June 13, 2020, Calgary was battered with hail the size of golf balls, causing over $1.2 billion in insured damages. Last summer Calgary experienced one of the worst hailstorms. As a result, it was named Canada’s 4th costliest natural disaster. As if the pandemic wasn’t enough.
With how unpredictable Calgary’s weather is, this year, we’re preparing for it. It’s hailstorm season, and we’ve already experienced some heavy rain and light hail over the past couple of weeks. If you’re a Calgary native, you know our most common mode of transportation is driving. While most hailstorms only last for a few minutes, it can feel like an eternity when you’re driving through one. Of course, the worst is hoping that your car will not take any damage from the hail.
So what do you do if you’re caught in a hailstorm while driving?
DO NOT stop in the middle of the road or highway. Instead, seek a covered area that is not likely to flood or pull over to the side of the road if there is no shelter. Remember to turn on your hazards and remain in the vehicle with your face turned away from the windows. Stay in your car until the storm passes. Fast-moving hailstones dent metals, so you can imagine how much damage they can cause to yourself and your passengers if you left the car.
If your car has a sunroof, ensure the cover or sunshade is closed. Giant hailstones can break the glass. To make sure no glass lands inside the vehicle, close that cover! Your car is getting battered with hail; the last thing you want is to get hit with glass and ice from above.
If your vehicle is damaged from the hail, the process of calling your insurance, getting a quote and bringing your car in to get everything repaired can take a while, especially since you are most likely not the only one that is dealing with it. Luckily insurance companies may let you repair your windshield, thus allowing you to keep driving your vehicle until the dents can be fixed.
If you get caught in a severe hailstorm that broke your back glass, door glass or any other glass, and you need to patch it up with a plastic bag, DO NOT use red tuck tape or duct tape. These two tapes have a history of leaving nasty residue or glue on the body of your vehicle that may not come off. Instead, if you find yourself needing to cover your broken glass temporarily, look into using clear Gorilla tape or clear packaging tape.