The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D. today urged farmers, fishermen and people in rural areas to be extra vigilant and take precautions as Storm Lorenzo approaches the country. The exact impact of the storm is yet to be determined but it is important that sensible steps are taken in advance rather than when it arrives.
"I urge farmers, fishermen and all people in rural areas to ensure that they are ready for the approaching storm and ask them to follow closely the advice of the authorities particularly for those in the worst affected counties. Priority is obviously the safety of people and I would reiterate the advice that care should be taken. For farmers, they should ensure that their yards are safe by securing loose objects. Wait until the storm abates to check on livestock, wear a high vis jacket, bring a mobile phone and make sure someone knows where you are going."
The Minister also reminded landowners of the dangers of fallen trees, in particular the impact this can have on electric wires. The assessment of damage in such circumstances should only be carried out by appropriately trained professionals from the ESB. Where ESB cables are not impacted, great care should be taken in removing such trees and especially in the use of chainsaws.
For animal welfare issues connected with severe weather please keep in touch with your Teagasc adviser or contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Animal Welfare Helpline on:
Call Save: 0761 064408
Phone: 01 6072379
The Minister also asked people to check on elderly neighbours in rural areas and, importantly, avoid any risks. Fishermen should take particular care as the force of the storm will be felt most along the western coastline.
The Minister also confirmed that the Department is participating fully in the National Emergency Co-ordination Group.
Farmers are advised to take time to ensure that their farms are secure.
Store light items indoors, and tidy the farmyard.
Ensure all clean water drains are free of debris and the outfall is clear.
Ensure all gates are properly hanging and secured using steel hangers.
All gates should be fastened using bolts or chains. Never use twine to secure a gate.
Ensure all doors are hanging on hinges and have strong fasteners to keep them closed.
Ensure all pen dividers and feed barriers in animal housing are properly secured using steel fixings.
Ensure all sliding doors are hanging correctly, are freely running and are secured at the bottom.
Ensure all gutters on buildings are secure and clean.
Ensure all roof sheets are secure. When working at heights always hire in suitable lifting equipment – never work off a ladder.
Immediately prior to the storm, turn off all electrical power and water in sheds (not fences).
Move machinery into sheltered areas.
Alternative power generation may also be needed for milking or water pumping.
In the event that sheeting, doors or items become loose or are displaced during storm Lorenzo, do not attempt to repair it until after the storm has fully passed. Undertaking repairs during the storm will highly likely lead to a serious accident. Also, do not approach fallen power lines as they may still be live – contact ESB Networks before approaching any fallen power lines.