Hail storms can happen anywhere and without any prior warning, getting you unawares and leaving you with no time to plan or react. However, preparing yourself in advance and knowing exactly what to do when it strikes can make a huge difference and help you stay safe and minimise the damage. It’s time to sign up for local weather warnings which provide alerts and a hail guide when storms are forecasted in your area.
So, What Exactly is Hail?
The term hail refers to a type of solid precipitation different from, but in most cases mistaken for sleet. Usually, sleet falls during the colder seasons while the growth of hail is prevented by the cold temperatures.
Hail formation can happen within thunderstorms and is created when the water vapour temperature in updrafts drops to freezing point. At this juncture, ice forms and gets suspended in the air by these updrafts and is then released down to be coated by water. This process recurs over and over again eventually creating multiple layers on the hailstone.
Usually, hailstones can be as tiny as the size of a green gram or as huge as a baseball. The larger sized hailstones are known to cause serious injuries and damage. While an average hailstone lasts for just about five minutes, the damage caused by hailstorms amounts to about $1 billion each year, as per statistics from the National Weather Service.
How to Reduce Hail Damage
Whenever possible, park your cars inside a garage or have it covered under a carport. Large hailstones often shatter windows. Be sure to close your blinds, drapes or window shades to help prevent wind from blowing broken glasses into your home or building. Furniture within your patio or lawn can end up being dented, broken or shattered by hailstones. Be sure to remove these from outdoor to indoors or under an enclosed area especially when not in use.
If you’re planning to replace your property’s roof, you can consider installing an impact-resistant material if your area is prone to hailstorm.
For more information on impending hailstorms, check out our storm tracker.
The information contained in this article is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs, objectives or circumstances into consideration, and is not financial advice, legal advice or otherwise a recommendation to purchase any financial product or insurance policy. You should seek your own independent financial advice from a qualified financial and insurance adviser before making any financial decisions, and seek your own independent legal advice from a qualified solicitor before making any decisions of a legal nature.