Avalanche is described as a sudden rapid flow of snow down a slope. This can be triggered by natural forces or by human activities such as cross-country skiing and snowmobilers.
According to the postal survey reported in Butler (1987) and the on-site survey, Texeira M., & Wilkerson F., (February 1996), citizens especially residents of avalanche-prone areas lack enough information for decision-making for avalanche hazards. This is mainly because the authorities responsible for bringing awareness to the people, for instance,Glacier Country Avalanche Center (GCAC),have failed to do their duties accordingly. (Texeira & Wilkerson, February 1996)
Another reason is the low level of literacy among the citizens.
Citizens’ decision making for the avalanche hazard should be improved. The best way to do that is by forming more agencies to conduct seminars in avalanche-prone zones so as to avoid any injuries, damages or loss during such seasons. Also, the media should play a major role in the campaign. TV and radio stations, magazines and newspapers should inform the public about any news concerning the disaster. The internet can also be used to bring more awareness to the public.
Furthermore, posters or any form of notice should be put in place in public places where people can read them. Road signs and billboard can also be used especially along the roads such as U.S. Highway 2 and Burlington Northern and Santé Fe Railroad.
CONTENTS OF MY 72HR “GO-BAG”
- Flashlight using dry cells’ power and light sticks just in case of lack of alternative source of power.
- Radio, battery operated to keep yourself updated.
- Whistle, just in case you will need to call for help.
- Dust mask and thick gloves.
- Pocket knife.
- Cash in small denominations for emergency reasons.
- Sturdy shoes, extra pair of clothing and a warm hat too- keeps your warm and healthy.
- Local map - to help you in tracing the right direction.
- Some food and water for your consumption.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Some photographs of your classmates and family members to help in re-identification process.
- List of emergency point-of-contact phone numbers.
- List of any allergies to drugs (especially antibiotics) and food. This is useful to avoid the allergies as they may cause more trouble.
- Prescription medication and first-aid supplies.
- Extra prescription glasses and hearing aid.
- Copy of health insurance and identification cards. Photocopies should be given to a relative.
I would advise my fellow classmates to add: copy of health insurance and identification cards, some photographs of classmates and family members, permanent marker, paper and tape, toothbrush and toothpaste, extra prescription glasses and hearing aid, and any other vital personal items. This is because, all these are important for one’s safety.
I would also advise them to avoid carrying unnecessary items as they may hinder the safety mission.