By John Fuchs
Q: How can I educate clients about the potential hazards that can result from severe weather?
A: The first step in educating clients about severe weather is to make it clear that a tent is not a shelter from severe weather and shouldn’t be used as such. In the event of severe weather, the tent or structure should be evacuated. Common sense dictates that in these situations, if a permanent structure such as a house or other building is available, guests should move to those locations. You could include verbiage stating this in the rental agreement, and outline evacuation procedures in the contract as well, to ensure that both you and your client are in agreement should this situation arise.
Some tents and structures are supplied with prominent warning labels affixed to the fabric. These labels contain information from the manufacturer that will help the renter reinforce the reasons for having an evacuation plan. Here is an example of the text that may be found on a warning label: For the safety of all occupants, evacuation is recommended if threatening weather occurs, or if there is any doubt concerning the safe use of this product. Renters should ensure that these labels remain visible at all times.
As part of their rental contract, many rental companies offer an experienced and trained attendant on duty during larger events who can not only take care of small maintenance issues with the tent, but can also be called upon to use their judgment and dictate if and when the tent or structure should be evacuated. Having an experienced tent professional on site can also help to set the client’s mind at ease.
With the summer months upon us, the possibility for severe storms and inclement weather increases. Discussing the possibility of having to evacuate the tent during an event may initially create unease with the client, but it should also show the rental company’s dedication to the safety of the client and their guests. Taking these precautions could help prevent a potentially disastrous outcome.