How to prepare for a hailstorm

hailstormsHail is in the forecast—are you ready? Is your home or car vulnerable to damage? While hailstorms are usually short-lived, they can develop quickly and be very destructive. Learn what to do before, during and after a hailstorm so you can be prepared.

 Some facts about hailstorms in Canada

  • Peak hail season in Canada is from May to October. July is the most active month for hail.
  • Hailstones can be as small as pebbles and as big as baseballs—but even the smallest hailstones can cause serious damage in just minutes.
  • Hail can fall at up to 100 km/h.
  • The Prairies can see as many as 10 hailstorms a year.
  • Hailstorms are most frequent in Alberta, followed by Ontario.

To learn more about hailstorms, visit Environment and Climate Change Canada

Know when a storm is coming

  • Check your local weather forecast or Environment Canada for hail warnings.
  • Also check for thunderstorm warnings because they may include hail.
  • Download The Personal mobile app to get Radar, our severe weather alert service. It sends an alert to your smartphone if hail or other severe weather is headed your way.

Protect yourself and your family during a storm

If you’re outdoors

  • Take shelter in a solid building and stay away from windows, glass doors and skylights.
  • If there is nowhere to take shelter, crouch down and protect your head and neck with your arms.
  • Hailstorms can be accompanied by lightning, so stay away from tall objects such as large trees, towers, metal fences or poles.

If you’re indoors

  • Close and lock windows and doors.
  • Close curtains and blinds to help protect you if the windows break.
  • If there’s a power outage, unplug electronics and appliances to avoid damage from a power surge.
  • If possible, use a flashlight instead of candles, which can be a fire hazard.

If you’re driving

  • Find a place to safely pull over. Protect yourself in case the car windows shatter.
  • Watch out for flooded areas. Hail and heavy rain together can block storm drains and cause flash flooding.

Protect your property during a storm

  • Put vehicles in the garage or cover them with a thick blanket.
  • Cover or store outdoor items and furniture.

Make your home more resistant

If you live in an area where hail is common, you can take steps to make your home more resistant to hail damage.

  • Keep your eavestroughs clear of debris to reduce the risk of ice dams and water damage.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed and remove tree branches that could fall on your home.
  • Repair any damaged areas on your roof. If you’re thinking of getting a new roof, consider impact-resistant asphalt shingles.
  • Consider installing impact-resistant storm shutters to cover windows, skylights and sliding doors.

Check your insurance for hail damage cover

Before the next hailstorm hits, check with your insurance company to make sure any damage to your home or property is covered. Damage to vehicles from hail is usually covered if you have purchased Comprehensive car insurance.

After the storm

Take a walk around your property and take note of any damage to your home or car. To help with the insurance claim process, take photos of the damage and make an inventory of damaged items. Also keep receipts if you spent money on clean-up.

Let your insurance company know if your home or car was damaged in a hailstorm so they can walk you through the claims process.

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Notes

OSPE has a partnership with The Personal Insurance Company with regards to home and auto insurance for our engineers, engineering graduates and engineering students. To find out more, call 1-888-476-8737. Or visit thepersonal.com/ospe. The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories of Canada. The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.

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