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What to do during a hail storm


Hail storm



Prepare you family or business for an emergency,

Get prepared



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During a hail storm

Prepare you family or business for an emergency

Hail forms in the core of a thunderstorm and is most common between May and October in Calgary. Hail can hit the ground at 130 kilometres per hour, causing severe damage to people, crops, houses and vehicles. Hailstones as large as grapefruits have been reported in Canada, but even smaller hail can cause extensive damage in a matter of minutes.

How to prepare your property for a hail storm

  • Watch for the signs of an incoming storm (dark clouds, strong winds, thunder, lightning, heavy rain). Routinely monitor the local weather forecasts and Alberta Emergency Alerts for watches and warnings for thunderstorms (which often include hail).
  • Place any cars, RVs, boats, recreational vehicles, and large objects, like patio furniture and garbage cans in a covered area, like a shed or garage.
  • Close all windows and doors in your home. Closing curtains in front of the windows can help contain flying glass.
  • Review your home and vehicle insurance policies and speak to your broker about whether you are covered for hail damage specifically.
  • Inspect and maintain your property, especially your outdoor area (patio, woodpile, shed) and roof to ensure protection against strong winds, rain and hailstones.
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed and well maintained to limit impacts from hail and winds.

Staying safe during a hail storm

  • When hail or thunderstorms threaten, seek shelter in a safe, secure building and stay away from windows, glass doors or skylights.
  • Bring your children and pets inside immediately. Provide shelter for livestock.
  • If you are in a vehicle, find a place to safely pull off roadways and protect yourself from potential shattered glass by facing away from all windows.
  • If you are caught outdoors with no immediately available shelter, crouch down, face away from the wind and protect your head and neck with your hands.
  • Look out for flooded areas. Excessive hail (when combined with heavy rain) can plug storm drains and suddenly create local flooding.
  • Remember the danger of lightning. Stay away from trees, towers, metal fences or poles if outdoors.

After a hail storm

  • ​​After the storm has ended, carefully walk around to examine if any damage has been done to your property or vehicle(s).
  • Document any damage you find with photographs, and keep all the photos in a safe place. Be sure to write down the date of the storm.
  • Get any damage repaired to prevent further damage.