SALEM — The anniversary of the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption is May 18, and Oregon is recognizing May as Volcano Preparedness Month.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management geologic hazards coordinator Althea Rizzo encouraged Oregonians to learn more about the state's volcanoes and their potential hazards.

“We can’t forget the fact that the entire Cascade Range is built from volcanoes," Rizzo said in the release. "We like to hike on them in the summer time — we like to ski on them in the winter time, but we have to remember that beauty comes with a risk, and that risk is volcanic eruption."

Having an emergency plan if you need to evacuate, and an emergency kit, is a good idea, Rizzo added, along with knowing what the health hazards are after a volcanic eruptions.

“The nice thing about volcanoes is they tend to give you plenty of warning. You will get a lot of signals that the volcano is waking up,” Rizzo said. “They can wake up, they can go back to sleep, or they can ramp up and go boom.”

For more information on volcanoes visit: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/index.html

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