Hail Storm & Tornado Safety

June 20 2011

HAIL STORM & TORNADO SAFETY


Unfortunately, we hear too often about the destruction of property and deaths caused by hail storms and tornados. But, would you know what to do before, during or after a hail storm or tornado?


Hail Damage Prevention

  • Be vigilant to the atmospheric conditions that can cause a hail storm. Hail is often associated with severe thunderstorms that have winds in excess of 58 mph.
  • If caught outdoors during a hail storm, seek shelter immediately. Believe it or not, hail has caused fatalities in the past.
  • Don't forget to bring family pets inside. They are just as likely to be injured by falling hail as a person is.
  • If you can do so without risk of personal injury, move automobiles into a garage or under cover.
  • Once indoors, avoid injury and stay away from windows that could shatter from the impact of hail.
  • Shut off all unnecessary electric use in the household and do not use electronics since hail storms are often associated with severe lightning storms.
  • After the storm, document and report the hail damage to your insurance carrier. The property owner may find that they also have wind related property damage since hail damage is often associated with severe wind storms.

Did you know?

According to data from 2008, hailstorms caused nearly $2 billion in damages in the United States alone.


Tornado Damage Prevention

  • Before the next tornado season, have your home inspected to see if it can withstand high winds.
  • Check that the roof to wall connection is secure.
  • Check that the wall to foundation connection is secure.
  • Inspect trees on your property and trim any branches that may fly off during high winds and damage your home.
  • Install impact resistant windows and doors.
  • If the approach of tornado is imminent, continue to monitor the media for reported tornado sightings and listen for warnings issued on the NOAA Weather Radio.
  • A dark or greenish sky or the presence of low lying clouds is further indicators of a likely tornado.
  • Listen for the approach of a tornado which is said to make a roaring sound similar to a freight train.
  • If time permits, move any outdoor furniture and personal property inside your house or garage to prevent it from becoming flying debris.
  • When the tornado is in progress, remain indoors and seek the lowest level of the building, preferably below ground level.
  • If there is no basement, stay in the most interior room of the building such as a closet, bathroom or hallway.
  • Keep away from windows and doors to avoid injury from flying debris.

Myth vs. Fact- For many years, it was commonly thought that opening all of the windows during a tornado would minimize damage. However, this is a fallacy. Open windows have been found to cause greater wind and rain damage to the home. During a tornado- KEEP YOUR WINDOWS CLOSED!
Beforehand, consider a plan for temporary shelter and an out-of-state family contact in case you must relocate after a tornado disaster.
Although it is a financial commitment, more and more people are seeking the peace of mind of building or purchasing a ready made "safe room" built to withstand the force of a tornado.
Did you know?
The 2011 tornado season is already on track to be the most expensive for property damage in US history.

Keep in mind that the weather conditions that cause hail are the same conditions that cause tornadoes. Although they do not always occur together, the possibility does exist.

Remember these prevention tips for both types of storms and hopefully you will never have to use them!