According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hail causes about $1 billion in damage to property every year. At Mountain West, we deal with hundreds of claims caused by hail damage every summer. While you can’t stop a hailstorm from coming, you can prepare for the coming storm. Here are several tips that will help you prepare your property for a hailstorm.
Assess Your Outdoor Area
If you have trees near your home, they should be trimmed regularly to prevent branches from falling on your home during a storm. Hail is denser than rain and can easily crack branches when it hits. High winds can also contribute to the hazard of falling branches.
You should also have your roof inspected prior to storm season to ensure that there isn’t anything that could make the roof more susceptible to hail damage. If you do have small damaged areas, it is best to repair them immediately. Fixing them right away could help prevent more extensive (and expensive!) hail damage.
Batten Down the Hatches
When a potential hailstorm is headed your way, there are a few steps you can take to reduce or contain the potential damage. If the storm is far enough away, a good first step is to move vehicles to a covered area. You should also put away lawn objects like patio furniture and grills into a covered or enclosed area if possible. Such items can cause serious damage to your home if the wind picks up and they are left outside. If you can’t move them, anchor them to the ground if you can.
The next step is to close all windows in your home, as well as any doors that lead outside. Closing curtains can also help to contain any flying glass. If time allows, you can cover your windows with a protective film or sheeting to resist further shattering.
Protect Yourself & Your Family
Of course, your primary concern should be for your own safety and the safety of loved ones during a hailstorm. For this reason, it’s important that you do not attempt to prepare your home if the storm has already begun. Once the storm hits, find shelter: avoid water, high ground, isolated trees, picnic shelters and open spaces. Stay indoors and away from glass windows, doors or skylights that have the potential to shatter and cause injury.
After the Storm
If your property has sustained damage, call your insurance agent to report it. Prepare an inventory of what has been lost or damaged, and take photos to document it.
Remember to make your safety a priority, and if you need to make a hail claim, please contact your Mountain West Farm Bureau agent immediately.