North America weathered a season of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and fires in late 2017, and the tent industry stepped up to respond—with more than just tents.
Chattanooga Tent & Event Solutions, Chattanooga, Tenn., delivered a 53-foot tractor-trailer filled with donated diapers, wipes and other baby essentials to Texas following Hurricane Harvey. The company’s warehouse supervisor, Alan Lowe, came up with the idea to collect diapers and deliver them. Within days, a country radio station and three local television news stations were promoting the effort, and donations were coming in from schoolkids, businesses and the general public. Chattanooga Tent president Mike Holland jokes that the effort grew almost too big.
“What scared me is that I was really afraid we were going to buy the city out of diapers,” Holland says. “I didn’t want to be the guy that did that.”
Chattanooga Tent employees pitched in to help organize, palletize and stack the truck, all while maintaining the company’s regular schedule.
“It started out as one employee’s idea, and we were glad to be able to help,” Holland says.
Elsewhere, TopTec Event Tents, Moore, S.C., donated a portion of the proceeds from all TopTec tent orders placed from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15 to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Fund in honor of TopTec dealers who stepped up to help those in need. The company prioritized relief orders to ensure that tents were available for the recovery efforts.
IFAI encourages its members to form a network of support and a forum for communication for businesses whose operations, or whose customers’ operations, suffered from fire, water and wind. IFAI also encourages members to share their stories about aiding in the rebuilding process over the next months or years.