I read with interest, stories of people caught out by the ash cloud that partially enveloped us.
I travelled the world for over forty years and the one thing that was drummed into me was, SHIT HAPPENS.
My three rules of travelling are:
Have $100 of cash in your wallet. Everywhere will accept dollars.
Keep a credit card in your wallet that is empty. Only use it occasionally to keep it extant.
Make sure that you have at least a dual band mobile phone.
All these have got me out of trouble either singularly or all together. Don't rely on other people. Be prepared for the worst.