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Preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy

Industry News | December 1, 2012 | By:

The East Coast tent rental industry braced for Hurricane Sandy, then mobilized in the wake of disaster.

When Hurricane Sandy approached the northeastern U.S. on Oct. 29, tent rental companies in the region rushed to secure their inventory. Within hours of the storm dissipating, many of the same companies were part of a massive disaster relief effort.

“We began work very early on Monday morning so that we could have all the tents from the weekend removed as early as possible,” says Daryl Sensenig of Tents for Rent, Ephrata, Pa. “The remaining tents that were staying up through the storm, we visited and tightened in preparation. Thankfully, we did not have any tent damage.”

L&A Tent Rentals, Hamilton, N.J., lost the roof on its building. “Three days later we were installing more than 38,000 square feet of tents for emergency workers in Queens, N.Y., on less than 12 hours notice,” says Brian Richardson of L&A Tent.

Losberger US, Frederick, Md., set up 23 600-square-foot heavy-duty inflatable TAG NG5a2d shelters for a 300-person camp at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, N.Y.

“Because these shelters are one piece and can inflate fully in less than four minutes we were easily able to meet the critical timelines,” says Dennis Remsberg, Losberger product manager. “And unlike traditional tenting, these shelters have no air gaps to deal with and are water tight. With the help of our National Dealer Rental partner, Traube Tents and Structures [Columbia, Ill.], we were able to be up and running in less than 12 hours.” Additional partners included Rental Solutions, Eldersburg, Md. (power and heat); Starr Tent, Mt. Vernon, N.Y. (weights and labor); ProPac®, North Charleston, S.C. (cots and sleeping bags) and Chasing4Life (site management).

Chattanooga Tent, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Tents Unlimited, Marietta, Ga., sent tents and crews to the same location. “As we started it was a 500-man camp and as the weekend grew it became a 1,000-man camp that we had to get set up by Sunday night, then they grew it to 2,300,” says Mike Holland of Chattanooga Tent. “By the end we were at 150,000 square feet of tent.”

Joe Peregman Jr. of Ocean Tents & Party Rentals, Manahawkin and Mount Holly, N.J., fears the storm’s long-term impact. “Some of the locations where we regularly install tents are wiped out or so damaged that I doubt they will be ready for next season,” says Peregman, who was also involved in setting up emergency relief tents.

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