Severe thunderstorms can produce destructive hail and damaging winds, even without a tornado. Follow the tornado safety rules*, especially when a storm contains very large hail and/or violent winds. Hail causes nearly $1 billion in damage to property and crops each year, nationwide.
Large Hail Safety Tips:
"Large Hail" is hail that is larger than 3/4 inch in diameter. If you are…
...in an automobile:
- Stop driving. If you can see a safe place close-by to drive to (like inside a garage or under a service station awning), do so as soon as you can. Make sure you pull completely off the highway. Do not stop under bridges or overpasses.
- Do NOT leave the vehicle until it stops hailing. Your car will furnish reasonable protection.
- Stay away from car windows. Cover your eyes with something (like a piece of clothing). If possible, get onto the floor face down, or lay down on the seat with your back to the windows. Put very small children under you, and cover their eyes.
...in a building:
- Seek shelter immediately in a sturdy building. Stay inside until the hail stops.
- Stay away from skylights and windows, especially windows that are being struck by hail.
- Account for all family members, building occupants, pets, etc.
- Do not go outside for any reason. Large hail can cause serious, or even fatal injuries.
- Avoid using phones and electrical appliances during a severe storm to avoid the danger of electrocution from lightning.
- If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter immediately. If you can’t find something to protect your entire body, at least find something to protect your head.
- Stay out of culverts and lowland areas that might fill suddenly with water.
- Trees are a last resort. It is common during severe storms for trees to lose branches. Also, large isolated trees atract lightning.