best ways to sign up for alerts and general preparedness.

USGS will also talk about its latest lahar mud flow simulations, released on April 29.

Remind yourself about the event through the Facebook Event or create your own calendar reminder and use this link to join us at 12:30 p.m., May. 25.

The webinar will be held using Microsoft Teams and is best viewed on a desktop computer without the need to download anything or have a Teams account. Those with a phone should download the Microsoft Teams app to access the webinar. Machine-language captions will be available and there will be time to ask questions. The Webinar will be recorded and the recording will be available afterwards on our YouTube Page. Subscribe to be notified when it’s up. Anyone needing assistance should email

Learn more about our state’s volcanoes at and