Natural disasters and climate
No matter where you’re going, you should be prepared for the local climate and for any natural disasters which may affect your destination.
- Get comprehensive travel insurance.
- Register your details with us before you travel so we can contact you in case of an emergency.
- Read our country-specific travel advice.
- Get local advice on how to cope in the case of a serious incident or dangerous conditions.
- Cooperate with local authorities and emergency services in the case of serious incidents.
- If you are caught up in a serious incident, let us, your family and friends know that you are safe. You can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs at +353 1 408 2000.
Extreme temperatures can affect many parts of the world, often during the summer period, and can cause travel disruption.
If you are planning to travel to a place which may be affected by extreme hot weather, we recommend that you:
- Check with your travel operator or agency, or your hotel, prior to travel to see if the area you plan to visit is impacted by extreme weather.
- Monitor local and international weather updates.
- Follow the advice of local authorities at all times.
- Register your contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs.
If you are already in an area affected by extreme hot weather, you should:
- Remember to drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and stay out of direct sunlight and limit physical activity especially in the middle of the day.
- Vulnerable citizens should take particular care in hot weather.
- Follow the advice of local authorities and instructions of emergency services.
- Remain in contact with your travel operator for information on arrangements and flights, where disruption occurs.
- If you haven’t already done so register your contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs.
For further information on how to stay safe during a heatwave visit the HSE website.
Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that can lead to high winds, heavy rain, flooding, mudslides, and tornadoes. They are also known as cyclones and typhoons (depending on the region in which they take place).
Hurricane season runs from the beginning of June to the end of November and can affect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.
If you’re considering travelling to a storm-prone country, you should monitor local and international weather updates during your stay. You can get detailed weather information and storm tracking from the US National Hurricane Centre and the World Meteorological Organisation. Always follow local authorities’ instructions about security and evacuation.
Earthquakes regularly take place all over the world but because they’re small, they hardly register. However, if an earthquake with a magnitude of around six or more on the Richter scale occurs it can cause a significant amount of damage and loss of life.
Find out if you’re travelling to an active earthquake zone by checking the map of earthquake-prone areas on the Global Seismic Hazard Map. You should also find out from local contacts or your hotel what you should do in the event of an earthquake.
Tsunamis are ocean waves, often caused by volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. They can be extremely dangerous and can cause devastation and severe loss of life. If you’re travelling to a coastal area in a tsunami risk zone, be alert for tsunami warnings that may be issued by the authorities. You can also learn more about what to do in the event of a tsunami by checking out the International Tsunami Information Centre website.
There are lots of different forms of volcanic activity, from trickles of lava to violent explosions that can cause widespread damage. Most volcanoes are carefully monitored, and scientists can usually give some advance warning before any serious event.
If you’re travelling to an active volcanic area, monitor local reports carefully. When visiting a volcano, avoid getting too close as sudden steam and ash explosions can occur at any time. You should also remember that volcanic ash can cause serious disruption to travel services.
Heavy monsoon rains and storms can often lead to dangerous flooding, mudslides and landslides. These can have devastating effects, including loss of life, destruction of whole towns and villages and disruption of transport.
If you’re visiting a flood-affected area, stay informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly. Make sure you have enough drinking water in reserve and check that routes are passable before setting out on long journeys. Water-borne disease tends to pose a greater risk during heavy flooding so take extra care to avoid drinking contaminated water.
Avalanches and snowdrifts are a danger in mountainous regions, where weather can be unpredictable and can change suddenly. If you’re planning to ski, climb or hike, monitor local weather and safety conditions carefully. You can visit the European Avalanche Warning Services website for more details. Make sure you have appropriate equipment and always tell someone of your plans. Follow advice from local authorities and observe all written warnings and notices. You should also check that your travel insurance covers you for all activities you’ve planned.
Forest fires can be a significant problem in some countries that experience very dry conditions. These fires have devastating effects and there are usually heavy penalties applied for breach of the rules, such as ignoring a total fire ban warning. Always be responsible when visiting wooded areas and under no circumstances light barbecues or leave any litter behind if the area is prone to outbreaks of fire. Follow local reports closely for warnings of forest fires and avoid any areas that may have fire warnings in place.