I tried using strips from those overabundant plastic grocery bags, and found they work just fine for tying up plants.
When a storm is approaching, I go out to my garden and make sure that I've secured as many as possible of the long flexible stems. This seems to minimize damage if there are high winds.
If hail is predicted, I put all container plants under the porch roof, and cover other plants with anything I can put my hands on to deflect the foliage-shredding ice. I've used such things as boards, buckets, empty coffee cans, lawn furniture, and the children's yard toys. I even use the rusty ironing boards that at other times serve for temporary garden work tables.