Storm Lorenzo: ‘Farmers are not replaceable – everything else is’

The extreme weather conditions that Storm Lorenzo will bring to the country over the next couple of days are being highlighted by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, which is urging farmers to be extra vigilant when it comes to safety.

The National Emergency Coordination Centre (NECC) held a press conference today, Wednesday, October 2, at the department’s headquarters in Dublin to highlight safety concerns and emergency preparedness as the storm approaches.

At the conference, a representative for the department told AgriLand: “We know the farming and fishing community are the best equipped outside of the emergency services. They’re well used to working in bad conditions.

But we’re not going to have run-of-the-mill bad conditions. We will have extreme conditions over the next few days.

“We just want to remind people of their own personal safety. They’re not replaceable. Everything else is,” said the department official.

Though the department will issue further safety advice as the storm nears, the official was keen to highlight basic safety practices that apply across the board to the farming community and the wider community.

What we would say at the very least is no non-essential trips or journeys. If you are moving outside the house you need to have high-vis [clothing]. You need to let somebody know where you’re going and when you’ll be back, and to carry a charged mobile phone.

“The emphasis is on personal safety. That’s what we want to emphasise throughout this process,” the official concluded.

Recovery after the event

Meanwhile, Keith Leonard, from the National Directorate of Fire and Emergency Management, said at the press conference that the “key advice for farmers and loan workers during this event is to be very careful to take cognisance of the local conditions”.

He also highlighted the fact that, even after the storm is passed, danger can still remain.

“Some of the things we’ve seen as well is the recovery after can be a very hazardous time, particularly going out alone, so we would ask people to be very careful of the hazards in the agriculture sector,” Leonard added.