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The largest hailstone ever recorded in the U.S. was a 7–inch chunk of football–shaped ice found in Aurora, NE, on June 22, 2003. Instances like this one are uncommon, but hail and hailstorms aren't.

Every year about $1 billion in hail–related damage to property is reported across the United States, according to insurance industry statistics. New impact–resistant building materials can help minimize damage from hailstorms.

large hail balls

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety recommends some basic care and maintenance tips for roofs:

  • Inspect your roof for curling shingles and small leaks that can lead to larger problems.
  • Make sure you have adequate eave and ridge ventilation, to reduce buildup of heat and moisture.
  • Keep trees trimmed to prevent them from rubbing on a roof or from providing excess shade.
  • Keep roof, gutters and downspouts free of leaves, twigs and other litter.
  • Repair or replace existing roofs to make them stronger and more weather resistant.

If a hailstorm strikes:

  • Stay indoors, away from skylights and doors.
  • Close drapes and windows to prevent broken glass from flying inside.

If you are caught driving during a hailstorm:

  • Close drapes and windows to prevent broken glass from flying inside.
  • Turn on your headlights (low beams) and slow down.
  • Allow extra distance for braking.
  • If possible, pull into a garage or under a shelter to minimize hail damage.
  • If you find glass damage, carefully remove any glass from the interior of your vehicle and cover the damaged area to prevent further water damage.

Emergency Info

National Weather Service
National Hurricane Center
American Red Cross
Federal Emergency Management Agency