According to the National Weather Service, hail forms during intense storms when water droplets are brought to temperatures below their normal freezing point.
Hailstorms can come seemingly out of nowhere and are common in Texas. When the storms are at full strength, they can be strong enough to rip the roofs off of large commercial buildings (like warehouses), exposing the stored materials to the elements.
Hail is variable in shape, ranging from regular spheres to extremely irregular shapes. Hailstones usually consist of a frozen core wrapped by several layers of uniform ice.
The size of hail particles usually ranges from 0.20 inches to six inches, and their weight can reach over one pound.
Damage Caused by Hailstorms
Crop damage or destruction
Trees knocked down
Road traffic signal suspension
Public transportation failures
Preparing For a Hailstorm
Hail causes around $1 billion in damage to property and crops each year. Hailstorms have increased in frequency and severity over the last 20 years, largely a result of climate change and more extreme weather conditions.
Commercial buildings are at risk of hail damage, primarily to ceilings and glass structures like windows and storefronts. Hail can also cause power failures and fires as a result of direct hits to electric components as well as water resulting from the unfreezing process.
So how can a business prepare its warehouse for a hailstorm?
The most common way to detect a potential hailstorm is by monitoring and contacting local meteorological services.
But if you experience them often, you may come to know impending hailstorms by the shape and thickness of clouds and the color of the sky (which typically turns green).
In addition, your business should follow the following disaster preparedness steps:
Create a plan to follow in case of a hailstorm, including a disaster survival kit to use should the power go out.