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Severe Winter Weather: ESSENTIAL PREPARATIONS, TRAVEL ADVICE, DRIVING TIPS & CLOSURES

  • 24-02-2018 9:39am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,775 ✭✭✭ up for anything


    I've been asked by family to do a checklist of things that they should be doing in and around preparing to be snowed in for an hour/day/week/month/till Christmas '18. :D I also have two family members in the UK, one in London and one in deepest Wales, who are asking how they should be preparing. The Welsh one is probably better prepared than she thinks because it's a fairly regular occurrence for her. I remember the helpful lists in 2010 but damned if I can find any.provisions/actions lists here.

    Also, I'm a scaredy cat driving on a bit of frost so any ice/snow is going to a challenge. I've ordered snow socks but any tips on snow driving - there's a short 30 degree hill out of one side of where I live down to a busy enough fast road and longer steeper hill the other way with a couple of nice turns into other estate roads on the way down. I usually hold my breathe and close my eyes on the way down which doesn't fill the neighbours with confidence.

    Also tips for pets - dogs in particular - winter boots?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,864 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn


    Buy a Subaru with all wheel drive.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,751 ✭✭✭ mirrorwall14


    Dustpan in the car works as a shovel in emergencies. Blanket just in case. If going on a journey where getting stuck is potential or like commuter traffic into Dublin in snow I’d be bringing a hot flask with me for delays


  • Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭✭ KingBobby


    For those with horses/livestock etc a tip I heard (but have yet to try myself) for preventing water from freezing over is to half fill a few plastic bottles with water and put a load of salt in it and put the lid back on. Then the salty water bottles bob around in the trough and take longer to freeze over.
    I'll be going out today and filling every spare bucket and container I can find with water as a back up supply if (when by the sounds of it) the pipes to the troughs freeze.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,996 ✭✭✭✭ gozunda


    KingBobby wrote: »
    For those with horses/livestock etc a tip I heard (but have yet to try myself) for preventing water from freezing over is to half fill a few plastic bottles with water and put a load of salt in it and put the lid back on. Then the salty water bottles bob around in the trough and take longer to freeze over.
    I'll be going out today and filling every spare bucket and container I can find with water as a back up supply if (when by the sounds of it) the pipes to the troughs freeze.

    That or an old football thrown in will do the same trick


  • Registered Users Posts: 768 Victor Meldrew


    Snow socks are ok up to about 3 inches of Snow, but are strictly a "limp home for a few kms " solution. And I can only speak to FWD and snow socks. I've RWD this time round and hope to just not need them. Automatic vs manual is less of an issue than people go on about. All cars have ABS now. You might need to turn off traction control to get out of a parking space, but turn it on again once on the road. You are not better at driving than your car.

    My concern is pipes freezing in the house. And having to make trips to help less clued in family members (in laws) who are incapable of planning for anything.

    In 2010, we muddled through and I can only remember 2 days where getting to work was not an option. It did come as a shock to us though.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,775 ✭✭✭ up for anything


    My washing machine is in a shed/garage beside the house but the water pipe that feeds it was run from the kitchen around the back garden to the shed and where it comes out of the ground to feed into the shed it's exposed for about four foot. I'm hoping that some torn up sheets coupled with pipe lagging from Woodies will provide enough protection to stop it from freezing up. In 2010 because it was still business as usual by day most of the time I used to run the washing machine non-stop pretty much throughout the night.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,751 ✭✭✭ mirrorwall14


    Stocking freezer, fridge and non perishables for if you can’t get out to the shop. We have a tiny freezer. A few discussed today I hadn’t thought of.

    Meat like pork steak have long dates so can go in the fridge. Short date meats into the freezer. Wraps and even pitta have longer dates so if you can’t get out for bread and aren’t a cook that’s an option. Similarly cookable bread rolls have decent dates. Soups and pasta and all those go without say. If you have lots of freezer space milk can be frozen


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,709 Cantona's Collars


    My washing machine is in a shed/garage beside the house but the water pipe that feeds it was run from the kitchen around the back garden to the shed and where it comes out of the ground to feed into the shed it's exposed for about four foot. I'm hoping that some torn up sheets coupled with pipe lagging from Woodies will provide enough protection to stop it from freezing up. In 2010 because it was still business as usual by day most of the time I used to run the washing machine non-stop pretty much throughout the night.

    I installed water pipes in a domestic property before which needed to be buried and insulated. What I did was put some 4inch pipe around the water pipe and drilled holes in the 4 inch at regular intervals then simply sprayed expanding foam into the holes until it was completely full of the stuff.Simple but effective......just don't forget to block the ends of the 4 inch with something while you are spraying. ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,224 ✭✭✭✭ Larbre34


    Y'know those damned Irish Water meters that a good few of us got a present of and that are now rotting useless in the ground? Well they were installed with the bare minimum of insulation and usually badly, so pop the cap off the chamber, get attic insulation, lagging or newspaper and surround that valve and hose connection good and tight. We didnt have them in 2010 and they are very vulnerable to freezing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭ Mafra


    Can I just ask a quick question please?
    How well do snow chains actually work? If it does snow, will I be able to trudge wherever I please or is it worth the hassle of fitting them?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,224 ✭✭✭✭ Larbre34


    Mafra wrote: »
    Can I just ask a quick question please?
    How well do snow chains actually work? If it does snow, will I be able to trudge wherever I please or is it worth the hassle of fitting them?

