Bali Volcano: How to Prepare for an Eruption

Alert levels for Bali’s tallest mountain, Mount Agung, have been raised to the highest level – meaning an eruption is imminent.


Over 50 eruptions rock our planet every year. If an eruption happens, flows of searing hot lava can be released, and boulders of hardening lava can rain down. For most people, the danger comes from the ash cloud. This ash can bring poisonous gases and particles which can:

  • cause health problems
  • take out power supplies
  • contaminate water supplies

We’re currently south of Mount Agung in Ubud. Fortunately, while we are close (30kms), we are not in the offical evacuation zone (ranging from 9 to 12kms). However, there are some potential risks. These are the guidelines and steps we are taking to prepare for a volcanic eruption.


Keep up to date

It can be difficult to find good central source for information, especially if the local information is in another language. However, setting up a Google News Alert is a great way to stay on top of news from multiple sources.


  • Check the dates of articles to see that you’re getting the most up-to-date information
  • Try not to get caught up in sensationalised news. It can be difficult sifting through information to find credible sources

Not far from Mount Agung, Amed is a picture of peace but locals are beginning to evacuate


Stay or Go?

Be prepared to either take shelter or evacuate.

You may not have a choice but to leave. If you are in no-go areas, listen to local authorities and follow their instructions to relocate to an evacuation centre or safer location.

If you have to evacuate:

  • Only take essential items with you (including prescription medications)
  • If you have time, turn off the gas, electricity & water
  • Disconnect appliances (in case of electric shock when power is restored)
  • Cover any valuables and electronic equipment with plastic wrap or sheets (such as TV, computers, etc)
  • Follow designated evacuation routes (expect heavy traffic & delays)

If you can and choose to stay where you are:

  • Know your evacuation route
  • Keep gas in your car
  • Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature. If the power goes out, food will stay cooler longer.

Remember, if you are in a region where there is ash fall after an eruption, the best place to be is inside. Be prepared to close up the house and all ventilation points if this occurs. If you have a respiratory ailment or heart problems, seriously consider relocating.


Mount Agung, Bali, Indonesia

Bali’s Mount Agung September 2017: Steam rising on the east side blending with the cloud


Stock up on essentials

If you choose to stay where you are, ash fall may keep you housebound for hours or even days. Prepare your home with this list of essential supplies in case of an ash fall:

  • Masks & eye protection
  • Water: enough drinking water for at least 3 days (about 12L per person)
  • Food: enough non-perishables for at least 3 days for people & pets
  • Necessary medications for at least 1 week
  • Cash (ATMs and banks may not be operating)
  • Light sources (candles, torches & batteries, etc)
  • First aid kit
  • Poncho (to cover up if you need to go outdoors)
  • Plastic wrap (to cover electronics)
  • Cleaning supplies (e.g. broom, shovel, vacuum cleaner with spare bags & filters)
  • If cold: blankets, warm clothing & wood for a fireplace/stove.
  • If available: a battery-operated radio and extra batteries.

Consider that you could be stuck in your vehicle, so store an emergency supply kit in your vehicle too.


For further information on ash fall, there is an awesome detailed guide from the New Zealand Government here.

Note: we by no means call ourselves experts. Please follow any instructions from local authorities. 

If you are near a volcano that has erupted, check out our guide on What to do in a Volcanic Eruption.

By Amy, September 25, 2017 I was born in New Zealand and moved to Melbourne, Australia in my early 20s. There I met my partner Steve. 10 years later, we decided to change our lifestyle and move to Southeast Asia, so here we are!


I was born in New Zealand and moved to Melbourne, Australia in my early 20s. There I met my partner Steve. 10 years later, we decided to change our lifestyle and move to Southeast Asia, so here we are!

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