Case Study: Rental HVAC to the Rescue in the Wake of Hurricane Charley

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff December 22, 2004

August is peak hurricane season in Florida and the Caribbean. It’s a risky time, and it’s important for businesses to have reliable sources of backup power, cooling and dehumidification equipment in order to maintain operations if and when disaster strikes.

When Hurricane Charley first materialized in the Atlantic and moved toward Florida’s southwest coast this past August, no one was sure what the storm’s size and power would be. However, one thing was absolutely clear: The potential severity of the storm meant that it was imperative to start thinking about backup rental generators, chillers, cooling towers, air conditioners, spot coolers and dehumidifiers.

Hurricane Charley picked up speed quickly and caused major damage in west and central Florida by breaking down power lines and contributing to major flooding and severe destruction of building structures. As power began to go out across southern Florida, alarmed building and facilities managers started calling suppliers for rental equipment.

Hear how Rob Griffin,

“Although many people do have contingency plans in place for emergencies such as this one, quite a few do not.… Luckily, we are used to that and can handle the job. Whether it was a cell phone service provider who needed temporary power, or a nursing home in need of air conditioning, [we are] set up to respond quickly. We understand that time is money and business needs to operate day-in, day-out, regardless of the weather. We’re here 24 hours a day, to ensure that our clients get their rental equipment needs met.”

Among the numerous customers served by this particular rental equipment supplier during Hurricane Charley were several nursing homes that lost power and had damaged air-conditioning systems. The supplier was able to provide the necessary diesel generators and temporary air conditioners—ranging from one to 25 tons—to ensure that power and cooling was restored quickly.

Another client was a juice storage warehouse that held thousands of gallons of fresh fruit juice. If not held at proper temperatures, the juice would quickly spoil. Again, timing was of the essence, so as not to cause major financial losses to the owner of the storage tanks. The vendor supplied the customer with 1,250-kW diesel generators.

Another client was a major cellular services provider, for which they supplied 18 15-kW generators in order to maintain the flow of electricity, so that cellular telephones will work without interruptions in those critical disaster times. In addition, many desiccant dehumidifiers were brought in to help restoration contractors dry out flooded or wet building interiors.

For more information on specialized rental equipment including chillers, cooling towers, air conditioners, spot coolers, heaters, dehumidifiers, generators and diesel-pumps, go to .