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General recommendations after an avalanche

The lives of people buried by an avalanche are in immediate peril. They must be rescued as quickly as possible.

When engaging in winter sports outside controlled areas

If you are buried:

  • Use your hands to protect airways.
  • Stay calm.
  • Free yourself if possible.

If you are not caught in the avalanche:

  • Pay attention to your own safety and be aware of the danger of secondary avalanches.
  • Raise the alarm by telephone (REGA air rescue 1414, paramedic assistance 144, emergency services 112).
  • Companion rescue: look for signs and listen for sounds of buried victims, and establish their location with an avalanche transceiver.
  • Dig out buried victims as quickly as possible.
  • Administer first aid: take life-saving immediate action according to BLS (Basic Life Support), protect injured victims against hypothermia.

On transportation routes

  • Pay attention to your own safety and be aware of the danger of secondary avalanches.
  • Stop outside the danger area.
  • Raise the alarm by telephone (police 117, paramedic assistance 144, REGA air rescue 1414, emergency services 112).
  • Follow instructions issued by the emergency services.
  • If possible, establish location of buried victims, dig them out and administer first aid.

In settlements

  • Pay attention to your own safety and be aware of the danger of secondary avalanches. Be aware of the danger of damaged buildings collapsing.
  • Raise the alarm by telephone (police 117, paramedic assistance 144, emergency services 112, local avalanche service).
  • Follow instructions issued by the emergency services.
  • Take action to minimise consequential damage (e.g. caused by melt water).
  • Report damage to the buildings and contents insurers as soon as possible.
  • Make a record of the damage if possible.
  • Do not remove damaged parts of buildings, fixtures, fittings or furniture until they have been inspected by the insurance experts (except for immediate action to prevent consequential damage).

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