InTents April/May 2021 - 30

in places, the tents also served as
charging stations and for Wi-Fi access.

AN INTEGRAL ROLE

In 2018, the Camp Fire decimated
Paradise, Calif., destroying nearly the
entire town. Shown here is a 100-by180-foot pole tent from Made in the
Shade being installed for use as a
manufacturing site for a shed-building
project. The tent was up from July
through October 2020. Photo courtesy
of Made in the Shade Tent Rentals Inc.

When it comes to tents, people tend
to think of them being used for happy
purposes. But tents play an integral
role in disaster response, providing
a place to shelter, eat or sleep. Tents
offer spaces for evacuees to gather,
responders to coordinate and medical
personnel to offer services. Depending
on the disaster and the purpose,
installation can be short-term-those
provided by Vasquez were up for
around eight days-or for months.
The types of tents requested
vary. In some cases, because of the
sudden-need nature of disasters,
it's a matter of taking what you can
get. In these situations, people aren't
overly picky; they just want to get
something up, says Chad Struthers,
vice president of Warner Shelter

Systems Limited (WSSL). Rather than
asking for speciϐic features, it's more
of a matter of " we want 4,000 square
feet to feed 300 people, " he explains.
Located in Calgary, Alta., Canada, the
company manufactures party tents
and fabric-clad structures, providing
these to the event rental market,
oil and gas industries, aviation and
military. They primarily sell their tents
but will also rent them to large-scale
events/festivals or big construction
projects. They offer pole tents,
clearspans and marquees, all of which
can be used for disaster purposes.
Struthers says when a disasterrelated request arises, a combination
of tents-such as clearspans and
marquees, or pole tents and marquees-
is usually rented or sold. When it comes
to sizes, the marquees generally run
from 20 by 20 feet or 20 by 40 feet;
clearspans are typically 60 by 150
feet; pole tents are 40 by 100 feet.

BID ORIGINATORS

W

hen the Camp Fire struck Paradise, Calif., in 2018, it became the deadliest, most destructive fire in that state's
history, incinerating nearly the entire town and causing at least 85 deaths. Paradise is still recovering, a

situation necessitating the ongoing use of tents. Made in the Shade Tent Rentals Inc., West Sacramento, Calif.,
provided two pole tents installed as a manufacturing site for a shed-building project run by a church. Booked in 2019
and set up in July 2020, the 100-by-80-foot and 60-by-60-foot tents came down that October.
The company is also involved in fire cleanup. In these cases, companies developing bids on the cleanup process,
such as for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), will approach Made in the Shade with requests for
tent pricing, says Donny Vasquez, co-owner.
" These often come in as the fires are starting up, with the awareness that once they're extinguished, there will be a
need to create a response village, " he explains.
Chad Struthers, vice president of Warner Shelter Systems Limited (WSSL), a Calgary, Alta., Canada, manufacturer
of party tents and fabric-clad structures, says pole tents are often used for headquarters, for feeding volunteers or for
handing out supplies. They can be deployed in most climates, except extremely harsh ones. For these environments, a
clearspan could serve the same purpose. Smaller tents, like marquees, are often used for activities like sign-in or security,
and for a meetup or field post. Most of WSSL's disaster-related requests are generally from the city or the military.
For Shelter Structures America Inc., a Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., distributor of large tent structures, non-pandemic
disaster requests most often arrive from insurance, power and cleanup companies, as well as from cities and states,
says Keith Krzeminski, executive vice president, with the tents serving as inspection stations, dining and sleeping
quarters, and warehouses.

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InTents April/May 2021

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