Mother Nature, she can be one terrifying sun of a gun. Especially when she decides to drop golf ball sized hail on your head.
Hail forms when severe thunderstorm updrafts carry water droplets above freezing level. As hailstones continue to grow, their weight becomes too heavy for thunderstorm updrafts to carry. As a result, the hailstones fall to the ground.
So what do you do if you find yourself in the middle of a hailstorm?
If hail strikes when you’re in a vehicle……..
Vehicles provide immediate protection against hail; however, if the hail is large enough, it could break your windshield or windows. Ideally, your safe haven would be a parking garage, or any structure strong enough to survive the torrential blows from the hail. If driving to a shelter is not feasible, stop your car, pull over, and cover your face with either your hands or a blanket. If the hailstones break glass, you want to be sure the glass stays away from your eyes. Do not pull over under bridges or overpasses. This may seem like a solution; however, hail might visually impair other drivers. If you’re parked under a bridge, there is a strong chance, another car will hit you, which could result in life threatening injuries.
Hail damage is covered under most insurance policies if the damage is severe enough. Don’t expect your insurance to cover small dings and dents. Get out those blow dryers, and fix them yourselves.
Pro Tip: Heat expands metal, if you have a heated garage turn the heat on high. This will pop minor dings and dents.
If hail strikes when you’re outside…….
In the most unpleasant, and unluckiest of scenarios, you find yourself outside in a hail storm seek immediate shelter. If you’re isolated, and shelter is out of reach, its best to find anything to protect your head. Hailstones have the power to knock you unconscious, which can be fatal in certain scenarios. As a last resort, you can use trees for immediate protection. You must be careful as lightning is a very real threat in any hailstorm, and trees are lightnings best friend. Heavy hailstones have the power to weigh down tree branches. Be careful of snapping or falling branches if you find yourself under a tree.
Always check your local weather before venturing outdoors. If theres any chance of hail in the forecast its best to have a rain date planned as hailstones this size can cause serious life threatening injuries.