The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) warns of “hazardous explosive eruption” of Taal volcano in Batangas within hours to days as they raised its status to Alert Level 4 after it spewed ash said to be one kilometer high on Sunday, January 12.

The Department of Health (DOH) also warned of the dangerous health effects of ashfall from the Taal Volcano.

“Volcanic ash consists of powder-size to sand-size particles that have been blown into the air by an erupting volcano. Anyone who already suffers from health problems such as bronchitis, emphysema, or asthma should avoid exposure to volcanic ash,” it said in an advisory.

(Department of Health)

In a statement they released Sunday night, DOH said the public should seek immediate help if they encounter the following conditions when exposed to volcanic ash:

1. throat irritation
2. coughing
3. bronchitis-like illness
4. discomfort while breathing
5. eye irritation
6. minor skin problems

Philippine Emergency Alerts Operation Center advised individuals to keep pets indoors as well, since volcanic ash could be poisonous to them. It is also important to check if livestock have enough food and water.

To prevent any further casualties or harm, there is no better way to save yourself and your animal companions than to prepare. Here are some ways to prepare and have a disaster plan.

Preparing for a safer tomorrow

You may never know when the next earthquake will hit, so the best thing to do is to make sure your pet/s have a collar (that has your contact details), in case they escape and flee during the earthquake. You could also think about having your pet/s microchipped and registered with updated information. By doing so, you have a higher chance of reuniting with you animal companions!

Having your pet/s vaccinated is also needed, so that when a natural disaster occurs, your animal companions may survive more through unsanitary conditions brought about by the incident, and fight off any bacteria or viruses.

It’s also important to train your animals to socialize with other animals or humans from the very beginning. They will have a higher chance of socializing well with other humans or animals, despite the stressful situation and “Good Samaritans” may help better if your furry friend knows how to get along with strangers.

Last, but not least, a first aid kit for you and your animal companions is also important.

Pet first aid kit supplies (List from Michelson Found Animals)

1. Antibacterial ointments
2. Blankets
3. Blunt tipped scissors
4. Cotton balls/Cotton swabs
5. Diarrhea medicine (for pets!)
6. Digital rectal thermometer
7. Tweezers
8. First aid book for pets
9. Gauze and pads
10. Hydrogen peroxide
11. Medicine droppers
12. Rubber tubing or cloth for tourniquet
13. Self-adhesive bandage
14. Sterile wound wash

Additional:

1. Feeding bowls
2. Pet food
3. Bottled water
4. Collar with tags (extra)
5. Pet toys
6. Leash or muzzle
7. Current pet photos
8. Litter box and waste bags
9. List of vaccination records and contacts

You might want to read:
– Earthquake ready: Safety tips for animal companions
– Travel goals: Safety tips for companion animals who tag along when we travel
– Getting a second dog? Be ready for something different