After the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupted, Congress passed the Abandoned Property Act which allowed the United States government to scavenge goods left behind when people abandoned their homes and businesses. While it was likely not to stand up under judicial review, the task was being carried out by work crews at the boundaries of ashfall since the materials collected could be put to use before they spoiled or rotted. Goods salvaged included clothing distributed to refugees, animal feed, machinery and electronics.[1]

Vanessa Ferguson managed to get out of Camp Constitution by joining such a crew.[2]


  1. All Fall Down, pgs. 124-129, HC.
  2. Ibid, pg. 123.