Roughly 5,536 hailstorms hit the United States last year according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, many of which occurred in Texas (557 cases). Capable of producing hail the size of baseballs, softballs, and even DVDs, these severe storms contribute to over $3.9 billion in insurance claims, with the greatest loss in property reported in Texas.
While hailstorms rarely cause fatalities, they are exceptionally dangerous and can result in serious injury if struck in the head by one of their massive, flail-like chunks of ice. Since 2009, there have been roughly 200 reported cases of injury resulting from falling hailstones, but you can protect yourself by following these tips.
- Put together a disaster plan for you and your family that outlines the details of how to handle an emergency situation
- Designate a safe place in your home to take refuge or locate a nearby shelter
- Keep blankets, water, and a flashlight handy
- Stay close to a radio or television for updates and developing information
- Always check the forecast before you go outdoors for an extended period of time
- Make arrangements to safeguard loved ones who may need additional assistance, such as pets or people who are elderly, mentally disabled, or physically handicapped
Hailstorm Safety Tips
- Monitor weather reports for changes in storm activity
- Stay indoors and avoid close contact with windows
- Never attempt to drive during a hailstorm
- If you’re inside of a vehicle before a hailstorm begins, don’t stay there—find a covered area or garage to protect your car from hail damage and get inside a secure area
- If you can’t leave your vehicle, duck beneath the windows and cover your head with a blanket, bag, or your arms and hands
- If a tornado develops don’t try to outrun it—turn on your hazard lights and pull your vehicle over to the side of the road away from trees and power lines
- Avoid going outside after the hail has stopped, as lighting, winds, and other dangerous weather conditions may still be present
Disaster Emergency Services
At Elite Care 24 Hour Emergency Room, our board certified physicians are standing by to treat your medical emergency, including those resulting from natural disasters. If you or someone you know is injured during a severe storm, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. We have several convenient locations in the DFW, Houston, and San Antonio areas to serve you, including: The Colony, Coppell, Plano, Mansfield, League City, Rice Village, North Central and Bandera.