Department issues storm advice for farmers as Lorenzo approaches

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued a range of advice for farmers in the lead-up to Storm Lorenzo.

For preparations to “batten down the hatches” in the run-up to the storm, the department advises farmers to take time to ensure that their farms are secure, and to store light items indoors, and tidy the farmyard.

This follows comments made by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed earlier today, Wednesday, October 2, urging farmers to think safety first ahead of the storm.

Minister Creed said: “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.”

In further advice issued by the Department of Agriculture, in terms of securing items around the farm and yard, the department recommends the following:
  • 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. However, the department warns farmers, when working at heights, to always hire in suitable lifting equipment – never work off a ladder.

Immediately prior to the storm, farmers are advised to turn off all electrical power and water in sheds (not fences) and move machinery into sheltered areas.

It was noted that 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, the department warns farmers not to attempt to repair it until after the storm has fully passed.

Undertaking repairs during the storm will highly likely lead to a serious accident, the authority cautions.

Also, do not approach fallen power lines as they may still be live – contact ESB Networks before approaching any fallen power lines, the department says.