Hail and Wind Safety Tips from the Experts at DKI
Severe storms not only include raging hurricanes or tornadoes with high wind speeds, but hailstorms can also be categorized as such. Hailstorms, and the strong winds that accompany them, often wreak havoc on homes and businesses across the nation. Because hailstorms are all too common, DKI wants to help you and your family prepare for such emergencies. It’s beneficial to use an experienced storm restoration provider, but the best thing you can do to prepare for a hailstorm is to educate yourself. The team at DKI has compiled a comprehensive guide to for hailstorm preparedness to keep you safe once it hits.
Hail is More Common in Some Regions
DKI serves communities across the United States, and we know that not all regions deal with the same kinds of storms. While hailstorms are commonplace everywhere in the country, they’re much more prevalent in the aptly named “Hail Alley.” This region includes Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming, but Oklahoma, Illinois and Kansas also have a high risk of hail. In short, many of the states within “Tornado Alley” are also common targets for hailstorms.
How to Tell if a Hailstorm is on the Horizon
For hail to occur, the conditions need to be just right. Most storms hit in the spring and summer, when humidity and temperatures are high. While there isn’t a surefire prediction method, the chances for hail may be higher if a thunderstorm also brings heavy rains, strong wind gusts and sudden decreases in temperatures. It’s a good idea to regularly monitor your local weather station for storm updates and if hail is also forecasted.
Hail Can Be a Sign of a More Severe Storm
Most often, hail is a sign of a more severe storm. If hail is beginning to fall, it’s likely a sign of a thunderstorm, but it could also indicate an impending tornado or flash flood. If the weather station forecasts either of these conditions, take the following precautions:
- For tornadoes: Take shelter in the basement or ground floor of your home. Choose a room that is near the center of your home and doesn’t have any windows. Make sure to have an emergency radio on hand that will allow you to track news updates in case of a power outage.
- For flash floods: Hail can cause a lot of ice on the ground to melt quickly, which can cause a flash flood. If there’s a risk of flooding in your area, shelter in the top floor of your home. Take emergency supplies and important documents with you if time allows. After the flood, DKI can repair any water damage.
How Can I Protect My Home from Hail Damage?
By taking preparedness steps before a hailstorm hits, you’ll have a much better chance of incurring only minimal damage. While you may not be able to avoid being in the path of a hailstorm, you can take precautions to keep your property safe. Follow these tips to minimize damage and repair costs:
- Roof Coverings: Research affordable roof coverings. Make sure to choose a product that’s impact resistant. You want a solid covering with minimal flexibility to protect your roof’s shingles.
- Gutter Guards: Gutters are more important to your home than you may think. They divert water away from your roof, reducing your risk of water damage. However, hail hitting and melting on your roof can result in mold and mildew that will compromise your roof’s integrity if not treated immediately. To combat this, be sure to install a gutter guard or filter to ensure the gutters don’t become blocked and ineffective.
- Storm Windows: Most windows are prone to cracking and even shattering upon impact. If you live in a region with lots of hail, it’s in your best interest to invest in storm windows or storm shutters. Storm shutters are window coverings that can protect the glass from hail or wind damage. Purchasing storm windows or shutters now can save you money on repairs later.
Consider Getting Hail Insurance
If hail is common in your area, you’ll want to make sure you have hail insurance. While many homeowner’s insurance policies have provisions for hail damage, it’s best to call your insurance provider to confirm you’re covered for hail repairs. Once you understand the details of your policy, keep a hard copy in a secure but accessible place in your home. Consider keeping an additional copy somewhere outside your home (i.e., a storage unit, desk drawers at work) in case your original document is damaged.
What to Do When a Hailstorm Hits
You can see a thunderstorm brewing on the horizon, and your local weather station is calling for hail. You’ve taken all the proper precautions, such as adding storm shutters, but what’s next? It’s time to focus on keeping your family safe during the storm. First and foremost, take cover at the first sign of hail. Even tiny pieces of hail can cause injury, so make sure to get indoors right away. Once you’re inside and out of immediate danger, follow our tips:
- Stay Away from Windows: Even if your windows are impact-resistant, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Don’t shelter too close to windows, or if possible, shelter in a room without any windows.
- Hunker Down in a Basement: Stay in the basement or ground floor of your home during the storm. Whether or not your roof has an impact-resistant covering, you’ll want to stay away from the top floor in case the roof breaks or leaks.
- Keep Flashlights on Hand: The power can go out even during minor thunderstorms. Be sure to have flashlights easily accessible in case this happens. Also, keep a spare supply of batteries nearby.
- Have an Emergency Kit: In case of a strong hailstorm, tornado or hurricane, keep your kit readily accessible to all members of your household or business. Your emergency kit should include first aid supplies, nonperishable food items, and a radio to stay up to date on the weather conditions.
Restore Your Home After Hail Damage
Once the clouds have cleared and the storm is over, you can emerge from your shelter. Make sure it’s safe to walk around outside, and if so, begin surveying the damage. You might find nicks and cracks in your siding or blown-down branches strewn across your yard. But the damage can be even greater for intense storms and gale force winds. If a hailstorm has left your home or business damaged, DKI is here for you. We help people across the United States restore their homes and secure a sense of normalcy. We can take care of everything—from cleanup services to water damage restoration. A member of our team will be at your property within two hours of your emergency call, ready to assess the damages and provide you with a reliable estimate.
Learn More from the Team at DKI
Whether you’ve recently endured a natural disaster, or you would like some more tips on emergency preparedness, DKI is ready to help. Our experienced, compassionate team is your source for information on rebuilding after a storm. We’re well-versed in fire damage cleanup, water damage restoration, and so much more. Our team is proud to provide outstanding storm damage restoration services nationwide. Contact us today for more information.