Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Survive an Avalanche

Survive an Avalanche
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Your odds of outrunning the snow? Not so good. An avalanche can accelerate to 80 mph in seconds. But if you follow these tips, you might just walk away from it.

1. Grab a tree. The more snow that slides past you, the less likely you'll be buried alive. Hang on for dear life until the force knocks you off.

2. Paddle hard. You are three times denser than dry snow, so if you're not swimming, you'll sink.

3. Create space. Once the snow stops, it'll set like concrete. As it slows, inhale to reserve room for the expansion of your chest, and cup a hand around your mouth to leave an air pocket.

4. Raise a hand. Before the flow ceases, get a limb to the surface to help rescuers find you. Between 15 minutes and 45 minutes under the snow, your odds of survival fall from 90 percent to 30.

5. Breathe slowly. To delay carbon dioxide poisoning, stay calm and don't bother yelling until rescuers are on top of you. Your fate is now in their hands.

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