Severe thunderstorms with high wind and damaging hail are some of the most common and costly weather hazards we face. In fact, research from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) indicates that more than 75 percent of U.S. cities will experience at least one hailstorm each year. Staying informed and making a plan before an emergency situation arises is your best bet for protecting yourself, your loved ones, and your property. However, due to forces beyond our control, damage to your home and car is sometimes unavoidable. In these cases, it is important to know what steps to take to regain control of your life.
Before The Storm
- Be sure of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Take the time to discuss your policy with an agent from your insurance company to make sure you have sufficient coverage.
- Create a disaster preparedness plan for you and your family. Often times, there will be a disruption in electrical service or cell phone coverage. You may not be together when an emergency or bad weather hits, so it’s important to discuss where and how to reach a safe place you can meet.
- Stay informed and up-to-date with the most recent weather reports. If there is a power or cable outage, weather radios or battery operated AM/FM radios will give you the latest information.
- If there is any possibility of hail, move your vehicle into your garage or a covered area.
During the Storm
- Hailstones vary greatly in size. By definition, they start at a diameter of 0.2 inches or more. They can grow as big as golf balls, baseballs, or even soccer balls. Any hail greater than 0.75 inches is considered enough to cause serious damage.
- Move inside immediately and stay there. It may be tempting to try and protect your property or tie down your patio furniture, but your safety is much more important. Even small hailstones driven by gravity and wind pose a significant danger to anyone caught in the storm.
- Every thunderstorm produces lightning. It continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States. On average in the U.S., lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more. Be aware of oncoming storms and seek shelter immediately.
- Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, and flash flooding. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities – more than 140 annually – than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard.
After the Storm
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don’t drown!
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas, and continually listen for updates from local radio and TV stations.
- Steer clear of downed power lines and report them immediately.
If the unfortunate happens and your property suffers damaging effects from a severe storm, be sure your insurance company handles your claim correctly. If it is denied, delayed, or underpaid, the experts at the Moore Law Firm will help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today for your free initial consultation at 956-630-HAIL or use our online form to find out your deadline today.