Avalanches kill an average of 42 people each year in North America. Hundreds more are injured. Avalanches don't just happen to extreme athletes - they can happen to those skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, hiking, driving, hunting, bike riding, and more - anyone who can get onto or underneath steep snow-covered slopes. Many avalanche victims don’t know they are in avalanche danger and are unprepared to deal with an avalanche. This doesn't have to happen – the danger signs are usually obvious to those who know what to look for. Just as those in Hawaii learn about the dangers of rip tides and shore breaks at an early age, those living, working, and recreating in snowy mountains need to learn about avalanches. What they learn can save their lives.
The Know Before You Go program was created in 2004 to teach people what they need to know to have fun and stay safe in avalanche terrain. The program was developed for middle and high school audiences but has been popular with all age groups. Know Before You Go was designed as a free 3/4 to 1 1/2 hour presentation, has been approved as a middle school PE credit in Utah, and can be presented in a classroom, school assembly, ski, snowboard, or snowmobile shop, community center - anywhere people can assemble to watch a powerful video and slide presentation.
What you don't know can kill you. Before you go into the mountains in winter, Know Before You Go.
Deaths on Average in North America from Avalanches in the Last 10 Years
of Fatal Avalanches in the U.S. Occured when the Danger was Forecast Considerable
MPH Speeds Avalanches can
Reach as they Gain Mass
Avalanche Fatalities Per Year in the USA
As backcountry activities are growing in popularity so are the number of avalanche related deaths. Follow the Know Before You Go program to have the safest experience you can!
The Know Before You Go program takes 40-80 minutes to present, will fit within a school class or assembly period, and consists of:
Do you have safety meetings for your employees? A KBYG talk is more exciting and engaging than talking paper cuts and ladder safety and helps keep your employees happy and safe. You provide a time and place and help us promote the event and we will do the rest.
The program can be extended to go outside in smaller groups to provide safe opportunities for students to dig snow pits and practice with avalanche rescue gear.
The program is free, although as a non-profit organization, donations are always welcome.
If you'd like to become a local KBYG presenter, contact us.
"It was unbelievable! There was an extremely high interest in the assembly. I didn't realize how many snowboarders we had in our school. The assembly was so good for our students. The timing for the assembly was just right - right before winter break in December. It was just awesome!"
-Gary Allen, Principal
"This assembly has made an everlasting impression in my mind. I will never forget the message that was put across. This assembly should be mandatory for all schools to see - 6th through 12th grades, along with their parents, too. It can and will save people’s lives. The footage shown in the avalanche video is phenomenal! The educational value placed upon this assembly is priceless."
-Raquel Fuller, Health/P.E./Dance Educator
"In twenty years as an educator, the avalanche assembly was the best assembly I've ever seen! It was incredible! It was not just what the student's needed to see and hear, but the teachers as well. The video presentation was not only captivating and interesting, but highly informative and very well done. It was spectacular!"
-Ron Goodrich, TLC/Shop Educator
The Know Before You Go program stresses five steps of preparation to ensure the safest possible skiing/snowboarding experience when in uncontrolled areas.
To find out more about classes near you please contact your local avalanche center. For those who do not have an avalanche center please contact Avalanche.org for more information.
Presentation materials are available in several formats to qualified avalanche professionals wishing to present the program. You can get the following program materials:
When you receive KBYG materials, you will be put on a mailing list for program updates and sent a season-end request for information to allow us to track where KBYG is being presented and to how many people.
Program materials are available on a thumb drive or to download to qualified avalanche professionals for educational purposes only and may not be used for commercial purposes. You may modify the slide deck to suit your local issues and conditions. All materials are copyrighted and may not be used for non-educational purposes. Local sponsor credits may be added but program sponsors shown in the original slide deck may not be deleted.
The KBYG program was developed with generous grants from our sponsors and depends on the sharing of community resources. We welcome your feedback and encourage you to share slides that you add to the program to help continuously improve KBYG across North America. Contact Us
Please complete the form below if you would like to access course materials. We will review the submission and respond accordingly.