How to prepare for Taal's imminent explosive eruption

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) — Most of Luzon were caught off guard when Taal Volcano suddenly erupted and spewed thick ash plumes on January 12 — despite the fact that the volcano had been on alert since early 2018. But that should no longer be the case following state volcanologists' constant warnings that a hazardous eruption is possible within days.

A disaster preparedness advocate shared simple tips on how to keep yourself safe — whether you're living in the 14-kilometer danger zone or its nearby areas.

Martin Aguda on Friday said, for those living in the towns of Batangas and Cavite that are within the "danger zone," there is no better way to keep yourselves safe other than to evacuate your homes.

"The best protective measure is to evacuate," he told CNN Philippines.

He urged the thousands of residents in those areas to pre-pack their "Go Bag" or survival kit in case of a natural disaster. He suggesting putting change of clothes for one night, canned goods, and water in a backpack for easy movement.

Over 50,000 people are taking shelter in 244 evacuation centers in Batangas and Cavite, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. The council also reported that 65,184 people have been affected by the volcano’s eruption.

Those living outside the 14-kilometer radius should also prepare for the imminent explosive eruption, Aguda said. When the Taal Volcano erupted on Sunday, ashfall reached parts of Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, and Bulacan. Aguda said people in these areas should also be alert for the indirect effects of the eruption.

"Those outside the 14 kilometer danger zone will experience the heavy ashfall, which can be disruptive in terms of daily living and health wise, which can be disruptive in terms of daily living and health wise," he said.

He said it's better to stay at home, but's important to be prepared, as well.

"Most of us who are not in the danger zone will shelter in place. You have to have enough stockpile of food, water, enough supplies without going to the grocery," he said.

Aguda said, those outside the danger zone should pack respiratory protection such as N95 masks and towels and food and water good for more than three days.

He highlighted the importance of seeking shelter in a sturdy place because of the volcanic earthquakes that will inevitably happen after an eruption.

If you have pets or animals in your home and backyard, a veterinarian suggested placing tags on their necks with your personal information. Alyanna Rodriguez said this is important in case you cannot evacuate with your pets, so the rescuers can locate the owner.