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Aw, Hail!

Aw, Hail!

How to prepare your property for hail.

Here in central Texas we are no strangers to severe winds and hail but after Winter Storm Uri in February of 2021, we thought we should share some tips on how to prep for the severe weather season. Typically, this season kicks off in March and can run through October bringing hail, severe windstorms, and the dreaded tornado.

What the hail?

2021 is predicted to be a highly active year for hail due to a strong La Nina. What is La Nina? According to NOAA, La Nina is a climate pattern that is stronger than usual trade winds, pushing warm water to Asia and drawing up the cold Pacific Ocean waters to the surface. As a result, the jet stream moves northward which influences our weather and can lead to more severe hail as the cold air collides with the warm air over land.

Where the hail?

Although "Hail Alley" is considered to run through west Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming, you can see in this 2020 Hail Report Map from the NOAA that large hail can fall nearly anywhere, so it is best to be prepared. Preparation is key to ensure you can mitigate your property damage in the event of a severe hailstorm.

Preparing in Advance for Hail

  1. Be sure your weather app notifications are turned on.

    Check out our picks for weather apps here.
  2. Trim the trees surrounding your property.

    Hail and heavy rains can snap tree branches leading to more substantial damage. Big freeze events like Winter Storm Uri can also compromise trees, so be sure to inspect your trees after all severe weather events.

  3. Clear enough garage space so all vehicles can fit and remain protected.
  4. Have a roofer check for any potential weak spots in your roof system and repair as necessary.
  5. Store outdoor furniture in a safe place.

    Heavy winds almost always accompany a hailstorm. You'd be surprised how fast your wicker chair can turn into a projectile.

Preparing at Time of Hail

  1. Stay indoors for the entire duration of the storm.

    Your followers will understand if you don't live stream the event.

  2. Ensure all windows and doors are closed and secured.
  3. If you have curtains or blinds, be sure to close these as well. This can help contain and protect you from any broken glass resulting from hail impact.
  4. Find a safe place away from doors and windows to avoid any broken glass that may enter your property.

For additional facts on hail please visit NSSL (The National Severe Storms Laboratory).

How to prepare for an insurance claim after property damage:

  1. Before there is a threat of severe weather, document your belongings with a video or photos of each room. Gather and protect supporting documentation for high-value property such as jewelry, watches, etc. Upload all documentation to a cloud server.
  2. Review your insurance policy and be sure you understand your coverage limits, any limitations of coverage, and any special policy deductible for hail or wind.
  3. Save your insurance company’s contact information and policy number in your phone and back it up to the cloud.
  4. When property damage occurs, notify your insurance company right away. When it is safe to do so, walk around your property and take photos. Create a list of damaged items for your adjuster and include any invoices, receipts, or proof of ownership.

Remember, you and your family’s safety is more important than property. Plan, prepare, and practice your emergency response plan.

Graphic courtesy of NOAA

This article was written by Troy Stewart, President and Chief Operating Officer of Brush Country Claims.

Click here to view more of Troy's content on LinkedIn

About Brush Country Claims

Brush Country Claims is an independent adjusting firm that offers a full claims solution for residential, commercial, daily, and catastrophe claim management. Brush Country utilizes an innovative suite of proprietary technology to maximize customer experience while consistently having some of the fastest cycle times in the industry. A human led, tech forward approach embraces the grassroots beginnings of the company as well as their incredible drive to propel into the future.