How to remain safe and well prepared during a hailstorm

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Hailstorms may or may not happen often, depending upon where you live, but when they do, you will notice it. 

What You Need To Know

  • Before a hailstorm, inspect your roof for any damage, and repair any problem areas
  • During a hailstorm, stay away from windows
  • After a hailstorm, record any damage and notify your insurance company

Have you seen storm reports of hail in your area lately or held it in the palm of your hands? Some people may see hail all the time during severe weather season, and it can make the day difficult.

Hailstorms can seem to appear in the blink of an eye, and hailstones can range in many sizes and forms.

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

Hail can be pea-sized, which is 0.25 inches, or as large as 4.50 inches, referred to as grapefruit-sized hail.

It can damage your roof and even your cars, but sadly there is no easy way of protecting your home or roof from hail damage.

Keep your roof safe by making all necessary roofing repairs and having weather-resistant roofing material and insurance.

Certain hail sizes can damage different types of roofing.

The graphic below shows what size hail can damage your roofing material.

According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, many factors can determine the severity and appearance of hail damage.

A few factors are the size of the hailstone, the angle of impact, the shape of the hail and its free-fall velocity.

AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson

Although hail may be common during severe thunderstorms, it’s always helpful to know how to remain safe and what to do before it falls.

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 into a garage, or use a hail protector to cover them
  • Remove any weak and long branches that are near your home

What to do during a hail storm

  • Bring your pets inside and provide shelter for all outdoor farm animals
  • Remain indoors and away from skylights, windows, or any glass doors
  • Close your drapes and blinds to protect yourself from any flying debris or broken glass
  • If you are walking, grab an umbrella, find shelter and stay away from windows
  • When driving, pull over safely, and once on a roadside, 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 detect any gas leaks, turn off your valves
  • Check your property for any debris damage
  • If you have a power outage, notify your electric company, and turn off any electronics

Large hail like the hail that hit Forth Worth, Texas in April 2021, can do a lot of damage.

Remember to keep your eyes to the sky and always remain weather-aware.

If you are ever in a hailstorm, use these tips. If hail impacts your property, be sure to document the damage by taking photographs or videos.

Keep all records of your cleanup cost, and notify your insurance company.  

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