I'm writing on the subject because a commenter asked for my take on the news this week about the activity around the Yellowstone caldera (for the record, "supervolcano" isn't a geological term). My best advice, before I finish with my own two cent's worth, is to check out the Eruptions blog here and here. Erik Klemetti does some excellent analysis of the story and how quickly things can be overblown by a media that thrives almost exclusively on spectacle, and has little use for reasoned discussions of the actual risks.
As I considered the question of an 'informed' response, I had to wonder if I'm not guilty of the same sort of exaggeration and sensationalism of cable news and other media. In my pursuit of educating others, I am not above discussing lurid tales of death and geological mayhem. After all, when I talk about volcanoes in class, I lead with Krakatoa, Tambora and Pompei, and I discuss the potential effects of a gigantic rhyolite caldera eruption such as those that took place at Yellowstone three times in the last two million years (not to mention broadly equivalent eruptions at Valles Caldera and Long Valley Caldera). I have a clear conscience on the matter, because I follow up with a discussion of the actual risk and probability of such events happening to our time; an eruption like the Yellowstone Caldera happens somewhere in the world every few hundred thousand years. Smaller, but certainly dangerous eruptions like those of Tambora (1815), Krakatoa (1883) and Katmai (1912) happen somewhere in the world on a scale of decades. And when these events take place there are clear signals that something is about to happen.
The best quote on the matter? From Max Read at Gawker: "But who do you trust, some kind of "professor," or your overactive imagination?" To which I might add: "But what about professors with overactive imaginations?"