Emergency Preparedness – Tent Companies Stand By

Emergency preparedness is the key to a quick response when disaster strikes. Tent companies typically start contingency planning when a severe weather alert indicates there is a strong likelihood  of the need to provide emergency shelter.  There are over a dozen companies across the country who specialize in emergency tenting, standing by with equipment, crews and trucking capacity.

Tent OX is a behind the scenes product which serves the emergency industry by providing machines and systems to reduce labor in large scale tent installations resulting in shorter installation time.

The temporary shelters can be called on for many purposes including:

  • mess halls for emergency workers
  • sleeping shelters for electric company crews
  • temporary command centers for FEMA
  • maintenance shelters
  • National Guard housing
  • and much more

 

Images to the right show how the tent rental companies as well as dozens of other emergency response companies work together to prep equipment and material without even knowing for sure if it will be called for by Federal Emergency Management Agency.

What types of companies are we talking about?

  • The Electric Utilities in anticipation of power outages
  • Emergency Disaster Services bringing in light towers and generators
  • Power distribution companies
  • Food service companies
  • Mobile kitchen providers
  • Portable sanitation services
  • Tent rental companies capable of hundreds of thousands of Square Feet

 

Behind the scenes workers are loading

  • concrete ballast for holding tents in “no staking areas”
  • thousands of stakes in specialized racks for fast handling
  • fabric tops and walls
  • heating units
  • stake driving equipment

A faster way to build FEMA tent cities after a disaster

Delivering FEMA response tent cities and rental product in the wake of a national disaster is very labor intensive for the tent rental agencies who choose roll up their sleeves and help communities affected to get back on their feet. With 2015 late-season hurricanes like Joaquin delivering potential hammer blows to residents along the East Coast, tenting companies in storm-prone areas are reminded of the need to get their tents up and operational more quickly to support recovery efforts.

There has been a lot of positive change since 2012’s Hurricane Sandy hit, but there’s more to be done; the tent and party rental industry has learned a lot about pre-staging and mobilizing tents and materials to disaster sites. Still, they have not solved the challenge of erecting entire towns of tents as quickly as they are needed to provide crucial emergency services. Limited manpower is one problem, but there is another bigger cause: even the latest clear span tents are still being put up with tools that haven’t changed in generations.

Tent OX is a game changer for improving emergency response time

When timely response is critical, new tools are necessary. The Tent OX system of attachments for the tent industry strips away hundreds of man hours of work by automating major parts of tent setup and installation.  Here are some examples of how it can help reduce the pressure on your company and its crews, while accelerating install times dramatically:

  • The all-terrain OX Fork attachment handles loads up to 3000 pounds as you move tents into place at speeds up to 12 miles an hour, compared to the speed of crew members who can only carry 80 pounds per trip. It’s much faster, and safer for the crew when a single OX Fork operator is able to:
    • Unload 500-pound tent tops and place them exactly where they will be used.
    • Distribute racks full of thousands of base plates, cables, hardware and stakes by taking them from the truck directly to the actual tent site, even tough-to-reach locations.
  • OX Driver stake-driving speeds are much faster than your current routine. For example:
    • It used to take 50 seconds for two men to drill each hole to set a stake.   The OX eliminates pre-drilling altogether.
    • Driving stakes the old way required 3 men: 1 to hold the stake, 2 to hold the driver. It also involved hauling around an air compressor, 200 feet of air hose, and a 90 # breaker capable of driving no more than 2 stakes per minute. Tent OX replaces all that by driving 4 stakes per minute in greater safety with only two crew members, with no pre drilling. And there’s no crew fatigue.
  • Tent OX replaces 4-6 men rope pulling a Keder Panel using systems like the Fiesta™ Roof Panel Puller with a single operator on the Tent OX machine and perhaps one crew member completing the entire operation. Because Tent OX allows you to set the puller motor at any location, at any elevation, so you can pull the panel faster and with less friction.
  • OX Fork replaces a parade of workers by carrying racks of 24 tables and 210 chairs right into the tent so the crew can quickly place the finished product.
  • OX Hitch and Fork attachments are used to tow and carry generators, light towers and portable restroom trailers, moving easily into tight or soft-surfaced spaces semi-trucks cannot reach.

The Tent OX won’t do everything, but the job will finish faster, with fewer crew hours

The hundreds of manual labor hours a Tent OX machine can save in a work day can be reallocated to tasks where crew labor has the most value, like beam assembly, standing the arches and installing the cabling.  The overall effect is that you spend far less time completing each tent.

The other payoff is that Tent OX puts new money in your pocket, through a 15 – 20% overall reduction in man hours.  Multiply that impact for a day times, say, 30 large structures in the hurricane landing zone, and you can reduce your start-to-finish time by a week. That will please the FEMA and other disaster support groups using the tents, and you’ll have a week of crew availability that you can now apply to other revenue-producing jobs.