OSPI School Safety Tips for May 2022

Mike Donlin, Program Supervisor, School Safety Center, OSPI
May 02, 2022

Safety blog

May 2022 School Safety Blog

It’s May, and May is Volcano Awareness Month in Washington!  May 18th will be the 42nd anniversary of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. 

Many people around the country think of Washington as rainy. They may also think of earthquakes. And the beautiful Palouse.  Many people often do not realize that Washington is also the home of five active volcanoes: Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mount Adams. The U.S. Geological Survey tells us that the volcanoes of the Cascade Range are some of the most hazardous in the United States.

Volcanos are beautiful to look at, and devastation-wise, we generally think of volcanos spewing lava. However, snow and ice can become especially dangerous due to volcanic eruptions.  Eruptions, even smaller ones, generate heat which can melt a large amount of snow and ice. This may trigger lahar flows that travel tens of miles down the sides of the mountain into populated valleys. Some of us may have participated in the most recent lahar evacuation drill.  (Just as a reminder, walking evacuation drills are required for schools in mapped lahar — and tsunami — zones.)

For more information on our volcanos and volcano preparedness, check out these links:

You can also learn more at the DNR website and download this great Volcano Awareness Month poster



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