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Waves hitting the sea wall at Portstewart in Derry yesterday. PA

Everything to know about keeping you and your household safe during Storm Eunice

From what to do during a power cut to keeping your pets safe, we’ve got you covered.

IRELAND IS BRACED for the arrival of Storm Eunice, which is set to hit the country tonight.

Met Éireann is forecasting severe conditions across the country tomorrow due to very strong winds, heavy rain and snow, with gusts of up to 130km/h.

A Status Red wind warning has been issued for Cork, Clare, Kerry and Waterford, effective from tonight, when the storm is expected to pose a risk to life.

A Status Orange snow warning has also been issued for Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo and Roscommon.

With these warnings in place, people may have to deal with anything from heavy snowfall to a power cut. 

Here’s a list of tips on how to prepare for the storm.


Those in Status Red areas are advised to avoid any travel while the warning is in place. 

Those in areas affected by Status Orange warnings are being asked to consider postponing their journey until the storm has passed.

Schools, colleges and childcare facilities in areas affected by these warnings have been advised to close tomorrow, while Bus Éireann services in four counties have been cancelled.


For those in other areas who might have to make a journey in a car, there’s a chance you might encounter some snow and ice along the way. 

Before starting your journey, the Road Safety Authority has advised drivers to have these essentials in their car:

  • High visibility vest.
  • A torch with charged batteries
  • A hazard warning triangle
  • De-icing equipment (for glass and door locks)
  • A first aid kit
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear in case you have to leave your vehicle
  • Spare fuses and bulbs
  • A charged mobile phone
  • A blanket and some food and water to sustain yourself

This is what you can do to make sure your car is ready for the journey:

  • Check your tyre treads and pressure, including the spare. While the minimum legal limit is 1.6mm, a minimum tread of 3mm is advised for winter driving
  • Make sure all your indicators and headlamps are clean and working
  • Make sure windscreen wipers are not worn and there is de-icer in the windshield washing fluid

The RSA is advising drivers who may have to cope with snowy conditions to:

  • Remove all snow from your vehicle before commencing your journey
  • Clear windows and mirrors before you set out, use a screen scraper and de-icer. Do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass
  • Slow down, use all controls delicately and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. Avoid over steering and harsh braking and harsh acceleration. Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends
  • In blizzard conditions, do not drive on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front. This can give a false sense of security and you will be too close to be able to brake safely
  • In heavy snow, use your fog lights, turn off your radio and open your window a fraction, so you can hear other traffic, especially at junctions
  • Use dipped headlights at all times, and fog lights in heavy snow to ensure you are seen by other motorists (but don’t forget to turn them off afterwards)
  • Watch out for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists and allow extra space


Motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians should not compromise their safety by travelling in icy or snowy conditions unless your journey is absolutely necessary.

If you can’t avoid travelling, the RSA has issued the following advice:

  • Cyclists should wear a high visibility vest or a Sam Browne Bandoleer belt and ensure the lights on your bike are working
  • Motorcyclists should avoid wearing a dark visor in any bad light conditions
  • Pedestrians should walk on a footpath where possible and not in the street. If there is a footpath and it is safe to use, look out for falling debris from above, especially in urban areas
  • Walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths

The Coast Guard is also advising pedestrians to avoid any exposed areas, including seafront and cliff walkways, as they may be hit by sudden gusts, exposing themselves to unnecessary danger.

It said that all forms of open water recreation should be avoided, including by experienced practitioners, as it may result in arousing public concerns and causing rescue services to be alerted.


Once the storm hits, there’s a chance that you may experience a power cut.

ESB Networks has put together a handy video for what you should do if your electricity goes out.

 ESB Networks is reminding customers to be prepared:

  • Have plenty of food and water available
  • Make sure your first aid kit is stocked up and that you have easy access to any necessary medication such as inhaler, insulin, etc.
  • Have torches with spare batteries available
  • Make sure your phone is charged and, if possible, have a phone charger at hand for your car
  • Check that elderly or vulnerable relatives and neighbours are prepared to be without electricity
  • Keep pets inside
  • Know where your household fuses and trip switches are so that you can check if there are any problems with your own electrics
  • Secure garden furniture 
  • If you have electric gates, please check you know how to work them manually.
  • If you are dependent on electricity for medical reasons, contact ESB Networks and it will register you as a customer with medical needs 

It is also reminding people that if you see a broken power line, stay well clear and keep children and animals away. Report the damage to ESB Networks at 1850 372 999 and listen to recorded messages carefully.

