Maria Furtney is an M.S. student studying geophysics at Cornell University. Her current research focuses on volcanoes, specifically addressing how volcanoes can be monitored from the use of satellite data. She believes that the best way to protect yourself against natural hazards is to understand the risk in your own backyard. There are many national organizations devoted to the study of natural hazards and hazard mitigation. For more information about hazards, check out websites for the United States Geological Survey, Federal Emergency Management Association, and the National Weather Service. In addition, ready.gov contains useful information for the public to understand, prepare for, and respond to natural disasters.