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What to do during a hail storm

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Prepare for an emergency During a hail storm

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.​​

Our Disaster Risk Explorer has information about the risk of disasters in Calgary and what The City is doing to prepare for it.

How to prepare 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, patio furniture, garbage cans, and other large objects 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 glass if your window breaks.
  • Review your home and vehicle insurance policies and ask your broker if you are covered for hail damage specifically.
  • Inspect and maintain your property, especially your outdoor area and roof to ensure protection against strong winds, rain and hailstones.
  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed and maintained to limit impacts from hail and winds.

Staying safe during a hail storm

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  • 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 driving, find a place to safely pull off roadways and protect yourself from 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.
  • Watch for flooded areas. Excessive hail combined with heavy rain can plug storm drains and create local flooding.
  • Stay away from trees, towers, metal fences or poles to avoid lightning.
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After a hail storm

  • ​​Carefully walk around to see if any damage has been done to your property or vehicle(s).
  • Document any damage with photographs. Keep all the photos in a safe place. Write down the date of the storm.
  • Get any damage repaired quickly.