Camp Constitution was a refugee camp established by FEMA after the Yellowstone Supervolcano eruption. It was located between Muskogee, Oklahoma and Fayetteville[1] or Fort Smith[2], Arkansas, just beyond the limits of ashfall.[3] The population eventually reached a couple of hundred thousand and it would have been even more crowded if more people had managed to escape the airborne ash alive rather than die from lung diseases.[4]

Camp Constitution was a small city of large military tents with four-decker bunks for sleeping run up by National Guardsmen. There was no running water so washroom facilities were row upon row of outhouses. Families with multiple small children received FEMA trailers made notorious by Hurricane Katrina but refugees considered these luxury housing due to having some semblance of privacy. Further, there was no electricity except for some charging stations for cell phones but these had line-ups of several hours.[5] Initially, there was no running water[6] but eventually cold water showers and public spigots of potable water were set up. However, a sewage system was never built.[7] Since most refugees arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs, some used clothing that had mostly been donated was distributed to them but it was not stylish and did not fit well.[8] With the passage of the Abandoned Property Act, more used clothing that was salvaged was made available.[9]

Vanessa Ferguson ended up in Camp Constitution[10] and was forced to stay for a year and a half.[11]


  1. Eruption, pg. 290, HC.
  2. All Fall Down, pg. 25, HC.
  3. Eruption, pg. 291.
  4. Ibid, pg. 404.
  5. Ibid, pgs. 305-311.
  6. Ibid, pg. 311.
  7. All Fall Down, pg. 28.
  8. Eruption, pg. 405, All Fall Down, pg. 28.
  9. All Fall Down, pg. 127.
  10. Eruption, pg. 290.
  11. All Fall Down, pgs. 106-107.

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