Storm Barra roars in with a red warning: 10 ways to prep your house for a winter storm

With severe or damaging gusts in excess of 130km, it's time to batten the hatches
Storm Barra roars in with a red warning: 10 ways to prep your house for a winter storm

Storm Barra is set to hit Ireland on Tuesday morning. Picture:

Barra is roaring towards our shores with ferocious speed, and it is time to ensure that we are storm ready. Here are ten key things you can do to minimise damage and make sure that you and your family are safe as the bad weather rolls in. 

1. Secure garden furniture

Nobody needs to see another trampoline on the road. Take some time to secure all furniture in the garden, putting away as much as possible to prevent it from taking flight. 

2. Check your gutters

When there is a large amount of rain due to fall, like there is during this storm, it's wise to ensure that your gutters are free of debris. Making sure that there are no leaves or twigs blocking the gutters will go a long way in preventing water damage over the coming hours. 

3. Prepare for flooding

If you are in an area that is due for flooding, prepare for the worst. Outside, move your car to high ground if possible. Remember that floodwater could get into your garage so move any chemicals or fuel to ensure that they do not spill into the floodwater and cause an additional hazard. Close off the flow valves on propane tanks, oil drums, or other fuel containers that supply your home through pipes and fittings and turn off any outside electrical fittings. 

4. Prepare a storm kit

Assemble a kit of the equipment you and your family may need. This could include:

  • Bottled Water 
  • Food - ready to eat in case of power outages 
  • First aid kit - stocked with easy access to essential medication 
  • Torch
  • Spare batteries and phone power bank 
  • Baby supplies - baby food, formula, boiled water, nappies, wipes 
  • Pet food 
  • Toiletries
  • Hot-water bottle 
  • Camping stove and gas canister

5. Be ahead of the weather

Make sure that you have downloaded a weather app to your phone so that you can keep an eye on updates and any changes to weather warnings.

6. Electricity

Have your MPRN number to hand and familiarise yourself with the trip switches and fuse boxes in your house. Know how to turn off your water supply and make sure that all phones and devices are fully charged. 

7. Turn off  

In a power outage, unplug or turn off electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits when the power returns. Leave a lamp on to alert you when the power comes back on. Turning taps on lightly helps keep pipes from freezing.

8. Furry friends

Keep all pets indoors for the duration of the storm, offer a warm dark space where they can hide if they are feeling anxious. 

9. Fridges and freezers

Keep fridges and freezers closed at all times to prevent food from spoiling or defrosting during a power outage. 

10. Be safe

Stay indoors. If you must travel, be sure it’s safe. In a storm, always expect the unexpected. 


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