Tips and advice for Longford people ahead of upcoming 'severe cold spell'

Prepare for cold snap and don't forget to help your elderly neighbours

Longford Leader Reporter

Reporter:

Longford Leader Reporter

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Tips and advice for Longford people ahead of upcoming 'severe cold spell'

Tips and advice for Longford people ahead of upcoming 'severe cold spell'

People in Longford are being advised to visit www.winterready.ie ahead of the severe cold spell set to hit the country this week.

In a press statement released this afternoon by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy, the Minister advises the public to take heed of the warnings issued by Met Éireann, saying that the weather event “is likely to have a significant and disruptive impact.”

Met Éireann is forecasting a severe spell of cold weather this week and has advised today that, exceptionally cold weather will be arriving next week.

Be Winter Ready is a website with a host of useful information for those who will be affected by the upcoming cold weather. You can visit the site here. Here are some of the tips from Be Winter Ready for those who may be affected most;

Older People

Keeping well and warm

  • Keep warm, eat well and avoid unnecessary travel.
  • You should eat regular hot meals and drink plenty of fluids, this will keep you warm and will give you energy to keep active
  • Ensure you have sufficient supplies of food and of any prescription medicine you may need. Keep active indoors
  • Have sufficient fuel supplies to maintain adequate heating in your home
  • Ask your relatives and neighbours for help if you need it. Keep their phone numbers on a list beside your phone

Personal safety - staying safe

  • In icy weather, wear well-fitted shoes with non-slip soles if you have to go out but try to limit walking outside during the cold weather
  • Consider wearing a personal alarm so that family or neighbours are alerted if you fall
  • If you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you visit your doctor for a check up.

Fall protection in your home

  • Leave a low energy light on at night time, preferably one with a high light output
  • Use a non-slip shower or bath mat
  • Make sure wires or cords from lamps, telephones etc. do not trail where you walk
  • Arrange furniture so that you can easily move around all your rooms
  • Remove rugs or use non-slip tape or backing so rugs will not slip
  • Consider installing hand rails on both sides of the stairs

Road Advice - Motoring advice from An Garda Síochána

For further information Visit the Road Safety Authority website

  • Is your journey absolutely necessary?
  • Can you use public transport – during these severe weather conditions public transport routes will be prioritised.
  • If you must use the car, before you begin your journey consider the following:
    • Put a Hi-viz jacket, shovel, boots or wellingtons, extra clothing or a blanket and a flask in the boot of the car, (in case you do get stuck or have to abandon the car).
    • Check your tyres – pressure, tread depth (minimum 1.6mm) and condition.
    • Ensure ALL your windows are clean and free from snow; bring a scraper and de-icer with you. Snow left on the roof will become loose and can drop onto the windscreen during braking, thereby causing sudden and severe restriction to your vision.
    • Check your lights and indicators as falling snow reduces visibility.
    • Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged.
    • If your car has rear wheel drive the addition of extra weight in the boot (e.g. a bag of sand/cement etc) will help your wheels to grip. 

During your journey remember the following:

  • It takes longer to stop a vehicle in snow or on icy roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Keep a sharp lookout for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.
  • Keep your windows clear of snow during your journey.
  • Manoeuvre gently; avoid harsh braking, acceleration or steering as these can induce a skid.
  • Use the highest gear possible to reduce the engine revs as this will help avoid wheel spin.
  • When travelling downhill, especially through a series of bends, select a low gear as early as possible and allow your speed to reduce using the brake pedal gently.
  • If your vehicle begins to skid you should:
  • Identify the cause – it is either, too much Braking, too much Steering, too much Acceleration or a combination of these.
  • Remove the cause – GENTLY and SMOOTHLY.
  • If your car has ABS (most modern cars have) it will NOT skid under braking. If ABS is activated, KEEP your foot on the brake and STEER around whatever caused you to brake.
  • If you car does not have ABS and starts to skid on the brakes, firstly take your foot off the brakes then re-apply the brakes gently – if the car continues to slide pump the brake pedal as fast as you can (Cadence Braking) and steer around whatever caused you to brake.
    • If under acceleration, braking or steering, your vehicle skids and slews sideways - turn the steering wheel in the same direction as the rear wheels are skidding (if rear wheels drifting left turn steering wheel to left) until car comes back in line while at the same time easing off the accelerator/brakes.
    • Avoid over correction with too much steering, be ready for a secondary skid in the opposite direction.
  • Heavy snowfall will reduce visibility. Use dipped headlights and fog lights if fitted.
  • At low air temperatures watch out for black ice, especially in sheltered/shaded areas on roads, under trees and adjacent to high walls.
  • Tune in to your local radio station regularly to keep up to date with information on weather/road conditions, road closures etc.

Advice to Pedestrians

  • If a journey cannot be avoided be extremely careful as snow and ice can make walking on footpaths very dangerous. Wear sturdy footwear with good gripping soles
  • Take an extra look before you cross the road and do not attempt to cross the road if there are vehicles around – remember snow and ice increase the distance that cars need to stop.
  • Visibility is reduced in snowy condition so wear high visibility clothing or carry a torch.

Advice to Motorcyclists/Cyclists

  • Motorcyclists/Cyclists should consider their safety before using their motorcycles / bicycles in icy/snow conditions.
  • Controlling two wheeled vehicles in snow or icy conditions is extremely difficult and there is an increased danger of a collision with a vehicle that is out of control.
  • Consider taking alternative transport or walking.

People with Disabilities

Keeping well and warm

  • If your disability is affected by a drop in temperature try and be aware of the weather forecast in order to allow you plan for pain management
  • Wear the correct amount of layers to try and maintain your body temperature at the required level
  • Individuals with reduced mobility should take extra measures to protect their hands, feet and other areas of the body that are particularly subject to cold
  • Eat well and avoid unnecessary travel. You should eat regular hot meals and drink plenty of fluids, this will keep you warm and will give you energy to keep active
  • Ensure you have sufficient supplies of food and of any prescription medicine you may need. If you have some mobility try and keep active indoors
  • Have sufficient fuel supplies to maintain adequate heating in your home
  • Ask your relatives and neighbours for help if you need it. Keep their phone numbers on a list beside your phone
  • If you cannot talk to people on the phone, make sure you have a relative or friend you can text for assistance if you need it, and register with the emergency services so you can contact them via text if necessary.
  • If you have to use medical equipment or a powered mobility device every day please make sure that you always have access to a power supply
  • Ensure that you are on the vulnerable customer registers for the energy companies and Irish Water
  • If you have an assistance dog, be sure to keep them warm as well. Be sure to always have a blanket for the animal to rest on. Keep the animal indoors as much as possible.

Personal Safety - Staying Safe

  • Plan for the possibility that winter weather may disrupt your homecare service
  • In icy weather, wear well-fitted shoes with non-slip soles if you have to go out but try to limit walking outside during the cold weather
  • If you use a mobility device make sure it can grip an icy surface
  • If you have a ramp make sure it is well gritted in icy weather
  • If you have a mobile phone that you can use make sure it has a charge and bring it with you when you are going out
  • Consider wearing a personal alarm so that family or neighbours are alerted if you fall
  • If you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you can visit your doctor for a check up.

You may also be interested in:

Severe Weather Alert: 'Beast from the East' set to bring 40cm snow blizzards and -10 degrees next week

Met Éireann weather alert: Stark warning suggests 'Beast from the East' will bring serious snow accumulations

Longford Lives: Longford Psychologist Paul Marsden