What If a Storm Comes While the Tent Is Up?


This article is part of a series of posts with further explanation on many of our frequently asked questions.

As you're planning your outdoor event, you may wonder, "What if the weather doesn't cooperate and there's a storm during my event?" That's a great question. Asking that question now, helps you have a great event rain or shine.  

Here are a few things you should do ahead of time:

  • Have an evacuation plan for the extreme worst case scenario.

  • Designate one person to decide when the tent should be evacuated in extreme weather.

  • Place the tent in an area that is not prone to flooding.

  • Be sure to rent tent sidewalls.

  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast.

  • Have a rain plan for any outdoor portion of your event.

  • Consider renting a covered walkway for your guests to enter the tent.

  • Consider renting flooring if the ground may become muddy.

If a storm does arrive during your event, like it did at this wedding, you'll be prepared. All of our tents are very sturdy and are designed to withstand storms. Of course, in the case of a very severe storm, you should vacate the tent. Tents are designed to flex and move slightly during a high wind, but here are some signs that the tent is becoming unsafe:

  • Wind speed is over 38 miles per hour

  • Tent poles are lifting off the ground.

  • Tent stakes are pulling out of the ground

  • Tent fabric is starting to tear

  • Nearby trees begin to fall

  • Lightning is striking nearby

If you are unsure about whether your tent is safe, call us at 717.733.9700 (after hours, select option 3 for an emergency). If any of these conditions occur or you feel unsafe inside the tent:

  • Immediately evacuate everyone to a safe building.

  • If no building is available, guests can go to their cars until the storm passes and the tent is secure.

  • After everyone is safe, call Tents For Rent 717.733.9700 and select option 3 for an emergency.

If you are in a tent during a thunderstorm, keep everyone at least five feet from any tent pole. If the lightning is nearby evacuate everyone from the tent.

Even though many events have beautiful weather, it's always best to plan for the worst so that your even can be a success either way. Contact us to learn more about how it's always fair weather in a tent.

Emergency Planning Guidelines from American Rental Association: