Colorado is one of the most hail-prone states in the country
In the wake of last year's record-shattering storm that caused more than $2.3 billion in damage to Colorado homes and automobiles, hail preparedness is an integral part of any emergency plan.
AAA Colorado offers the following tips to stay safe and minimize and respond to potential damage:
Immediately seek shelter if you're stuck in a hailstorm. If you're in a building, stay away from windows and stay inside until the hail stops. If you're outside, head for the nearest sturdy structure. If no shelter is available, try to find something to protect your head. Avoid seeking shelter under trees, where high winds and rain can cause limbs to fall to the ground.
If you're in your car when a hailstorm hits and see a safe place close by, such as a garage or car wash, drive to it as soon as you can. If no shelter is available, stop driving and pull off the road completely. Move away from car windows and cover your head with your arms and hands to protect yourself from any breaking glass.
Protect Your Car
Make sure you have the right insurance coverage -- hail damage is part of comprehensive coverage, which covers physical damage to your vehicle not caused by a collision. Park your car in a covered spot wherever possible.
Protect Your Home
A strong roof is the best way to protect your home from hail and other severe weather damage. Inspect your roof regularly and make necessary repairs as soon as possible. When replacing your roof, consider using material that has been tested for impact resistance. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety recommends roofing materials rated by UL 2218 or FM 4473 as Class 3 or 4.
After the Storm -- Motorists
- Contact your insurance company to determine the extent of your coverage before seeking car repairs. Hail damage is not covered by collision coverage, which only pays for damage to your car resulting from a collision with another car or object.
- Take photographs or video of any visible damage.
- Any vehicle sustaining flood damage should be fully inspected before being allowed back on the road. Mechanical components, computer systems, engines, transmissions, axles, brake systems, and fuel systems impacted by water contamination may render the vehicle unfit to drive.
After the Storm -- Homeowners
- Cover broken windows and other holes to prevent further damage.
- Inspect your home for damage and notify your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Prepare an inventory and take photographs or video of damaged property.
- Store undamaged property in a protected place if possible.
- If carpet is soaked, remove the carpet and the carpet pad. Keep a two-foot square piece for the claims adjuster.
- Look for hazards such as broken or leaking gas lines, flooded electrical circuits, submerged furnaces or electrical appliances, and damaged sewage systems.
- Test drywall for moisture softness. If soft, cut holes at base to help dry out.
- Be wary of door-to-door salesman offering deals on roof repair. Ask your insurance company for repair recommendations, and insist on working with a municipally licensed contractor.