Tell Me > Curiosity Corner > Earth > Natural Disasters > Can you survive an avalanche?

Can you survive an avalanche?

The best protection from an avalanche -- where a huge amount of snow slides down a mountain -- is not to be there. If a mountainside is known as a place where avalanches can happen, stay away.  If you need to be in such an area, go with other people. But travel one-by-one where an avalanche might fall. This always leaves someone who can go for help. 

If an avalanche starts near you, try to get out of its path as quickly as possible. If that is not possible, yell for help once. After that, keep your mouth closed so it doesn't get full of snow. Try to "swim" through the snow, so that you stay near the top. If possible, grab onto a tree. When you slow down, keep your hand in front of your mouth to make a pocket of air. Save your breath. Don't struggle, and don't yell unless you know someone is nearby. Try to get a hand above the snow so rescuers can find you.