AA Urges Homeowners and Motorists To Take Precautions Ahead of Storm Lorenzo

AA Ireland is advising homeowners across Ireland, particularly those living in counties along the west coast, to prepare their homes accordingly ahead of Storm Lorenzo which is currently expected to hit Ireland on Thursday.

Ahead of the high winds and heavy rainfall, AA Home Insurance has advised home-owners to carry out some basic storm-proofing tips to keep them and their family safe if they experience severe weather in the coming days. While the situation in relation to Storm Lorenzo remains fluid, Met Eireann have issued a national Yellow Wind and Yellow Rain warning, as well as an Orange Wind warning for 6 counties.

Among the pre-storm steps that AA Home Insurance has recommended are clearing any loose debris from the gutters and drains of your home ahead of the storm, as well as trimming any bushes or small trees which could cause damage to your home during high winds. However, this work should only be carried out in the time before the weather warning comes into effect.

“While we’re all hoping that we’ll avoid the worst of Lorenzo, the warnings from Met Eireann today do highlight that there is a risk of significant storm damage being caused to homes across the country as a result of strong winds and heavy rainfall. Ultimately prevention is better than cure, so if there are loose tiles on your room or older, weak trees in your garden that could be turned into flying debris in strong winds now is the time to attend to these,” Barry Aldworth, Senior Media Officer with AA Ireland stated. “Once the warnings come into effect, however, it’s important to avoid carrying out any work outside your home and to prioritise the safety of you and your family. Even if conditions outside appear calm, we would encourage everyone to follow the warnings from Met Eireann.”

The AA is also preparing for an expected increase in callouts relating to flood damaged vehicles as a result of the heavy rainfall expected as Storm Lorenzo passes over Ireland. The AA’s Rescue patrols regularly attends to cars damaged by floods during the late-Autumn and winter seasons, with the organisation also urging motorists to exercise additional caution when driving over the next 48 hours.

“In 2018, our Rescue patrols attended to over 100 vehicles which were damaged by flood water. While that may not seem like a significant number, it needs to be put in the context of the much milder weather we experienced last year. That number could be much higher this winter as a result of events like Lorenzo,” Aldworth added. “Motorists are best advised to keep up to date with the warnings from Met Eireann in advance of any journeys over the coming days, but also to take extra care of pedestrians and cyclists. A sudden gust of wind can easily cause a cyclist to veer of course, so it’s important that motorists allow extra space between themselves and vulnerable road users, while only overtaking if it is safe to do so.”

Ahead of Storm Lorenzo, the AA is issuing the following advice on how to prepare your home.

Prepare Your Home In Advance

  • Keep an eye out for severe weather warnings in your area, and be prepared if there is a risk of a power cut.
  • Visually inspect your roof for loose tiles or damaged chimney pots and get any problems repaired. Also, make sure your TV aerial is secured.
  • Clear your gutters and drain pipes to avoid blockages.
  • Trim back any bushes or small trees that could damage your windows in a high wind. Be particularly mindful of any older trees in your garden which could have loose roots.
  • Put a storm kit together: clothes, food and bottled water, a first aid kit; any necessary medication and emergency phone numbers; blankets and bin bags; a torch, batteries. Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s always better to be prepared.
  • Make sure you know where to turn off your electricity, gas and water supplies.

Before A Storm Arrives

  • Secure any loose garden items, such as tools and chairs, to prevent them from being blown away.
  • Unplug all non-essential electrical devices to avoid damage from power surges caused by lightning strikes.
  • Park your car in a garage if possible, or move it away from buildings and trees.
  • If you have any vulnerable neighbours, don’t forget to check with them to see if they need any help before and after a storm.

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