Temporary Firehouses: A disaster response story

By: Beth Wilson and Kristin Preuett, Mahaffey Fabric Structures

As with everything in this world, buildings are not immune to natural disasters. Yearly,
we are reminded of the power and sheer strength displayed by Mother Nature. Her
capabilities to disrupt and destroy are unwavering.

When these tragedies hit home, it is top priority to pick up the pieces and get back to a
routine. National and hometown heroes are immediately called into action and looked to
for direction. Their response and timeliness are crucial.

Recently, Mahaffey was contacted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to aid in disaster
relief following an EF5 tornado. Although in this situation, it was the local firehouses that
needed our help. Two firehouses were destroyed in the storm, inhibiting the firemen's
ability to respond efficiently to their community.

Mahaffey installed two 33' x 66' x 13'structures to be used as temporary fire stations.
The structures were equipped with tensioned fabric roofs, insulated steel sidewalls,
personnel doors, roll-up doors, gable vent fans and heaters.

About one month prior to this tornado, Mahaffey provided a similar solution for another
town with its recovery as well. A set of structures was erected following an EF4 tornado,
which tore through the city of Tuscaloosa destroying just about everything in its path.
Thanks to our rapid response, the area was quickly able to get its numerous firehouses
functioning again.

Mahaffey offers a full line of temporary and semi-permanent structures, serving as
firehouses, temporary warehouses, lunch tents, construction site covers and more. These
structures can be mobilized and installed in just a few days, with our experienced crews
installing up to 10,000 sq ft of tents and structures per day.

Each temporary structure can be outfitted with flooring, HVAC, lighting, power
distribution, and other accessories typically found in traditional buildings. Optional items
include insulated steel walls and a variety of door options.

With standard snow loads of 30 lbs. per sq. ft. and 90 mph wind loads, Mahaffey
structures are engineered to be installed anywhere in North America to replace your
facility. Customary widths range from 33' to 164', while side heights go up to 20' high.
Being environmentally friendly is also a top priority to Mahaffey, which is why recycled,
sustainable materials are utilized.

Mahaffey's successful performance of emergency response, meeting unique needs and
providing fast service and cost effective solutions help to satisfy beyond the required