GEICO's top tips to help prepare for hailstorms

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2018 – To help protect your family and your property, GEICO offers several safety reminders about hail, but first some fascinating facts about hailstones.

Because not all hail is created equal, hailstones can fall in a small non-threating quarter inch pea-sized piece of ice or up to the largest hailstone on record, which measured eight inches in diameter fell in South Dakota on July 23, 2010. Just a little smaller than a volleyball, it could cave in a car's roof.

A hailstone the size of a baseball falls at a speed comparable to a baseball thrown by a major league pitcher– nearly 100 mph, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. It's no surprise that hail and the wind that pushes it can cause millions of dollars of damage to property.

Of the 6,045 hailstorms reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2017, more than half, 3,316 occurred in three months, April, May and June. Here are some ways to prepare for a hailstorm.

Before the storm

  • Trim trees and remove dead branches, especially those close to windows and skylights.
  • Pick up debris and loose objects in the yard to minimize flying objects.
  • Listen to your local weather station; often forecasters can predict when hail could be a factor.
  • Bring your animals inside.
  • Put vehicles in garages or under some kind of shelter.

During the storm

  • Simply seek shelter.
  • Stay away from windows and remain indoors.
  • Put as many walls as possible between you and the elements.

GEICO policyholders who lose power can file a claim on GEICO Mobile or call 1-800-841-3000 24 hours a day. Others can report their loss at the GEICO's Claims Center. For severe hail events, GEICO's Catastrophe Response (CAT) Team is on standby to assist.