Hail is one of the most common and costly weather hazards in the United States, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to buildings, vehicles, and crops every year. Help guard against the damaging effect of this severe weather event by following the hailstorm safety steps below.
Make a plan
A hailstorm can disrupt electrical service and is often accompanied by other severe weather events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Prepare your family for the hazards and inconveniences of a hailstorm by creating a disaster preparedness plan, including a disaster survival kit and an emergency evacuation plan.
Hail often occurs during severe weather patterns, such as strong thunderstorms. When severe weather threatens, tune in to a battery-powered radio or a hand-crank NOAA weather radio for updates. A severe thunderstorm watch means that a storm poses an immediate threat to the people and property in its path. This warning may be accompanied by a siren or other community alert system.
Move inside, stay inside
Hailstones vary greatly in size, but even small ones—driven by gravity and strong winds—pose a danger to anything or anyone caught in a storm. As a storm approaches, put vehicles in the garage and bring pets inside. If you are outdoors, go indoors immediately.
Once you're indoors, close all drapes, blinds, or shades to prevent broken window glass and hailstones from entering your home. If possible, move to a basement, cellar, or other level of the building not directly below the roof. Stay indoors until the storm has passed.
If you're on the road during a hailstorm, stay in your vehicle and slow down or stop, as roads may become slippery. Once you have pulled over safely, turn your back to windows or cover yourself with a blanket to protect yourself from broken glass.
Protect your roof
Roof damage is a common consequence of hailstorms. Following a strong storm, you should evaluate the condition of your roof to identify any damage and prevent further deterioration.
The Federal Alliance of Safe Homes (FLASH) has information about strengthening your home's roof decking and shingles against hail and other severe weather. Even if your roof is not currently damaged, you may want to discuss making these changes with a reputable roofing contractor.
You may qualify for discounts on your homeowners insurance premiums if you use certain impact-resistant roofing products. Premium reductions are not available for roofs that have been overlaid onto existing roofs, except for certain qualifying metal roofs. Read this list of qualifying roofing products and the states where discounts are available.
To be eligible for a reduction in your State Farm homeowners insurance premiums, you will need to complete this certificate. But before installing an impact-resistant roof or for more information about roofing discounts, please contact your State Farm ®agent.
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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm™. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.