The United Rentals Power & HVAC division's Emergency Response Unit was deployed to help establish base camps for utility crews in the Baton Rouge, La., area following Hurricane Isaac. Each of the eight camps provides critical ground support for 50 to 1,000 utility workers. Nearly a third of Louisiana's residents lost power in the high winds and storm surge, and thousands are still waiting for restoration.
The ERU command center (pictured at the rear of one of the staging areas) is a 45-foot, self- contained trailer that United Rentals has outfitted with kitchen facilities, sleeping quarters, office space, Internet and telephone connectivity, and a media center with digital satellite. An on-board 50kVA generator provides additional power as necessary.
"Our large geographic footprint puts us in a unique position to mobilize equipment in response to natural disasters,” said David Scott, United Rentals Power & HVAC operations manager. “We had our initial equipment and employees at each site within hours of the first call, much of it brought in from branches overnight. Our specialists work with utility companies on emergency preparedness planning, right down to the vehicles we'll use to transport the fleet, so nothing is left to chance."
United Rentals Power & HVAC teams are continuing to provide first responders with temporary power and temperature control equipment and services, most of it mobilized during the overnight hours before landfall. The company is supplying additional equipment in the form of forklifts and light towers to build and support power restoration operations.
Greenwich, Conn.-based United Rentals is No. 1 on the RER 100.