Once your tent is installed and it is going to be used, It is important for you to establish your own Tent Safety & Evacuation Plan.
Tent Safety & Evacuation Planning
Failure to evacuate a tent in an emergency can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. By their very nature, tents are temporary structures that are not designed to withstand extreme weather conditions or provide protection in emergency situations.
Tents should be evacuated when any of the following hazards exists:
|Hazardous Situation||Why Evacuate|
|Damaging winds||The tent could collapse and injure occupants; the tent cannot protect occupants from flying debris.|
|Fire or explosion||The tent cannot protect occupants from excessive heat, flames or flying debris.|
|Lightning||Lightning poses a risk of electrocution, electric shock or fire.|
|Hail or sleet||Excessive weight could cause the tent to collapse and injure occupants.|
|Excessive rainfall||Saturation of ground with water may compromise securement. The tent could collapse and injure occupants.|
|Flash flooding||Saturation of ground with water may compromise securement. The tent could collapse and injure occupants.|
|Snow accumulation||Excessive weight could cause the tent to collapse and injure occupants.|
|Ice storm||Excessive weight could cause the tent to collapse and injure occupants.|
|Gas leak||Atmospheric conditions may not be suitable for occupants.|
|Earth movement(e.g., tremor, landslide)||Ground conditions may not be suitable for occupants and may compromise the tent’s securement.|
This is not an all-inclusive list. In developing emergency evacuation plans, rental customers should determine any and all emergency conditions that could arise during their events.
IT is The Rentors responsibility ensure guests’ safety. One of the ways to do this is to develop an emergency evacuation plan for their event.
Tents are not suitable as shelters in severe weather. Tents are temporary structures that can provide protection from moderate weather, but they are not designed to serve as shelters in severe conditions. Also, they do not meet the requirements of permanent buildings for protecting occupants.
Designate a point person. Emergencies can develop with little or no warning. In an emergency, there is a lot of confusion and the situation can become chaotic. Having someone on site designated as an “authority figure” ensures that protective steps are taken immediately.
For a wedding: A family member, member of the wedding party, etc.
For a corporate event: An event planner, company representative, etc.
For a public event: A show manager, representative of the venue, the fire chief, etc.
Review the list of emergency conditions trigger an evacuation. Tents are not safe shelters in emergency situations. Refer to the Hazards and Risks Associated with Temporary Structures above.
You need an emergency evacuation location. Tents will need to be evacuated in emergency situations. Having a predetermined evacuation location will ensure that it is available if needed and will eliminate delays in getting guests to safety. Evacuation could be to a permanent building, vehicles, an open area away from the tent or to locations recommended by the National Weather Service or Emergency Alert System. Of utmost importance is that the tent should never be used as a shelter in an emergency situation.
Determine how guests will get to the evacuation location (e.g., the route to take, travel by foot or car, etc.). Consider preparing a sketch of the event site.
Plan ahead for backup methods of communication. In times of emergencies, there may be no electrical power and cell phone signals may be interrupted. To ensure there is a way to communicate to appropriate emergency service personnel and others, customers should think about a communication contingency plan.
Make a preliminary announcement regarding a possible evacuation. 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 and safe evacuation if the need arises. Also, if forecasts indicate a possible need to evacuate, the announcement will prepare occupants and accelerate the evacuation.
Monitor the weather. Weather conditions can change quickly, becoming dangerous in short order. It is best to have a designated person monitor the weather so that point person can alert guests of an impending emergency and initiate evacuation, if necessary, before an accident occurs.
Monitor the tent structure after installation. The rental company may not have a representative on site after installation is complete. Various conditions (e.g., rain, vehicles hitting poles, etc.) may alter the installation, which, in turn, affects the tent’s stability.
When the emergency is over, can you go back in the tent? You should contact the All Seasons before returning to the tent. The tent’s stability may have been compromised during the emergency situation and the rental company can advise you of the proper next steps.
During the Event
Based on weather forecasts and other circumstances, you may wish to make an announcement to participants regarding the identification of the point person(s), location of exits and the emergency evacuation location.
Continue to monitor the weather and be alert for other emergency situations during the event. Implement your evacuation plan for any of the following conditions:
A severe weather alert is posted by the National Weather Service.
Dark clouds are approaching.
Lightning strikes within one mile (less than a five-second count between lightning and thunder).
Hail or sleet falls.
Twigs break from trees or large trees sway.
Any of the tent anchoring devices fail or the tent begins to move (e.g., tent poles wobble, ropes snap, tent top rips or tears, etc.).
Rain falls so hard it runs off tent walls in sheets.
Water is running through the tent or surrounding area.
Snow or ice is accumulating.
An explosion, excessive heat, smoke or fire is in the vicinity of the event.
There is ground movement of any kind.
Other conditions exist as previously determined in developing your emergency plan.
Call for Help
After an Evacuation
Even if the tent appears intact, it may not be safe to return. If stakes or augers have pulled out of the ground, tent weights have moved, or there are loose poles, ropes or straps, contact your tent installer so that the tent may be re-secured before resuming the event.
Again – this is just a general guidelines passed along with passages from the American Rental Association Statement of Best Practices of Emergency Evacuation Planning for Tented Events -2013. You should always use common sense and be cautions of your actions.