Check the Weather
The most important thing you can do is to keep yourself aware of what the weather might do. Take chances of storms seriously. Even if there's a 20- or 30-percent chance of a storm, that still means there's a strong possibility you'll get caught in one. Take serious storm warnings seriously. If you have to cancel a trip to avoid severe thunderstorms, you're better safe than sorry.
Trim Your Trees
A storm doesn't have to cause a tornado in order to damage your car. Even high winds can be strong enough to bring down trees or dead limbs. Make sure that any trees around your property aren't holding onto dead or dangerous limbs. It doesn't take a monstrous tree limb to damage a car. Sure, that can total it, but even a large branch you can single-handedly pick up can cause damage if it lands on your vehicle.
Get Off the Road
It's not just the weather that can damage your car. It can make you more likely to damage it, too. If your visibility is diminished and the road's slick, you're more likely to get into an accident. At the very least, slow down, and if the weather's making your drive difficult, it's better to just get off the road if you can do so safely.
Always prioritize your safety over your car's. A car can be replaced. You can't be. If it's hailing, but tornadoes aren't a fear, you can seek shelter in car garages and other indoor parking. Gas stations with large awnings can also provide good cover. Just keep an eye out that tornadoes aren't developing. Keep checking your car's or mobile device's apps to make sure you stay on top of every weather development as you wait the storm out.
Shelter Your Car
If you have a garage, it will obviously do the most to protect a car. Some awnings are good for protecting cars from sunlight but aren't strong enough to really withstand a lot of hail. Be realistic about whether lighter awnings will help protect your car. They may not. If you're home, at the very least you can park your car next to your house. This at least uses your house's protection from some of the weather, and can possibly block some hail or debris blown by the wind.
There are various hail protectors that you can buy to cover your car. Their quality varies pretty wildly, so always look at online reviews first. Simple car covers can help a tiny bit, but inflatable car covers are more useful. Keep in mind these aren't foolproof – they can still sometimes be punctured by hail. If you don't have these, even solutions like covering your car with towels and blankets before a storm comes may help. It won't block the worst of the damage, but it will absorb some of the impact, and it's better than nothing.
Un-denting Your Car
Perhaps you can't do some of these things. Maybe you get caught out anyway. The hail starts too fast and there's damage before you can find cover. Even parked at home with a hail protector, you can do everything right and still end up with storm damage to your car. That damage can range from minor, repeated dents to major damage. Seek out a collision shop for auto body repair. Fixing light dents is affordable, and you can often be surprised by how reasonable even major repair work is.
Remember that failing to fix hail damage can cause additional problems. Even light dents in certain parts of the roof can create gaps in the door or window seal, allowing a trickle of water in when it storms. That can quickly discolor your car's interior, and grow into a mold or mildew issue.
Above all else, keep yourself and others safe first and foremost. The safety of people is more important than the safety of cars. Cars can be replaced; people can't. Worry about your car after you've ensured your safety.
Leaving even minor damage can put your car or truck at risk for developing severe rust problems that will be more costly down the road. If spring storms have caused damage to your vehicle, contact First Aid Auto today. We’ll get you fixed right up.