    They do rely on fairly heavily trafficked roads and some clearing of snow. Dense overwhelming blizzards and lying snow and ordinary family cars with two wheel drive, you might as well not bother


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,759 ✭✭✭ Calibos


    Mafra wrote: »
    Can I just ask a quick question please?
    How well do snow chains actually work? If it does snow, will I be able to trudge wherever I please or is it worth the hassle of fitting them?

    If you live up the mountains Yes. If you live near treated roads where you'd have to be taking them off and putting them on again all the time. No.

    Snow Socks are better for the latter scenario because they are easier and quicker to put on and take off but they aren't as good as chains in bad snow.

    For me in Bray, Snow Socks will be enough to get me out of trouble if I need them. For someone in Roundwood, chains.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,904 ✭✭✭ Chavways


    I'm due to drive from Limerick to Dublin and back on Wednesday evening/night to attend a concert. I'm assuming eith the current forecast, this trip will be very sketchy even though I'll be on the M7 the entire way?


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 17,098 Mod ✭✭✭✭ cherryghost


    If you are away for the week or know someone away for the week, do NOT turn off your heating. Keep it running a few times a day for at least a short period in order to prevent freezing pipes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,996 ✭✭✭✭ gozunda


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    Y'know those damned Irish Water meters that a good few of us got a present of and that are now rotting useless in the ground? Well they were installed with the bare minimum of insulation and usually badly, so pop the cap off the chamber, get attic insulation, lagging or newspaper and surround that valve and hose connection good and tight. We didnt have them in 2010 and they are very vulnerable to freezing.

    Unfortunately the chamber of the water meter is not completely sealed against water getting in - so newspapers etc may get damp.

    A good material to fill the void is packing Styrofoam pieces. I'm thinking of the ones that look a bit like Cheesy Wotsits - you can put them in to the chamber and they will fit nicely around the meter and provide some decent insulation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭ Mafra


    Larbre34 wrote: »
    They do rely on fairly heavily trafficked roads and some clearing of snow. Dense overwhelming blizzards and lying snow and ordinary family cars with two wheel drive, you might as well not bother


    Thanks for the response! Hope we get a little bit of dense overwhelming blizzard conditions.

    It’s mainly because I’ve always had really good 4x4’s and could drive up the snowy mountains with no effort. However changed my trend of vehicle for a more poncy version and it’s turned out to be pretty bad up the mountains. (Like to do a bit of photography and general larking in the snow). Just wondered if snow chains would be the answer to get me back up the hills..


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,654 ✭✭✭ DrDonkey


    Mafra wrote: »
    Can I just ask a quick question please?
    How well do snow chains actually work? If it does snow, will I be able to trudge wherever I please or is it worth the hassle of fitting them?


    The big issue is that the HGVs will get stuck on inclines and you'll be trapped in the tailbacks. Chains will be useless then.

    The local authorities have had plenty of warning about this so lets hope:confused: they are on the ball with snow ploughs and salt, and treating before it snows and during.

    Also would be useful to know which roads have been treated and are passable..


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,996 ✭✭✭✭ gozunda


    Chavways wrote: »
    I'm due to drive from Limerick to Dublin and back on Wednesday evening/night to attend a concert. I'm assuming eith the current forecast, this trip will be very sketchy even though I'll be on the M7 the entire way?

    Keep an eye to the AAs Newsroom Traffic watch and Twitter feed. Wednesday forecast doesn't look that bad for road travel at present. Later in the week could be a different matter though ...


  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭ Mafra


    Calibos wrote: »
    If you live up the mountains Yes. If you live near treated roads where you'd have to be taking them off and putting them on again all the time. No.

    Snow Socks are better for the latter scenario because they are easier and quicker to put on and take off but they aren't as good as chains in bad snow.

    For me in Bray, Snow Socks will be enough to get me out of trouble if I need them. For someone in Roundwood, chains.

    Thanks for the reply. Sorry should’ve added seems to cope fine in general conditions but not very well on steep inclines trudging up the mountains. So really for that purpose.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,471 ✭✭✭✭ Super-Rush


    I'll be making dinners that I can easily freeze today.

    Meatballs, curries, stews, soups, stuff that can be put in a freezer bag to maximise freezer space.

    Cereals and tinned foods and boil in the bag stuff as well.

    I'm also going to get some charcoal for the bbq if the power goes.

    Water cans will be filled and batteries for torches are already in good supply after Ophelia.

    All we can do after that is wait.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭ Mafra


    DrDonkey wrote: »
    The big issue is that the HGVs will get stuck on inclines and you'll be trapped in the tailbacks. Chains will be useless then.