If you want to check for fault and repair updates, you can do so on the ESB Power Check website or its PowerCheck app. If your fault isn’t logged, go to this link - or call 1850 372 999. You can also follow @ESBNetworks on Twitter.


If you have to go outside during the storm, you’ll want to remain as warm and dry as possible.

Rei Co-op says that during cold weather, layering your clothes is key. It allows you to adjust your body’s thermostat by putting on and taking off items to stay comfortable. It’s especially important in cold weather conditions.

  • Base layer – this consists of your underwear and the layer on top. Polyester is great for wicking sweat away from you, and merino wool will keep you warm. Cotton should be avoided here as it soaks up moisture and will make you feel clammy, and cold, very quickly.
  • Middle layer – this insulates you, keeping your body heat close to your skin while letting moisture escape to the outer layer. Think a thick jumper or a heavy fleece jacket. You can also add a synthetic puffer jacket if it’s particularly cold.
  • Outer layer – this is your ‘shell’ which will protect you from the elements. If you’re heading out, a breathable, waterproof and warm jacket will work best. Be sure to also wear gloves, a hat, and suitable boots and socks. Warming packets are also handy to have to keep your hands warm. 


Make sure you have enough food in your house before the storm hits – and do not, for any reason, go out to bulk buy bread. We all remember what happened last time. 

When the weather is bad, there’s nothing like a bit of comfort food. Pasta, rice, lentils and bread are great options to keep us feeling full and warm.

Your freezer is another great source of food that you can pull out and prepare fairly handily, once it’s properly defrosted of course. 

Other great foods to have to hand are:

  • Non-perishable goods, like tinned beans and chickpeas, crackers and cereals
  • Food that don’t need to be refrigerated, like pasta, tinned meats and vegetables and tinned soups
  • Food that doesn’t have to be cooked, like fruit and veg, dried fruit, nuts, granola, crackers, some cheeses


IFA Munster Regional Chairman Harold Kingston has advised farmers, particularly those in the Red alert areas, to take every precaution over the next 24 hours. 

“When working in darkness, check torches for batteries and keep phones charged. Make sure there’s enough fuel in machines and remember that flying debris might not be as obvious outside of daylight hours,” he said.

He advised farmers to check their farmyards and put in place whatever safety procedures are needed to safeguard themselves and their livestock until the storm passes.

“Farmers should review whatever measures they normally take when Met Éireann issues a storm advisory. Check buildings, gates, doors and vehicles to ensure they are secure,” he said.

Kingston also advised farmers to use the time between now and the storm landing to have all precautions in place.

“Met Éireann’s advice is that there will be gusts in excess of 130km/hour. Anybody farming near coastal areas should be very vigilant,” he said.


It’s important that your pets are as safe during the storm as you are. The ISPCA have a guide for taking care of pets during wintry conditions:

Winter_Pet_Care ISPCA ISPCA

Dogs Trust are also advising:

  • Ensure your pets are kept indoors during the storm. They may be scared and unsure, and will need reassurance. Dogs have sensitive hearing so the howling wind can be quite overwhelming and worrying for most of them, not to mention the risk of them being injured by debris.
  • If your dog needs to toilet and you are able to head out safely to your garden, keep your dog on a lead in case there is any damage to your wall, fence or gates and your dog can escape.
  • If the storm disrupts your dog’s exercise routine, activities such as a toy filled with food can help use up some energy playing and ‘exploring’ for food. Games like this are also a great distraction from any unsettling sounds.
  • If you are near an area that may flood, be aware that flood water could contain raw sewage, and might be contaminated. Keep you and your pet out of it as the water could contain toxins, which could be dangerous to your pet if swallowed, and could remain on their coat if not bathed properly.
  • Keep in touch with any neighbours, relatives or friends who have pets and might be affected

General tips 

Check on your neighbours who are elderly or who have limited mobility. Make sure they have everything they need before the storm hits and have a phone number for them so you can keep in touch.

Keep your phone with you at all times if you have to leave the house, and keep it in a resealable bag if you’re afraid it will get damaged by the rain. 

Make sure all of your devices are fully charged if there’s a power cut, and have plenty of candles on standby just in case – but don’t leave them unattended. 

Break out the board games and the snacks. 

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