Before the tsunami that struck Indonesia in 2010, it was reported that animals were seen fleeing the low lying areas and heading for the hills. These animals had the foresight to get out of harm's way even when people did not. Animals must have some sort of extra sense that we humans lack; when danger is present or approaching, they just know.
Videos have been circulating recently of buffalo departing from areas surrounding Yellowstone Park. This has some people scratching their heads and wondering why. Perhaps it has something to do with the 4.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Yellowstone on March 30th. It has been said that no damage was done, but when it comes to something as volatile as a volcano, how do you really know? Historically volcanoes have been one of the most unpredictable disasters known to affect man, killing mass quantities of people and demolishing entire cities and towns. Volcanic eruptions are bad news--just ask Pliny the Younger.
To hear the scientific community tell it, a 4.8 magnitude quake is not a major event. It has also been said by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory that Yellowstone experiences between 1,000-3,000 earthquakes annually. Seemingly associated with this quake is an area of uplift, similar to past uplifts that coincide with higher periods of seismic activity. This uplift is due to molten rock moving upward from the crust of the earth towards the surface in and around a caldera that measures 30-55 miles wide depending on who you ask.
While it is being touted by some that recent seismic events make no indication of a pending eruption, others say an eruption could happen at any time. Such a wide swatch of disagreement amongst scientists and researchers make it hard not to contemplate the 'what ifs' of it all, especially when local animals are seen moving their feet away from their established home area. What if those who says it is unlikely the Yellowstone volcano will erupt for tens of thousands of years are wrong? How do you bug out from a volcano?
I will admit that when I think of bugging out, molten lava and ash falling from the sky never played a big part in my plans. Perhaps that would be different if I lived near to an active volcano, which I do not. Even so, you do not have to live near the Yellowstone volcano in order to experience the problems an eruption can present. The damage will be widespread enough to affect most of the country, be it in the form of flowing lava or volcanic ash.
When, or if, this volcano might erupt is something only time will tell. I am not professing to know more than trained scientists about volcanic behavior by any means, but there are things about this entire situation that it are hard to ignore. When an animal flees, my natural inclination is to flee right along with it. Outrunning a volcano with the eruptive capabilities of the Yellowstone caldera simply seems impossible at worst and daunting at best. If you live near an active volcano, how do you prepare for possible eruptions? What is in your BOB that can make surviving an eruption possible? Let us know in the comments.