What to Do Before, During, and After an Avalanche
Are you heading to the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding? While having a fantastic time is essential, it’s equally important to prioritize your safety.
In this blog, we’ll explain the critical steps to ensuring avalanche safety, from preparing before your adventure to handling an avalanche situation and what to do afterward. We’ll also explore how Life360 can be a lifesaver during emergencies.
How To Be Prepared for an Avalanche While Skiing
Before you even set foot on the slopes, there are several proactive measures you should take to minimize the risk of avalanches:
- Check Avalanche Forecasts: Always check the avalanche forecasts for the area you plan to visit. This valuable information will help you assess the risk level and decide where and when to ski or snowboard.
- Travel in Groups: It’s safer to hit the slopes with a group of experienced skiers or snowboarders. Make sure everyone in your party is equipped with avalanche safety gear.
- Avalanche Safety Gear: Invest in avalanche safety equipment, including a location-sharing app, transceiver, probe, and shovel. These tools can be a lifeline in the event of an avalanche.
- Education: Educate yourself on avalanche safety and take avalanche safety courses. Recognizing danger signs and reacting during an avalanche can save lives.
- Share Your Location with Life360: Before heading out, use Life360’s location-sharing feature to let your loved ones know where you’ll be. It can track your whereabouts in an emergency and send help if needed.
6 Avalanche Survival Tips
Despite taking precautions, avalanches can still happen. If you find yourself caught in one, follow these steps:
- Stay Calm: Panic is your worst enemy in this situation. Try to remain as calm as possible.
- Try to Move to the Side: If you see the avalanche approaching, move to the side and get out of its path. This can significantly increase your chances of survival.
- Swim to Stay on Top: If you are already caught in the avalanche, try to swim on the surface of the moving snow. This can help you stay near the top and make it easier for rescuers to locate you.
- Deploy Your Airbag: If you have an avalanche airbag, deploy it immediately. This can help keep you closer to the surface.
- Create an Air Pocket: If you get buried, cupping your hands in front of your mouth will create an air pocket around your face. This will help you breathe until rescuers arrive.
What to Do After an Avalanche
Surviving an avalanche is just the first step. After the avalanche has settled, it’s crucial to take the following actions:
- Signal for Help: Use any available means to signal your location to rescuers. Yell, blow a whistle, utilize a beacon, or use a flashlight if you have one.
- Locate Others: If you’re with a group, work together to locate and help your companions.
- Contact Emergency Services: Use your phone to call for help if you can. Life360 offers SOS alerts that can quickly notify your emergency contacts and provide them with your location.
- Administer First Aid: If you or someone in your group is injured, administer first aid while waiting for rescue.
How to Use Life360 During an Avalanche
Life360 can be a valuable tool during an avalanche emergency:
- SOS Alerts: If you’re in danger and have the Life360 app, press the SOS button to send an emergency alert to your chosen contacts.
- Location Sharing: If you’ve shared your location with loved ones before your adventure, they can quickly pinpoint your whereabouts and either come find you or notify authorities in an emergency.
- Disaster Response: With Life360’s Platinum membership plan, provides assistance with emergency evacuations due to natural disasters such as avalanches. Life360’s agents will arrange transportation to the nearest safe location, when possible.
Enjoy Winter Adventures and Prepare for Avalanche Risk with Life360
Avalanche safety is non-negotiable when enjoying winter sports in avalanche-prone areas. Being well-prepared, equipped with the right gear, and educated about avalanche safety protocols can make all the difference.
Furthermore, using apps like the Life360 app can enhance your safety and provide an added layer of security in case of emergencies. To enjoy the winter activities worry-free, download the Life360 app for free.
Remember, your safety and the safety of those around you should always come first on the slopes. Stay safe, and have a blast on your winter adventures responsibly.