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Emergency BC touts Twitter as an aid for staying safe outdoors

Outdoor enthusiasts in BC have a new reason to check Twitter regularly.

Emergency Management BC is pushing social media as a way to get up-to-date information about outdoor conditions and help people stay safe while enjoying all the activities our province has to offer.

Minister for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto says they’re using social media as a way to encourage members of the public to stay safe in the great outdoors.

“We are really focusing on social media as a way to put this message out: Go out and enjoy the outdoors, enjoy snowmobiling, hiking, cross-country skiing but make sure you have fun and then return home safely.”

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Promoting awareness and preparedness is a high priority for the province. Yamamoto has a few suggestions for Twitter accounts to follow.

“Social media has been a great vehicle for us to keep people informed. I would recommend that folks follow the @AvalancheCA and @PreparedBC for up to date information with respect to backcountry warnings and alerts.”

@AdventureSmart offers information on educational programs for outdoorsy types.

Yamamoto says there are other steps adventurers can take to stay safe out there.

“Going to actually get avalanche training takes it to a whole new level. Experienced snowmobilers have said how incredibly important this training is. Avalanche Canada is a great organization, supported by various levels of government, that does this throughout the year and I highly recommend it.”

There have already been 13 deaths due to avalanches in the province this year. That’s above the yearly average of 10 fatalities for each of the last 18 years, according to the BC Coroner’s office.

An estimated 90% of those killed by avalanches trigger the slides that kill them.

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