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Storms & Catastrophic Events Safety Series: Hail Safety

Hail Safety

Hail is created when raindrops are blown up and down within a cloud, passing through layers of warm and freezing air creating layers of ice until they are too heavy for the wind to keep them from falling from the sky. The damaging effects from hail can be very severe. Most often to automobiles, aircraft, roofs, livestock, and crops.

Hail is commonly associated with severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. As a thunderstorm grows to a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING, it has intensified to the point where it can produce gusts of wind up to 58 mph and hail 1 inch in diameter or larger. If possible, you should remain in a safe sheltered area until the storm passes. If there is time, consider moving your vehicle to a safe covered area (garage or carport), and provide shelter for all pets. Hail can fall at speeds greater than 100 mph.

Being Prepared

While these storms are not as severe as other types, hail can cost homeowners large sums in property damage.

You can prepare your home in advance to lessen the impact hail could have on your property.

  • Trim trees regularly
  • Repair roof damage – when planning to replace your roof, consider using impact-resistant roofing products.
  • Store large outdoor furniture and accessories in an enclosed space
  • Close drapes
  • Buy hail damage insurance
Driving in Hail

If your property suffers damage by hail, assess the situation, take photos, notify your insurance company immediately, and keep all receipts.

Stay safe during hail storms (tips from waterdisaster.org)

  • Since hail is accompanied by severe weather events, electrical service can be disrupted.
  • Always have an emergency kit prepared
  • Stay informed of weather updates using a battery radio
  • Move to enclosed area. Once inside close all drapes, blinds, and shutters to prevent broken glass from entering.
  • If you are in your car during the storm, stop driving and find a location on the shoulder of the road, away from any trees that could fall on your vehicle. There are dangerous risks of sliding on the ice, accidents due to poor visibility, tree branches falling, and collisions with other vehicles driven by others who may not be going slowly or may be panicking. Once you are safely off the highway, turn your back away from the windows and if possible, cover yourself with a blanket to protect yourself from broken glass.

This information should be used as a guideline and is not intended to replace the emergency preparedness advice of state or federal authorities.

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