Summer storms have a tendency to result in hailstones across Montana, Wyoming and Colorado. Team Newman has experienced the damage resulting from these hail storms and we have a few recommendations for how to protect yourself.
How does hail form? – The National Severe Storms Laboratory has information on how hail storms are formed. Nearly all large thunderstorms produce hail, however it does not always fall to the ground. Hail begins to fall when the updraft of the storm can no longer support the hailstones.
Protect yourself first – While there is an instinct to attempt to protect property, saving yourself and your family comes first. Take shelter immediately. If you are driving, pull over until the storm passes. If you are able to shelter inside, stay away from windows. Windows can shatter and send glass shards across the room. At Newman Restoration, we have seen glass shards imbed in walls from a shattered window over 15 feet away.
Check your insurance coverage – Having protection for hail damage is very important when living in Montana. Coverage on homes, cars and trailers or campers can protect your investments.
Preparations before a storm – If a storm is predicted to head your direction, there are a few steps that can limit property damage. Protect what you can. Vehicles, boats, motorhomes, trailers and campers can be saved if they are in a shelter. Move lawn furniture, grills and patios sets under protection as well. Close the blinds in all windows to limit the spread of glass if they do break.
To-do-list – When the weather is nice and there isn’t a threat of a storm, there are a few steps to take to prepare yourself. First, create an emergency plan with family and even neighbors. Do you know how you would communicate with your family without a cell phone or electricity? Have a plan for communication and shelter. Also, take the time to ensure your home is ready. Trees near the house should be trimmed to prevent branches from damaging a home. Have a clean and organized garage or shop so you can store vehicles in a sheltered space. Keep water and non-perishable food stocked incase of emergency.
Exercise caution post storm – When walking around your home after a storm, look out for broken windows and glass shards. Damaged trees, gutters and roofs can present a hazard when inspecting them after a storm. Carefully inspect an area before allowing children or pets to enter.