Volcanic eruptions have the capacity to significantly impact human life, consequently, tools for mitigating them are of high importance. The early detection of a potentially hazardous volcanic eruption and the issuance of early warnings concerning volcanic hazards (e.g. ash dispersal), are key elements in the initiation of operational response procedures. Historically, lidars have not typically played a key operational role during volcanic eruptions, with other remote sensing instruments such as radars, infrared and ultraviolet cameras being preferred. Recently, a tailored product of the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET) for the early warning of the presence of volcanic ash and desert dust plumes at cruising altitudes has been developed. Here, we extend the applicability of this methodology to lidars and ceilometers near active volcanoes in Iceland and Mt. Etna in Italy. The tailored methodology and selected case studies will be presented, demonstrating its potential for real-time application during volcanic eruptions.Acknowledgements: This work has been conducted within the framework of the E-shape (Grant Agreement n. 820852) and EUNADICS-AV (Grant agreement no. 723986) H2020 projects. Furthermore, the authors acknowledge the ACTRIS-2 and ACTRIS Preparatory Phase projects that have received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 654109) and from European Union's Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action (grant agreement No. 739530), respectively.