Hail is a common weather phenomenon in areas prone to thunderstorms. Even if it never snows, you may experience the falling balls of frozen water pelting everything below. No matter where you are when a hailstorm occurs, it can be stressful and dangerous. Here are some safety tips for what to do if you're caught in a severe hailstorm:
Inside a building is the safest place to be during a hailstorm. Even large hail stones aren't powerful enough to break through rooves, though they can crack or break windows. To stay safe, move away from windows or glass doors. Close drapes or curtains to prevent broken glass from spreading into the home if a window breaks. Make sure any pets or small children are inside and accounted for and wait for the storm to cease.
If you're caught outside when a hailstorm begins, do your best to get inside or under shelter. However, avoid seeking shelter under trees, as hail is often accompanied by strong winds and thunderstorms that can increase the risk of falling branches. When getting to shelter, protect your head with anything you might have--the more solid, the better. Even a jacket or backpack can soften the blow of a heavy hailstone and help prevent serious injury.
Encountering a hailstorm while driving is common, and while the car itself will protect you from hail, there are important safety precautions to take. If you're in a moving car, pull over safely to wait out the storm. Falling hail can hinder visibility and also make other drivers behave erratically, so the best thing you can do is stay off the road until it passes. If you can, situate yourself toward the center of the car, away from the windows. Most modern cars are equipped with safety glass to reduce the risk of shattering, but it's still a good idea to shield your head and eyes from the risk of broken windows.
Hail is a fascinating natural occurrence, but onethat can pose serious threats if you're caught unprepared. Remember these key tips to keep yourself safe in case you encounter a hailstorm.