How to remain safe and well prepared during a hail storm

Hail storms may or may not be common depending on where you live, but when they do, you will notice.

What you need to know

  • Before a hail storm, inspect your roof for any damage and repair any problem areas
  • Stay away from windows during a hail storm
  • After a hail storm, write down any damage to notify your insurance company

Have you seen or held in the palm of your hand storm reports of hail in your area lately? Well, some people see hail all the time during the tough weather season and it can make the day difficult.

Hail storms can appear in an instant, and hailstones can come in many sizes and shapes.

Depending on the damage, duration and size of hailstones, hail storms can be life-threatening.

Hail can be as big as a pea that is 0.25 inch or as big as 4.50 inches, which are often referred to as grapefruit-sized hail.

Hail can damage your roof and even your cars, but unfortunately there is no easy way to protect your home or roof from hail damage.

Protect your roof from damage by making all necessary roof repairs and making sure you have weatherproof roofing material and insurance.

Often times, certain hail sizes can damage accurate roofing material.

Here’s a great picture showing what size hail can damage your roofing material.

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectorsmany factors can determine the severity and appearance of hail damage, some of which are the size of the hailstone, the angle of impact, the shape of the hail and the speed of the free fall.

Photo credit: AP Photo / Kerstin Joensson

Photo credit: AP Photo / Kerstin Joensson

Although hail is common during heavy thunderstorms, it is always helpful to know how to stay safe and what to do before the hail hits.

Here are a few safety tips to follow before the hail falls, during the hailstorm, and what to do after it is over.

What to do before a hail storm

• Inspect your roof for damage and repair any problem areas

• Bring your patio furniture or other outdoor accessories indoors or in an enclosed space

• Move all vehicles to a garage or use a hail guard to cover them

• Remove weak and long branches that are near your house

What to do during a hail storm

• Bring your pets inside and provide shelter for all farm animals in the open air

• Stay indoors and away from skylights, windows or glass doors

• Close your curtains and blinds to protect yourself from flying debris or broken glass that could harm you

• If you are driving, stay in your car, slow down or stop

• When walking, grab an umbrella, take shelter, and stay away from windows

• While driving, put on your car safely and once you are along the road turn your back to the windows and cover yourself with a blanket and protect your face from broken glass

What to do when the hail stops

• If you discover a gas leak, close your valves

• Check your property for any damage from dirt

• If you have a power failure, contact your electric company and turn off all electronics

Here’s a photo of the hail that hit Forth Worth, Texas in April 2021.

Remember to keep your eyes up to the sky and always keep an eye on the weather. If you ever find yourself in a hail storm, use these tips and if your property has been compromised, document the damage by taking photos or videos of the damaged property. Keep all records of your clean-up costs and notify your insurance company.

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