Danny Recommends: Rain Gear
Every so often we dip our toes into a series called Danny Recommends:, posts that tip you off to the stuff that I…you know. The recommendations might be products for use in your ministry, resources that will help you develop leaders around you, or just fun stuff that you need. Want. Whatever. I have a full list of recommended books and such over at the Reading List, but these posts will go into further detail. For other posts in the series, check out the link at the bottom.
In a recent post I tackled the topic of a rainy day plan: what do our Guest Services teams do when the weather turns foul (and our moods are tempted to follow)?
Step 2 of that post was Get geared up. In other words, we can’t wait until there’s rain in the forecast to swing by Walgreens and get an overpriced pocket-sized umbrella.
Over the years, we’ve had lots of trial and error with different products. Some are ultra-cheap (think a $6 baton or a $7 umbrella), and some are ridiculously overpriced, but will last for a long time.
Here are a few that we like and I recommend:
Umbrellas and umbrella accessories
Umbrellas. We like the 5′ golf umbrellas from Home Depot. Sure, you can spring for a $40 auto-open double canopy vented model, but it’s going to get
stolen borrowed by a church member, used as a lightsaber by a volunteer’s kid, or forgotten on the side of the building by a parking team guy. If we’re losing ’em anyway, I’d prefer to lose a $7 version. (And sometimes you can snag ’em for $5 each.)
Umbrella stands. We’ve bought the Slice Umbrella Stand from Houzz for a number of years now. These work in both a portable and permanent campus context, and will last for a long time. (Make sure you check the drip pan occasionally, kids.)
Wet umbrella bag holder. Don’t risk wet floors and slips and falls. On rainy days, we put these Glaro stands out at our entrances, and will often place a volunteer there to offer bags to our guests.
Wet umbrella bag refills. After searching for a cheaper alternative to the manufacturer-supplied bags, I finally found a universal fit from Brella Fella, which work nicely with the Glaro stand above. These are about 1/4 of the price of the brand name guys.
Parking team gear
Rain suits. While we don’t use these at all of our campuses, I did purchase a few of them at the request of a Guest Services Director after a particularly rainy season. The Frogg Toggs brand seems to be a winner so far.
Hand warmers. These bad boys are just the thing to get blood flowing in volunteers’ hands again.
Lighted batons. On extra-foggy or extra-rainy mornings, you’re going to need to make your volunteers as visible as possible. We’ve used these 21″ wands for years. (Don’t forget the batteries!)
First-Time Guest Tent supplies
In that last post I mentioned the importance of a rotation system, but for those volunteers standing outside, let’s make them as comfortable as we can.
Mr. Heater forced air heater. We’ve recently switched over to this model, and love it. It’s not ridiculously loud, and it puts out a nice column of heat. Keep in mind that while this model uses propane, the fan itself is powered by electricity. So on a rainy morning you’re going to want a waterproof-rated extension cord.
Mr. Heater double tank top. If you’re worried about that whole “water + electricity” thing in option one, we’ve also used this model in the past. While it doesn’t direct the heat quite as well, it’ll still knock the chill off. (I also talk about Mr. Heater in this Danny Recommends post.)
Propane tank. We just buy a full version from Home Depot, then refill or exchange it as needed.
Propane tank stabilizer. Don’t let your tank tip over!
Propane tank cover. Cover that rusty thing up!
Fan. Okay, let’s say it’s a hot rain (remember acid rain, fellow 80s children?). Here’s the model we use.
Tent weights. If the wind is a’blowin’, your tent will soon be a’goin’.
Weather app. As much as I love all things Apple, I’ve historically despised their Weather app. But, with their recent
hostile takeover acquisition of my beloved Dark Sky app, they’ve stolen adapted some of that same functionality and made the Weather app less terrible pretty effective. It’ll give you ridiculously accurate, to-the-minute forecasting of rain or other weather in your immediate vicinity, so it’s super helpful to let your team know when it’s time to break out the rain gear.
See all posts in the Danny Recommends: series.
Disclaimer: FTC watchdogs will probably want to know that the vendors listed / linked above did not ask for this endorsement, nor did they provide me with free swag in order to do so. I’m just a really satisfied fan who wants to let you know about helpful things. Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you purchase an item. If that bugs you, feel free to bypass my link…but still buy the thing. I only promote items that have benefited me and that I believe will benefit you. So there.