How Should I Prepare for Hail Storms?

Laura M. Sands

You should prepare for hail storms by keeping track of weather activity in your area, planning appropriate shelter and staying away from hazardous areas, such as places where glass is likely to be broken. Be sure to also find a safe place for pets and place your car in a covered area before a storm approaches, if at all possible. Hail storms sometimes happen unexpectedly, however, so be prepared to find shelter quickly if you happen to ever be caught in one. If you are driving when a storm occurs, park your car under the nearest overpass or other covered shelter as soon as you possibly can.

Handful of hailstones.
Handful of hailstones.

Hail storms frequently cause severe damage to vehicles, rooftops, windows, skylights and other structures. A hail storm is caused by water that has frozen before falling to the ground. Such pellets of ice can also cause damage to humans and animals that are not properly covered by a protective shelter. The best way to prevent being harmed by a hail storm is to listen to frequent weather updates and prepare a safe shelter before the storm arrives.

Hail storms can strike quickly, possibly leaving drivers without an overpass or other shelter to park beneath.
Hail storms can strike quickly, possibly leaving drivers without an overpass or other shelter to park beneath.

If you are safely inside of your house or other shelter during a hail storm, be sure to stay away from windows and skylights. It is a good idea to close all of your drapes and blinds ahead of time so that if the windows are broken there is another layer of protection from flying glass and debris. Understand that hail storms are also frequently accompanied by extremely high wind speeds, which increases the likelihood of damage and injury by propelling ice.

If you have pets or farm animals, try to shelter them before the storm approaches. Ice pellets in hail storms can be quite large and can cause significant injury to animals when repeatedly struck by hail. If animals are not in a safe environment when a storm strikes, however, experts do not recommend going outdoors to rescue them.

Hail storms that are predicted should always be taken seriously. Do not delay preparing for a storm when you have a safe opportunity to do so. If you have lawn furniture, plants or other belongings likely to sustain damage during hail storms, move these objects to a garage or bring them indoors before the storm approaches. It is dangerous to go outside during hail storms in an attempt to salvage your belongings.

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Discussion Comments


You should get a weather app for your phone, especially if you live in an area that gets a lot of severe storms. Hail storms can pop up at any time and you might be out and not listening to radio or watching TV, so you'll miss those alerts, but with a weather app on your phone you still know what's happening with any storms in your area.


Farmers are really at the mercy of hail storms. I'm not just talking about farmers with livestock. This article talked about how animals can be injured during violent hail storms, but plants can also take a beating.

I remember some years back when hail storms moved across the country. I can remember how tobacco plants, entire crops were ruined in the fields. It took a lot of work and time to get them to the point where they were then in a matter of 30 minutes the plants were ruined by golf-ball-sized hail, and farmers lost a considerable amount of money, the money they would have gotten from selling the tobacco and the money they had already spent raising the crop.


I agree with the article that the best way to keep track of hail storms coming in your direction is to listen to weather reports. With the new and better technology available to forecast weather, weather people are able to give us more precise warning about the possibility of hail storms, but the storms are so hit-and-miss that I am always surprised when I hear the hail falling. It's so strange to see white balls of ice falling on a 90 degree day.

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