Hail is almost always accompanied by thunderstorms and severe weather. The reason for this is because these are the types of storms known to create the conditions needed to produce hail, so we need to be prepared for hail when those storms happen.
Being prepared in the event of hail will not only allow you to minimize personal property damage, but will also keep yourself and your family safe. Although fatalities caused by hail are very rare, it can easily cause significant injury if you are caught outside. According the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), at least 24 people are injured from large hail each and every year.
Hail can also cause considerable amounts of damage to vehicles, homes and businesses. Protecting your belongings will help you minimize any damage as much as possible. Be sure to prepare your property before the hail hits! Afterward, you’ll want to make sure that any person or company that performs repairs has been vetted and completed a background check by your insurance company.
- Close blinds and shutters to prevent damage to windows and to keep glass from broken windows from doing more damage to the interior of your home
- Park vehicles in a garage or cover them with blankets or foam pads and a waterproof cover
- Designate rooms or areas where your family can avoid windows, especially those that have hail directly impacting them
- If you cannot avoid windows, use some kind of barrier (mattresses, blankets, sturdy furniture) to take cover behind in case of glass breakage
If You’re Caught Outside
- Get under cover! Building awnings, sturdy bridges, and other overhead features are best. If you can’t cover your whole body, then cover at least your head. Avoid trees, as they are notorious for losing branches during severe storms!
- If in a vehicle, stop driving and stay in the vehicle. Bridges, overpasses, gas stations, and covered drive-thrus are prime stopping locations.
- Cover your face with a blanket or your clothes to avoid injury if your windshield or windows take damage and break
You’ll want to assess the damage done to your property after the storm and contact your insurance companies as needed. Be wary of anyone showing up at your house offering to work on repairs. Neither you or your insurance companies have performed a background check on the person or business and you may end up in an even worse position. The insurance company will help you find an appropriate vetted company to perform repairs.