    The local authorities have had plenty of warning about this so lets hope:confused: they are on the ball with snow ploughs and salt, and treating before it snows and during.

    Also would be useful to know which roads have been treated and are passable..

    Thanks a lot! It’s an suv and pretty good to be fair on general roads but when it really bad like on steep parts going up the mountains it’s not as good as others I’ve had. At lower levels it’s had no problems. Just wondered if chains might help getting up steep impacted bits etc.
    Probably help if I proper winter tyres but not intending to buy a set of tyres for a few days of snow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 piratequeen


    A little nervous about our current flat, it's in an old Georgian building that's all electric heating and hard to get warm at the best of times. Worried about frozen /burst pipes and if the power goes we'll have no heat or way cook food...


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,067 ✭✭✭ RocketRaccoon


    mattser wrote: »
    Nothing but threads about snow, cold, etc. etc. If you want extreme weather go to Alaska, Siberia, and such. Stop whinging about our little snap that an extra pair of socks would deal with.

    Those countries are used to that cold and can deal with it. Ireland cannot.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ Mountainsandh


    Mafra wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply. Sorry should’ve added seems to cope fine in general conditions but not very well on steep inclines trudging up the mountains. So really for that purpose.

    I have chains and have used them here several times(I just live 190 m asl and there's a hill down). They're brilliant to have for going down/up my hill, but have to be taken off as soon as you start hitting more bare patches. Still, invaluable for me since without them I wouldn't have got home on several occasions.

    There's hardly anyone going up or down my road in snow events, so I found these times when I put them on and the snow was fairly deep and fresh that I had to stop and tap the inside of the opening of the wheels as the snow packs all around the wheels (you know, where all cow-dirt and mud normally pack) and has nowhere to go. I'm grand because I don't have that long, maybe 2 km until I hit less afflicted ground, so when it happened I just stopped for a quick clean up and on I went. Maybe have a broom handle or stick in the car for that.

    edit : I drive Toyota Corollas, little chance I would skid upwards enough to get home :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,255 ✭✭✭ kenmc


    bazlers wrote: »
    Would it jinx it all if I make a sleigh today☔️☔️

    I'm going to. Popped into Dutch bike shop in goatstown to get some little sliding trays too, some other snow fan buying a toboggan for his baby too. Plenty of plastic sleds in stock, 25 quid I think.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,043 George Sunsnow


    JCX BXC wrote: »
    2 days out, forecasts haven't gone haywire! Think it's safe to say that this won't be a repeat of the 2012 failed easterly.


    Not sure what I can do ultimately. We've a gas heater that's entirely independent of electricity (it's portable and not connected to the mains), however everything else is electric, cooking, heating etc. If the power goes it's going to be fun! I'll try pick up a few foods edible without being cooked, maybe a bit of water and the other 'christmas' essentials!

    Portable generator hire?
    See attached
    You’d want to take that decision now though even if you ended up not needing it
    €100 for the week


  • Registered Users Posts: 102 ✭✭ Mafra


    Thanks a lot! Sounds good. That’s pretty much what I need them for. Every time we get some hill snow I like to get out and about but I need an extra something as this vehicle isn’t as good as the others I’ve had for mountaineering in those conditions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,692 ✭✭✭ Mountainsandh


    Super-Rush wrote: »
    I'll be making dinners that I can easily freeze today.

    Meatballs, curries, stews, soups, stuff that can be put in a freezer bag to maximise freezer space.

    Cereals and tinned foods and boil in the bag stuff as well.

    I'm also going to get some charcoal for the bbq if the power goes.

    Water cans will be filled and batteries for torches are already in good supply after Ophelia.

    All we can do after that is wait.

    I lost about 200 euros worth (or slightly more) of meat/food from my big freezer after Ophelia (2+ 5 days without power) so I'm not filling it up this time. Overloaded trees could fall on lines ... Going to stock up on dry foods like pasta, porridge and such instead. Might put some milk in the freezer, bits that won't break the bank if they go to waste.

    I have some big water bottles left over after Ophelia, will probably fill some more, and get batteries today, you can never have enough batteries anyway.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Thanks for starting this thread UFA :)

    I have questions myself.
    Was wondering, should I leave taps dribbling over night, or would leaving the heating on suffice, to protect any pipes from freezing?

    Also, the tank in attic, is there anything, I should do there, to protect it?

    BBQ briquettes, is a brilliant idea, Super Rush.

    Thanks all


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  • Registered Users Posts: 33,549 ✭✭✭✭ RobertKK


    For the people who have the wedding and the eye surgery in Kilkenny. The councils in the various counties will be working to keep main roads operational but the more rural non primary routes will be left to their own devices.
    Kilkenny will get most likely a lot of snow as it has done so historically from these type of events.
    It comes down to safety and that has to come first, it will be freezing by day and with heavy snow showers when you have these events/appointments.
    The weather warnings will likely say, stay at home and be safe.


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