The importance of investing in monitoring, mitigation, and preparedness before natural hazards occur has been amply demonstrated by recent disasters such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Playing catch-up with hazardous natural phenomena such as these limits our ability to work with public officials and the public to lessen adverse impacts. With respect to volcanic activity, the starting point of effective pre-event mitigation is monitoring capability sufficient to detect and diagnose precursory unrest so that communities at risk have reliable information and sufficient time to respond to hazards with which they may be confronted.
Recognizing that many potentially dangerous U.S. volcanoes have inadequate or no ground-based monitoring, the U.S Geological Survey (USGS) Volcano Hazards Program (VHP) and partners recently evaluated U.S. volcano-monitoring capabilities and published 'An Assessment of Volcanic Threat and Monitoring Capabilities in the United States: Framework for a National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS).' Results of the NVEWS volcanic threat and monitoring assessment are being used to guide long-term improvements to the national volcano-monitoring infrastructure operated by the USGS and affiliated groups.
The NVEWS report identified the need to convene a workshop of a broad group of stakeholders--such as representatives of emergency- and land-management agencies at the Federal, State, and local levels and the aviation sector--to solicit input about implementation of NVEWS and their specific information requirements. Accordingly, an NVEWS Stakeholders Workshop was held in Portland, Oregon, on 22-23 February 2006. A summary of the workshop is presented in this document.