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Conditions

Hazards

Severe Wind

The Bureau of Meteorology issues wind warnings via their website at http://www.bom.gov.au.
 
In severe wind:
Do not shelter under trees
Ensure all loose objects are secured. For example, small or light items lying around a campsite or equipment/clothing stowed on a backpack
Extinguish any campfires
Seek sheltered area
Consider moving away from high-risk areas, e.g. cliff faces/edges, on water
Consider ceasing or modifying your current activity
Crew should limit driving only to that which is necessary for the activity to continue or for safety reasons

Floods  / Swollen Rivers / King Tides

While major river crossings on the track are generally undertaken across a bridge, there are some minor creeks and low lying areas that may be prone to flooding. Added there are beach sections that are prone to high tides. In particular a short segment of beach that is traversed at Malenasia Beach is particularly narrow at high tide. When in doubt about the suitability of crossing any beach, opt to retreat and wait for the tide to recede a safe distance. 

Runners should monitor river levels when in the field when accessing and travelling through environments where flood is a foreseeable hazard,
Race officials will determine a decision making process regarding the continuation of activities in flood affected rivers/areas if recommended flood cut-offs are exceeded (as issued by the Bureau of Meteorology or Parks Vic)
Reassess the crossing of swollen creeks and rivers and flooded bridges/fords, including by vehicle. Check for:
Debris
Turbidity of water
Water quality
Depth
Speed & current
Base of creek/river
Have knowledge of safe crossing techniques
Reassess the suitability of water for drinking, during and after a flood

Extreme Temperature (Heat and Cold)

Consider stopping the activity if:
The environmental conditions exceed the ability of the runner
Anyone is showing signs or symptoms of a temperature-related illness
Note that no external agency  dictates or advises ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’ conditions
Take into account your skill level, experience, equipment and goals
Be aware of pre-existing medical conditions which may be exacerbated by extreme temperatures
Runners should consider moisture (humidity), for hot conditions, and wind chill, for cold conditions
Have frequent rest breaks to prevent fatigue and associated injury and medical conditions
Checkpoints will facilitate frequent food and water intake by participants
Runners should be aware of and alert to the signs and symptoms of heat and cold related illnesses and conditions for themselves and each other

Lightning

Standards Australia promote two process’ for managing the potential for harm by lightning strikes
The 30/30 rule
This means if there is 30 seconds or less from the lightning flash to the ‘thunder’, you are in danger and should avoid high and exposed areas. Then wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder before assuming that it is safe to continue the activity.
 The 15 second rule
This means if there is 15 seconds or less from the lightning flash to the ‘thunder’, you should get into a ‘lightning position’ (see below).
 
If the above indicate that you are in possible danger, then:

Do:

Suspend all outdoor activities and seek safer (less exposed) ground
Try to get off peaks and ridges as soon as possible; descend to lower ground
Try to find an enclosed structure, e.g. a hut
Get inside your vehicle if possible, close the windows and avoid touching metal
Find an area of forest/bush that is protected by a wide area of uniform trees, the smaller the better

Don’t: move towards/seek shelter from:

Shallow caves, overhangs, rocky outcrops, towers, tall trees, fences, telephone lines, power lines and metal objects
Single large trees in the open
Rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. If on the water, get off and seek appropriate cover
Using communication devices
 
If Driving and time permits:
find a suitable location to park
avoiding hazardous areas as described above
remove any HF antenna
Turn off radio equipment
Stay in the vehicle, stop the engine and avoid touching anything metal
 
 
The lightning position mentioned above is described as follows and may offer some reassurance:
Take off any backpack or similar load
Remove, and stay away from, all metal objects
Spread the group out, approximately 15 metres apart if space allows, reducing risk of multiple injuries. Ensure you maintain communication within the group
Crouch down, feet and knees together, put your head down, cover ears with hands and try and make yourself the smallest target possible while minimising your contact with the ground
If anyone is struggling to maintain this position, use a rolled up mat, stuffed sleeping bag or bag of clothes to sit on

Fire

If you spot smoke in the field:
If it is safe, stop, observe the smoke and assess the following:
Where is the fire?
How big is the fire?
In what direction is the fire moving? (What direction is the smoke blowing?)
Can you tell how fast the fire is moving?
Contact an appropriate local authority such as the CFA or Parks Vic (and/or the Race Officials) and report any smoke or fire you can see from your position. Seek further information and advice from that authority to help inform your actions
Agree on a regular time to communicate with an external contact for up-to-date information.
If necessary, take immediate evasive action. Evacuate, move to a safer location or move towards the pre determined ‘Severe Weather Site’
Once at the safer location, inform the external contact of your new position and what assistance, if any, you require

If in imminent threat by bushfire the following hints have been proven to assist:
Remain calm
Beware of radiant heat and smoke (Rock is a good protector from radiant heat)
Do not wear any synthetic material and cover all exposed skin
Make and communicate a clear plan that everyone understands and stick to it
Avoid wandering or driving around
Find an open area or an area with low fuel, e.g. already burnt ground
 
When moving:
Move out of the path of the front of the bushfire. The safest location may be towards the rear of the fire
Move across any slopes
Move downhill as fire and smoke move very fast uphill
If you need to move faster, consider leaving backpacks and other loads, and carry only life essentials including communications, first aid kit and water
 
Avoid:
Trying to out-run the fire
Travelling uphill
Going through flames, even low flames
Above ground water tanks (they boil)
 
If you cannot avoid the fire,  protect yourself from radiant heat by lying face down under an embankment, rock, loose earth, or in a hollow, or if possible get into a pond, dam or stream.
 
If threatened by a bushfire while driving:
Do not drive in or near bushfires
If caught in one, do not drive through flames or smoke
Stop at a clearing or by the roadside in a low vegetation area
Turn off ignition, turn on hazard lights and headlights
Stay inside unless near safe shelter. Keep vents, windows and doors closed. Lie down below window level, under a woollen blanket (if available), until the fire passes
 
Dangerous Wildlife (Snakes, Spiders, Leeches, Ants)

Snakes may be active along the track. Consider any snake poisonous and avoid wherever possible. If bitten apply compression bandage and call/wait for help.

There are leeches in the wetter areas of the rainforests. These can be removed by the application of salt or heat.

There are many species of ants, bullants and spiders along the course. Try to avoid contact to minimise the risk of bite.

Weather

The run is along a stretch of Victorian coast line known as the 'Shipwreck Coast'.  If fronts on to Bass Strait, and while not the most southerly part of the Australian mainland, it is very close to it.  The mid point of the course near Cape Otway, which is just shy of being on the 39th latitude.

The weather is generally quite mild, and the run has been timed to take advantage of the best time of year to run.  Despite this, the course can still be exposed to some very severe weather. Runners should be both aware, and prepared.

The following links outline the long term averages, mid term rainfall predictions, and short term forecasts for the area.

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