PREPARATIONS are underway in Cork as the region braces for Storm Lorenzo which is expected to hit in the next 24 hours.
Irish forecaster Met Eireann has warned of very wet and potentially stormy conditions over parts of Ireland, particularly in coastal areas, over the next two days.
An official weather warning is expected to be made this morning.
Storm Lorenzo could give rise to high seas, severe winds and heavy rain across the county.
Gardaí in Cork have urged people to prepare for the storm and heed the warnings from government and local authorities.
Speaking to The Echo, Sergeant Peter Murphy said:
"We would advise people to take steps to ensure they are prepared should conditions get very bad, which could happen very quickly.
"Make sure you have some basic supplies, torches, charged phones and that only necessary journeys are undertaken.
"I would also urge calm in these situations - the relevant government departments are liaising with each other, local authorities and emergency services to ensure people get the right information," he added.
The Government's emergency task force met yesterday to discuss contingency measures for the approaching hurricane, which is expected to be a storm by the time it reaches Ireland.
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy, who convened a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group, said the severity of the storm once it hits Ireland is "still to be determined".
Mr Murphy said coastal areas are due to be worst affected as "very significant storm wave surges" are expected which could be "quite ferocious" and "very dangerous".
He added that the storm could also bring high winds and potentially cause flooding in some areas.
Mr Murphy said every local authority has been contacted to ask them to monitor Met Eireann's forecasts and prepare for storm impacts by activating crisis management and local co-ordination arrangements.
Meetings between local bodies are expected to take place today in Cork to ensure preparations are in place.
The public has been advised to stay away from coastal areas during the storm.
Cork Simon Director Dermot Kavanagh has said they will be doing all they can do to house as many people as possible during the bad weather.
Mr Kavanagh said that red weather warnings have become a bit of a regular feature in recent years and they have done all they can to accommodate people.
“Last year, when we had red weather alerts, we have done absolutely everything and pulled out all the stops together with our colleagues at city council and the other voluntary providers.
“We do what we can and to date, we have been able to ensure that anyone who wants to get in can get in and that is what we are going to be working towards if we end up in a weather warning situation this week.”