What to Do During a Hailstorm
No matter where you are when they come along, hailstorms can be stressful. Taking the right precautions is crucial to keep your family, pets and belongings safe while it storms. Take these tips into account the next time severe weather strikes.
Caught Outside in a Hailstorm
When hail starts to fall while you’re outside, it’s time to take action. Use these tips to get everyone around you to safety as soon as possible:
Get inside. If you’re just outside your home or near any public building, get inside. Even the smallest hail can be dangerous and cause serious injury. Get a roof over your head, and fast.
Avoid sheltering under trees. If you are out and about and don’t have access to shelter, avoid huddling under trees. Most of the time, hail will be accompanied by lightning which can strike trees, break branches and cause electrocution.
Protect your head. Whether you’re making your way to shelter or have to wait out the storm outside, protect your head with anything you can — a sweatshirt, jacket or backpack can work well if you don’t have anything solid to cover yourself with.
Prepare for bad weather. Before you head out for a day outdoors for an activity with little access to shelter, check the weather. If there’s a chance for severe storms, reconsider and reschedule for a day with a clear forecast.
Driving in a Hailstorm
While it’s better to be in your car than outside during a hailstorm, you still need to take proper precautions to avoid danger during severe weather. Check out these tips for keeping yourself and your passengers safe when you’re driving through hail:
Don’t leave your vehicle. No matter how badly you want to make it inside your home, a convenience store or a shelter, don’t leave your vehicle. You’ve got a solid roof over your head already, so hunker down and wait it out.
Pull over to a safe location. As you’re driving, the speed of your vehicle and the falling of hail combine to do more damage to your vehicle and its windows, increasing the risk of breaking them. As soon as you can, pull over to the side of the road away from traffic and turn on your hazard lights.
Situate yourself and passengers away from windows. While it might seem like a silly tip, moving yourself towards the middle of the vehicle and away from the windows a few more inches can save you from serious injury. If hail does break a window, you’ll want to be as far away as possible.
Cover your head and eyes. Broken glass is very dangerous, so cover your and your passengers head and eyes with anything you have in the car, like a blanket, coat or sweatshirt.
Drive to safety and check your vehicle. Once the hail, rain and lightning have stopped, get your car to a safe location and check it for any damage. Unsure if your car is covered for hail damage? Ask your American Family Insurance agent about comprehensive car insurance, a coverage that protects you if your vehicle faces damage from something other than a collision with another vehicle.
Indoors During a Hailstorm
When you’re at work, at home or in any building during a hailstorm, you’re in the best place you can be. Make safety a number one priority and do the following during the storm:
Account for all family members and pets. Get every member of your family indoors and make sure all pets are sheltered, too. Outdoor animals can be seriously hurt by falling hail, so make sure they’re inside or in a garage or shed.
Stay inside. You won’t want to go playing in the rain during this type of storm. Stay indoors until the storm is completely over. Wait for any remnants of hail to melt, too — it can be a serious falling hazard.
Move back from the windows and close the curtains. Hail is rare, and it’s easy to get caught staring out the window and marveling at nature — but with its ability to break glass, think safety first and close your windows, move away and pull the curtains until the storm is over.
Avoid using or touching electric appliances. Lightning can travel through your home’s wiring and injure you if you’re in contact with an appliance.
Check your home for damage after the storm. Once the storm has passed and you’ve checked the weather radar to make sure no others are following it, check your home for hail damage. While it’s tempting to climb up on your roof to check its condition, don’t. Stay on the ground and check it from safety.
Do you see hail damage? Get in touch with your American Family Insurance agent or make a claim to get an adjuster to review the damage and estimate its repair cost.
Want to make your claims experience even easier? Submit via the MyAmFam app and get access to claim updates, schedule payments and find your policy documents with the tap of your finger, any time.
Your agent is an expert on your homeowners coverage. When the unexpected happens, they’ve got your back — and even before your home takes damage from a storm, your agent is happy to answer any questions about your insurance policy.