Hail to ingenuity: Creative ways to cushion cars from storm damage

Hail was reported Tuesday in West Wichita, Kansas, and the surrounding region.

Story highlights

  • Residents use blankets, inflatables to protect cars against hail
  • Hail accompanied storms that blew through the Great Plains overnight

(CNN)When a storm is moving in, sometimes you have to think fast.

That's why cars in parts of Oklahoma and Texas were festooned Tuesday with blankets, couch cushions and even pool inflatables as armor against the threat of hail that passed through the region.
"This is serious business," WFAA-TV viewer Amber Barlow posted to the CNN affiliate's Facebook page, along with a photo. "I have toddler mattresses under the tarps over the windshield and back windows. Not today Satan!!"
    The station also posted a photo from viewer Pam Miller showing her Saturn Ion plastered with pool inflatables.
    Here are some other creative solutions to the hail threat:
    Some turned to more esoteric means of protection.
    The National Weather Service reported golf ball-size hail in Wichita, Kansas. Hail storms were also reported in parts of Oklahoma, Texas and other states affected by Tuesday's storms.
    But the effort left some feeling sheepish after forecast storms didn't pan out. "No hail last night, feeling kinda stupid for strapping that mattress on top of my car," the Big Guy tweeted.
    Don't feel bad, Big Guy. Never a bad idea to try to keep your car safe from hail.
    According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, an average of 187,000 hail damage claims were filed each year between 2008 and 2011, resulting in an average of $11 million in damages.