Hailstorms cause about a billion dollars in damage to property each year, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While you can’t stop a hailstorm from doing damage, you can reduce the amount of damage a storm can do to your property. There are a few ways to prepare your property and outdoor items for a hail storm.
Get Your Property Inspected
If you have trees near your home, they should be trimmed regularly. Keep an eye out for any branches that could potentially fall on your home during a storm. Getting rid of these branches can greatly reduce your risk of damage, because hail is more likely to break these branches than rain. Hail is denser than rain and it hits with more force, so it can easily crack branches.
Next, you should get your roof inspected to make sure there isn’t anything that could make the roof particularly susceptible to hail damage. It’s best to repair the roof as problems are found, instead of waiting for multiple parts of the roof to need repairing. Fixing it right away can help prevent some damage from hail.
Know What Your Insurance Covers and How Much You Need
- Check your policy to see what’s covered and the deductible you’ve chosen.
- Your insurance policy typically covers the cost to repair roofs and cars, and other common hail damage.
- You may have a higher deductible for wind and hail damage than you do for other types of claims. Talk to your local Safeco agent to find out more.
Preparing for an Approaching Storm
When a potential hail storm is heading toward your home there are a few ways you can work to reduce or contain the amount of damage caused by hail. If the storm is far enough away from your home that it doesn’t pose an immediate threat, a good first step for preparing is moving your cars, RV, boats, recreational vehicles, and other expensive items to a covered area. Putting large objects, such as patio furniture and garbage cans, into a covered area is a good second step. These items can cause serious damage to your home if the wind picks up and they are left outside. Large items are best stored in an enclosed area, such as a shed or garage.
One final step to prepare for the storm is to close all the windows in your home and doors that lead outside. Closing any curtains in front of the windows can help contain flying glass. This is especially important if your family takes shelter anywhere near a window in your home.
During a Hailstorm
- Protect Yourself and Your Car: In severe storms, a hail stone can be as big as a softball and fall at 50 to 100 miles per hour.
- Stay Indoors: Stay away from skylights and glass doors to avoid broken glass. If it is safe, close drapes, blinds or shades to prevent debris from blowing inside. Account for all family members, building occupants, pets, etc. Do not go outside for any reason. Large hail can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you can, park your car in the garage or other covered area To avoid the danger of electrocution from lightning, avoid using phones and electrical appliances during a severe storm
What to do if you are caught in a hail storm while outdoors:
- Seek Shelter Immediately: If you can’t find something to protect your entire body, find something to protect your head. Stay out of culverts and lowland areas that may suddenly fill with water. Seeking shelter under trees should be a last resort. It is common during severe storms for trees to lose branches. Also, large isolated trees attract lightning.
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