How to Prepare in Case of an Avalanche

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Find out how to react in the event of an avalanche.

This video is part of a full series on major disaster response. It was made in partnership with La Croix Rouge Francaise (The French Red Cross as part of the IFRC) and is free for all to watch in multiple languages on our website: https://www.sikana.tv/en/health/natural-disaster

There are some really essential health tips you should know if you witness or a caught in an avalanche which could save lives

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In this video, you are going to learn how to prepare, and what do to do in the event of an avalanche.

If you witness an avalanche with people affected :

- Follow any people swept away with your eyes and note the point where you saw them for the last time.

- If possible, ask someone to be a lookout and to keep their eyes on the victims' location in case of a second avalanche.

- Alert the emergency services, and take no risks.

- Stay available for the emergency services and follow their advice.

If you are caught in an avalanche :

- Try to escape laterally and to grab hold of an object to use as an anchor.

- Get rid of your poles, skis, or snowboard. - Close your mouth or cover it with your scarf or any other available fabric.

- If you are buried, try to push yourself upwards using blocks of snow. or if the snow is powdery, try to make 'swimming' movements to keep yourself at the surface.

- When the avalanche stops, try to make an air pocket in front of your face with your hands or arms folded back in front of your face.

- Remain calm while waiting to be rescued.

Before going out on the mountain, here is some precautionary advice:

- Check the weather conditions.

- Never go out on a mountain alone.

- Tell someone your route and the approximate time of your return.

- If you are an off-piste skier, snowboarder or snowshoer, get yourself an avalanche victim detector and learn how to use it.

- Wear warm clothes and bring a survival blanket.

- Remember that the presence of tracks is not an absolute guarantee of safety.

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