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Pat Reynolds, ARA of Oklahoma president, stresses extreme weather safety

By Pat Reynolds

August 8, 2023

Pat Reynolds

Pat Reynolds

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Four members. I am Pat Reynolds, owner of Journey Productions in Lawton, Okla., and I also serve as ARA of Oklahoma president.

I am happy to report that business at my operation has been good. Spring and fall are always our busiest seasons. Summer is a more normal pace for us. I know many of you are extremely busy during the summer months. With the record heat waves, especially in Texas, and damaging storms hitting our region, I hope that everyone takes extra precautions when dealing with the elements.

Heat-related illnesses — including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash and heat stroke — are nothing to fool with. My crews always have bottled water, jug water and Gatorade available on the trucks. I regularly tell my team to keep an eye out, and that if anyone doesn’t feel well after working in the heat, they should take a break, get in the truck, run the air conditioning and drink fluids. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to protect workers from developing heat-related illnesses. ARA’s RentalU offers lots of information on this subject. Share these resources about how to prevent hot-weather injuries with your team. I strongly encourage you to check them out so everyone knows the signs and symptoms because you don’t want a heat-related injury.

Storms are another issue, particularly for those of us in event rental who have tented events. Just a few weeks ago, my area in Oklahoma was hit with a bad storm, including lots of hail. The roofers have been overwhelmed with the workload. Oklahoma also is in what is termed “Tornado Alley,” so bad storms can result in serious damage. Tents are not the place to be when severe weather hits. To make sure your customers understand that, I suggest you download the free “Emergency Evacuation Planning for Tented Events” from RentalU to share with them.

If your operation or your employees have been severely impacted by a natural disaster, such as a tornado or flood, know that the ARA Foundation is here to help you. Check out the ARA Foundation’s Disaster Relief Grants by clicking here.

On the state chapter front, I am proud to say the ARA of Oklahoma offered strong programs for our members this past year. We are now in the planning stages for two upcoming events. One, which will take place in early November, will be a social in Oklahoma City at Chicken N Pickle, a family-friendly restaurant and bar with pickleball courts, live music and yard games. The second one will be an educational meeting this spring. Stay tuned for details.

And the ARA of Arkansas just welcomed Rachel Combs with Allen Engineering Corp., Paragould, Ark., to its board.  She will serve as the new associate member director. Thank you, Rachel, for stepping up.

Whether you are in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas or Louisiana, take the time to attend your state association’s events. They offer value you just can’t get anywhere else.

Also, be sure to submit your nomination(s) for ARA’s annual Industry Awards at The deadline is Aug. 11.

Here’s hoping everyone has a productive and safe summer.

Pat Reynolds, ARA of Oklahoma president
Journey Productions
Lawton, Okla.