It may sound surprising, but there are approximately 3,000 hailstorms in the United States each year. The size of hail can widely vary – from pea size to softball size. And when it starts building up size, hail can cause not just severe property and vehicle damage, but also bodily harm and even death. On average, hailstorms annually cause over $1 billion in damage to property, approximately 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths annually.
One of the most frightening places to be during a hailstorm is on the road in your car. Obviously your vehicle is at great risk of damage, but even more importantly, you are in danger in the event you can’t see well enough to drive or your windows are broken in by the power of the storm.
At Novallus Insurance Brokers we want to ensure you, your loved ones, and your vehicle stay safe this hail season. Here are some pointers for navigating a hailstorm while on the roads in the Twin Cities.
Ø Make sure you have a blanket in your car at all times. It can help protect you from glass injuries in the event the hail breaks your windows or windshield.
Ø Turn on your low-beam headlights, and slow down.
Ø Make sure you have more distance than usual in front of you so you have ample space to brake if necessary.
Ø Turn on the local weather radio station to stay apprised of the status of storms.
Ø If there is enough space on the shoulder of the road, pull over.
Ø Turn on your hazard lights, regardless of whether you are pulled over or moving slowly; this will help other vehicles to see you and avoid accidents.
Ø If there is a covered shelter to pull underneath, do so; this will reduce the damage sustained by your vehicle.
Safety at home begins with advance preparation.
Ø Trim trees near your home regularly. Watch for branches that overhang your home. If it’s 3 inches in diameter or greater, its going through the roof in a windstorm.
Ø Have loose or missing shingles repaired or replaced by a licensed contractor. Fixing small problems fast avoids big problems down the road.
When the storm is on the way:
Ø Move Cars, RVs, Boats under cover
Ø Move large items (patio furniture, garbage cans) to a protected area as well. These can turn into projectiles in heavy winds.
Ø Close windows and doors and shut curtains. Closing curtains can contain broken glass.
Ø Listen to your weather radio and follow instructions for your family safety.
At Novallus Insurance Brokers, we hope you stay hailstorm-free this season! Do you have storm preparation tips? Comment below.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougww/