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Best Practices for Responding to Hail Damage

April 06, 2020 Robert Piña

tennis-ball-sized hail sproperty damage

Hail has caused extensive property damage in Texas over the past several years, impacting school districts and other educational entities. According to Hail Alert Technologies, more than half of losses from hail damage are undiscovered and unreported. Damage can begin as a small fracture and evolve into interior leaks and further destruction. Hail is one of the most expensive forms of severe weather in claims costs. Learn what you can do to protect your organization’s property and funds.

How to be proactive

It is important to identify how you will prepare for and respond to severe weather when crafting your Emergency Operation Plans. The plans should cover all weather hazards common to the area and should be reviewed annually and updated at least every three years. You should also develop protective measures for every campus and auxiliary building, including the administration, maintenance, and transportation buildings.

With Texas weather being so unpredictable at times, it is crucial to monitor the weather in your area. There are many ways to do this, including following weather sources on social media and downloading weather apps on your phone. Examples include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service.

Online roof training for Property members

Whether your roof was impacted by hail or you just want to learn more about roof inspections and maintenance, the Fund’s online roof training is a great place to start. This online training, which is available to Property members at no additional cost, explains the financial benefits of preventative roof maintenance plans.

Hail notifications

The Fund works with Hail Alert Technologies to notify members when potentially damaging hail has fallen at one of their properties. The Fund receives HailFlashTM reports that pinpoint when and where hail falls, along with a list of members’ potentially damaged properties. After receiving the reports, TASB claims staff notifies impacted members and provides guidance on how to proceed.

The hail alerts process is a powerful risk mitigation and cost savings tool for Fund members. Diligence in responding to hail events helps you:

  • Accurately and quickly identify hail damage losses
  • Mitigate additional damages through immediate response
  • Avoid interruptions to school and business operations 

Identifying and mitigating hail damage

Hail damage isn’t always obvious, and it doesn’t always show up right away. Some tips to help you identify damage include:

  • Look for leaks or blocked drainage and gutter systems that could lead to water intrusion. If not addressed quickly, this can cause mold and water damage to walls and floors, as well as delays in repairs or reconstruction.
  • Inspect awnings; vehicles; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; and playground equipment for damage.
  • Assess sports facilities such as bleachers, dugouts, concession stands, and other outside buildings. This damage could also indicate roof damage on your campuses.
  • If you do not have the staff to perform a full inspection, we encourage you to file a claim so that an adjuster can inspect all structures for you.

Once a claim is filed, it is a good idea to accompany the property adjuster during a comprehensive inspection that includes measurements, pictures, and diagrams of every building within the organization to ensure damage is properly identified and evaluated. Once an assessment is completed, begin developing bid specifications for the restoration process.

Reporting a hail claim

If one or more of your buildings is damaged, a timely and prompt response is critical to preventing costly and unnecessary damages. If you are a Fund Property program member, report a claim or call 800.482.7276 for immediate assistance. The Property Coverage Agreement requires members to give the Fund notice of any loss, damage, or aesthetic impairment as soon as possible. Damage older than 365 days could result in coverage denial.

For more information about the Fund claims process, contact TASB Claims Manager Robert Piña at Robert.Pina@tasb.org. For information on emergency planning, mitigation, and preparedness strategies, contact TASB School Safety and Security Consultant Melanie Moss at Melanie.Moss@tasb.org.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in June 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Tagged: hail, "severe weather"