Situation Survival: Avalanche & Snow Submersion

Have you ever wondered what you would do in an avalanche situation? What if your tractor trailer were to be submerged in the snow? Do you think you have a reasonable survival plan? Learn how to survive the situation here:

Assess the damage. Both to the truck and to yourself. Try to remain as calm as possible, and make sure that you’re uninjured. Try to make some judgements as far as what your orientation is (if you’re upside down, sideways, submerged, etc.), what could be damaged on the vehicle, and if any of those possible damages could be dangerous.

Locate your cellphone and/or CB radio. If you’re injured, call 911 for help right away. If you’re uninjured, call your dispatcher and let them know what’s going on. They may have pointers to help you get out of the situation, or they may be able to send assistance out to you. Remember to be as descriptive as possible when giving your location information so that you can be located as quickly as possible.

Attempt to get out of the situation. If you’ve landed in a position where you can see outside, you’re right side up, you’re certain that you’re nowhere near being halfway submerged, and you think you’ll be able to relocate, try to do so. Turn the truck on if it’s off, and spin the wheels for ten seconds or so. If you haven’t moved – stop trying, spinning the wheels could dig you deeper and make the situation worse.

Mind the engine. If the exhaust system is blocked by snow, the engine needs to be turned off. In the event that the exhaust is blocked Carbon Monoxide (which is an odorless, poisonous gas) could back up into the the cab. If you’re feeling dizzy, getting a headache, or feeling drowsy – immediately shut off the truck. If you’re exhaust is clear, use the heat sparingly to keep yourself warm – but be sure to ration your fuel.