Whose responsibility is it to create emergency evacuation plans for tents? In the past, this responsibility has typically fallen on the event planner or equipment lessee (customer). Fortunately for rental operators, these parties continue to shoulder much of the responsibility, but that is likely to change, at least to a degree. This appears to be yet another area where rental operators may soon find themselves being held liable for compliance with safety requirements over which they’ve historically had little or no control.
The United States has suffered a recent spike of severe weather events. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. has experienced an average of 4.8 “billion dollar” weather events per year since 1980 (in 2012 adjusted dollars). A remarkable 25 of those events occurred between 2011 and 2012, nearly tripling the historic average.