Do You Know How to Prepare for What “Hails” You?
Hail happens, and it’s no fun. Not only does hail have the potential to wreak a lot of physical damage to your property, but it can also compromise life safety should you find yourself in the midst of a major storm system. Understanding what a hailstorm is and how to protect life and property during such an event will keep you and your loved ones feeling calm and level-headed the next time disaster strikes.
A Closer Look at Hail
Hailstorms are a lot more common than you might think. There are upwards of 5,400 hailstorms that occur in the U.S. each year, averaging some $720 million worth of damages. Because Colorado is one of the states where hail occurs most frequently, it’s in your interest to understand what causes hail and how to protect yourself against it.
Hail occurs during thunderstorms with winds strong and severe enough to force raindrops upwards and back into the atmosphere. Once the raindrops are introduced to the extremely cold air, the drops are quickly frozen and harden into spheres of ice. This can actually happen several times, causing balls of ice to fall and rise back into the atmosphere, collecting more moisture and condensation throughout the process. For this reason, hail can be very small in size, or can even grow to the size of golf balls or softballs. Although all hail is dangerous, the larger the balls of ice grow to be, the more hazardous they become.
Life Safety During a Hailstorm
As you can imagine, large balls of ice falling from the sky can cause serious injury and physical trauma to humans and animals alike. If you believe that a hailstorm is imminent, it’s important that you bring your pets indoors or direct your farm animals to indoor shelters. Once hail begins to fall, you and your loved ones should seek shelter indoors in a location away from doors and windows that could be shattered by falling hail. If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road, cover your neck and head, and wait until the storm passes. In the event that the hail has cracked your windshield, it is advisable to call a tow truck or glass repair company and address the damages prior to attempting to drive.
Protecting Property During a Hailstorm
Hail can also cause a great deal of damage to buildings, vehicles, and other physical property. If you know that a hailstorm could be coming, you may be able to take steps to minimize or prevent damages from occurring. Moving your vehicles into a garage or shelter, or covering your vehicles with a tarp could prevent hail from creating dents or shattering glass. It’s also wise to trim your trees and to remove any dead branches that could be thrust through windows or glass doors as a result of high winds during a hailstorm. You might also consider installing storm shutters to protect your windows from hail and wind.
After the Storm
Once the storm has passed and you’ve received the “all clear” from your local weather station, it’s time to assess the damage done to your property. Has your roofing been compromised by the hail? Has your siding been dented up by hail or damaged by wind? Have the heavy rains resulted in flooding? Making note of damage promptly, taking photos, and obtaining a repair quote from a trustworthy contractor can help you with your insurance claims.
When you need help assessing the damages after a hailstorm or require assistance in repairing those damages, Abbotts Fire & Flood will have your back.