Item: Safety is freedom
Title: Safety is freedom
Proceedings: International Snow Science Workshop, Davos 2009, Proceedings
Authors: Henry Schniewind1 1 Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT), Val d’Isère, Savoie, France
Abstract: This paper shows how a group of mountain and business professionals are combining avalanche safety awareness, education and information with modern presentation and marketing techniques. Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT) is a business that aims to help off-piste skiers and boarders learn how to have fun and stay safe by providing high quality talks, courses and web-based information products. Henry Schniewind began giving multi-media avalanche talks in Val d’Isère, France in 1989 before creating HAT in 2002 in response to a growing demand for avalanche safety and awareness from snow sports enthusiasts on vacation, seasonal staff and aspiring professionals. There are now several presenters, instructors and business professionals involved. Their mission is to engage the regular snow sports enthusiast who does not always appreciate the need to learn about safety by emphasising that learning how to stay safe actually helps you have more fun. They have invested in easy-to-understand communications and the marketing side of the endeavour. They have found that avalanche education does not escape the basic laws that apply to anyone who wants to convey a particular message to another human being i.e. they have to promote their message. In the past year over 3,000 people have attended HAT talks and 20,000 have visited the related websites. The overall goal of this paper is to encourage debate on the subject of how to engage the public in understanding avalanche awareness and mountain safety.
Keywords: avalanche, off-piste, awareness, education, safety
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