Residents in areas that may be affected by volcanic ash during an eruption, need to be prepared. They should stock up on water and food supplies, stay indoors to avoid having clothing burnt or skin irritated by acids carried by volcanic ash, avoid going outside without a wet cloth or some sort of filter over their mouth and nose, stay in areas that are unlikely to receive large amounts of tephra or large sized tephra, avoid staying in buildings that are flat-roofed, and be prepared to be without telephones, electricity, and radio communication. Residents should also be prepared to do a lot of cleanup, and when doing this be careful not to resuspend the ash.
Whilst lahar flows can often be channelled, it is very difficult to stop a lava flow. Different methods have been used including: breaching the sides of a lava tube or channel, diverting the flow, constructing barriers, and bombing the lava flow. Another way to stop a lava flow is to increase the lava flow's viscosity by spraying it with water, increasing the rate at which gas escapes from the flow, stirring the flow, or seeding the flow with foreign nuclei.