NOTE: Excerpted and adapted from the American Rental Association
By their very nature, tents & canopies are temporary structures that are NOT designed to withstand severe/extreme weather conditions, or provide protection in emergency situations. They are NOT designed to protect occupants in extreme weather, including but not limited to: storm systems, lightning, moderate to severe wind storms, heavy rains, hail, earth movement, (i.e. tremor, landslide, etc.), snow, fires, or other emergency situations or condition that raises any doubt to the structural integrity of the tent or canopy. For the safety of all occupants, if there is any doubt concerning the safe use of the tent or canopy, or any possibility of severe weather or other emergency situations occurring, an immediate evacuation is necessary.
FAILURE TO EVACUATE A TENT OR CANOPY IN THE EVENT OF SEVERE/EXTREME WEATHER, OR OTHER EMERGENCY CAN RESULT IN SERIOUS BODILY INJURIES, OR EVEN FATALITIES.
You agree to assume all risks inherent in the use of the tent or canopy, & agree to assume the responsibility for the defense of & to pay, indemnify & hold Party Rental Professsional harmless from, & hereby release Party Rental Professional from any & all claims for damage to property or bodily injury (including death) resulting from the use, or possession of the tent(s), canopy(s) or related item(s), by you, your guests, or assignees.
Severe weather or other emergencies can develop with little or no warning. In an emergency, there is often a lot of confusion & the situation can become chaotic. To help ensure the safety of all occupants, having someone on site designated as an “authority figure” or “point person” helps ensure that protective steps are taken immediately.
Beginning at least two hours before the start of the event, the point person(s) or their designee(s) should begin monitoring a source of weather information, such as the National Weather Service. If any of the weather emergency conditions listed previously are predicted, you may need to postpone or cancel the event. Continue to monitor the weather & be alert for other emergency situations during the event. In the case of an unforeseen storm or emergency that develops during the event, the point person needs to alert guests of an impending emergency & initiate evacuation, if necessary, before a possible accident occurs.
Based on weather forecasts & other circumstances, you may wish to make an announcement to participants regarding the identification of the point person(s), location of exits & the emergency evacuation location. Having a predetermined evacuation location will ensure that it is available, (if needed) & will eliminate delays in getting guests to safety. Evacuation could be to a permanent building, vehicles, an open area away from the tent or canopy, or to locations recommended by the National Weather Service or Emergency Alert System. Of utmost importance is that the tent or canopy should never be used as a shelter in an emergency situation.
For the safety of all occupants, immediately implement your evacuation plan if there is any doubt concerning the safe use of the tent or canopy, &/or for any of the following conditions: severe weather alert posted by the National Weather Service or other authorities, dark clouds approaching, lightning strikes within one mile (less than a five-second count between lightning & thunder), hail or sleet falling, heavy winds (which may or may not be evidenced by twigs breaking from trees or large trees swaying), earth movement of any sort, (i.e. tremor, landslide, etc.), snow or ice is accumulating, an explosion, excessive heat, smoke or fire is in the vicinity of the event, any of the anchoring devices failing, or the tent or canopy begins to move (i.e., tent poles wobble, ropes snap, tent top rips or tears, etc.), rain falls so hard it runs off the tent or canopy in sheets, or other emergency situations or condition that raises any uncertainty as to the structural integrity of the tent or canopy.
In times of emergencies, there may be no electrical power & cellphone signals may be interrupted. To ensure there is a way to communicate to appropriate emergency service personnel & others, customers should think about a communication contingency plan. Communication during large or public events is challenging even without an emergency situation. Therefore, it may be prudent to prepare attendees prior to an emergency in order to facilitate an orderly & safe evacuation, if the need arises. Also, if forecasts indicate a possible need to evacuate, the announcement will prepare occupants & accelerate the evacuation. Depending upon the size of the event, consider backup methods of communication for situations in which there is no electrical power, cellphone signals are interrupted, etc.
When the emergency is over, various conditions (i.e., rain, pole movement due to winds, etc.) may have altered or compromised the installation of the tent or canopy, which, in turn, affects the tent’s or canopy’s stability. Even if the tent or canopy appears intact, if the tent or canopy was affected whatsoever by the weather or other emergency situation, i.e., stakes have pulled out of the ground, tent weights have moved, or there are loose poles, ropes or straps, it may not be safe to return. In that situation you should contact Party Rental Professional at 561-603-7822 before returning to the tent or canopy so that the tent or canopy may be re-secured before resuming the event, (if even prudent or possible).