Facemask is an important thing to use when there is ongoing wrath of Mother Nature's bombardment of calamity. One current event is the eruption of Taal Volcano in the Philippines. The untimely and abrupt eruption of the volcano rattled residents and nearby inhabitants from other provinces due to the sudden eruptive phase of the small mountain. On January 12, 2020, Taal Volcano spews a continuous column of an ash plume starting from 1 in the afternoon and then it started releasing lava fountains on January 13, 2020.

The main challenge is the depleting supply of face masks for the inhabitants and residents within the areas affected by the ashfall of Taal Volcano. Since the sudden eruption, many went to the pharmacies and supermarkets to purchase face masks, water, food, and other essential materials to survive the volcanic eruption. The panic buying behavior of the local residents and visitors made a drastic depletion of supplies for face masks across the surrounding areas of Taal Volcano.

Here are three important protection gears during an ashfall: 1. N95 Face Mask: The recommended face mask during a volcanic eruption. This face mask has a 95% - 97% filtration rate than any other face masks. It can prevent any small particles such as silica to penetrate the mask. Depending on the face mask, it is important to wear it properly (See the instructions in the video) where I am demonstrating the proper way to wear the mask according to the description written in the box.

2. Surgical Face Mask: This is the most accessible mask in the market. It is a rectangular-shaped face mask that you can often see in the public. People in urban areas usually wear this mask along the roads and streets where there is a high accumulation of dust particles due to passing vehicles. In the case of ashfall, you should add two tissue layers before wearing the mask. The rationale is to increase the filtration rate of the mask from the smaller particles of silica that is not soluble in water.

3. Wet Towel: We understand the scarcity of face masks during the height of a volcanic eruption. Surgical face masks and N95 masks are usually unavailable due to the rapid panic buying of people affected by the presence of an ashfall. Any sheet of clothing is already enough to cover the nose and mouth during the ash fall or exposure to heavy dust. The only thing to do is to make the clothing or the sheet wet and then wear it during the height of a heavy ashfall.

There are other masks that everyone can wear such as gas masks to ensure a hundred percent filtration rate against all potentially hazardous chemicals. These include sulfur dioxide, hydrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen fluoride, nitrogen dioxide, silica, hydrogen monoxide, and other forms of hazardous gases that are potentially fatal to any organism.

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