Recent heavy hail storms in Narrabri and the district have forced Budget Direct to issue an early summer hail storm warning, urging residents to stay alert to the increased threat of hail during the summer months.
Budget Direct’s Head of Hail Innovation Paul Malt said the hail storms which lashed parts of Narrabri on August 23 could be an early indication of the nature of the summer storm season ahead.
Mr Malt urged Narrabri residents to be prepared by learning how to spot and safely avoid potential hail.
“The flash hail storms we saw a few weeks ago are an early and timely reminder of the damage that can be caused by larger, more severe summer hail,” Mr Malt said.
“The months leading up to summer are really the start of the severe hail storm season, where we begin to see bigger, more damaging hail stones.
“People forget big weather formations can harbour large hail stones and because of this they’re often caught out when the storm hits.
“If you’re in your vehicle and you see a large storm formation made up of dark clouds, sometimes with a green tinge, we recommend you safely pull over and listen to the radio for a weather warning.
“If a hail storm is in the vicinity you should safely drive your vehicle home if possible, or to the nearest shelter such as a shopping centre car park, but never rush as far too many accidents occur as a result of hurried driving.
“A protective car cover is useful, but only fit this to your vehicle if you have sufficient time to get yourself and your loved ones indoors and away from the hail.
“Never park your car under trees and powerlines, or near creeks or drains, because this could cause further damage to your car, or even worse, to yourself.”
Mr Malt said Budget Direct was an industry expert at alerting Australian motorists to the threat of hail in their neighbourhood.
“Budget Direct’s ‘Hail Hero’ is the only hail prediction system of its kind operating in the country,” Mr Malt said.
“Within five minutes of receiving a storm warning we are able to send an SMS to affected policy holders giving them at least 10 minutes warning of an approaching hail storm.
“While the Bureau of Meteorology provides storm warnings to the public, they are more general in nature which makes it difficult for motorists to anticipate if they will be affected by a hail storm.
“Since its launch just over a year ago, we’ve tracked 1109 hail storms and alerted over 327,814 Australians to the threat of hail.”