/Solar Eclipse Glasses

2017 SOLAR ECLIPSE

Ontario Emergency Management Operations Team
Ontario, Oregon

Local Residents Encouraged to Prepare for Eclipse Visitors

Tourism and emergency management officials are encouraging local residents to prepare for disruptions, including traffic jams, delayed emergency response times, and supply shortages, during the Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017.  the Malheur County Eclipse Team has released the following tips to help local residents prepare for the influx of visitors to the region:

  1. A record number of visitors is expected to descend on the region over the weekend leading up to Monday's Solar Eclipse.  These visitors are expected to exhaust gasoline and grocery supplies in many communities.  To help ease the supply burden, local residents should fill up their gas tanks and purchase their groceries for the weekend no later than August 17, 2017.  This will allow gas stations and grocery stores to restock supplies for visitors who are expected to begin arriving in the region on Friday, August 18th.
  2. Cell phone coverage is likely to be limited due to increased demand on our towers.  Residents should plan to unplug from Friday afternoon through Monday evening.  Please turn off your cell phone and use a landline when possible to help keep the lines open for visitors and residents needing emergency assistance.
  3. Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is anticipating record-breaking traffic on Oregon's roadways during this event, particularly routes into the Path of Totality like Highway 95, 20/26, Highway 201, and Interstate 84.  To help ease congestion and keep the roads open for emergency managers, residents are advised to limit non-essential travel in the Path of Totality during the weekend and Monday, if possible.
  4. Never look at the sun without eclipse-rated eyewear.  Eclipse glasses are available at the Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Trail Hobbies and Gifts, and The Outdoorsman.  Supplies may sell out; make sure you're prepared by purchasing your glasses ahead of time.
  5. With an increase in visitors traveling through the region, trespassing is likely to be an issue.  Keep in mind, many of these visitors are not intending to trespass and are simply unfamiliar with the area.  Private landowners who are worried about trespassing should post their properties with "No Trespassing" signs and close all gates.  If you encounter a trespasser, please call the local non-emergency dispatch number at (541) 473-5125.
  6. Dispatchers and emergency managers are preparing for an influx in emergency calls over the weekend and on Monday.  Please dial 911 only in case of emergency.  For non-emergency assistance, please call (541) 473-5125.  Keep in mind response times may be delayed due to traffic or other high priority calls.
  7. Locals know August is the height of fire season in Eastern Oregon.  As a reminder, help us prevent wildfires and protect our natural landscapes by observing local burn bans:
    1. No campfires and open flames
    2. Use propane BBQs for cooking
    3. Avoid parking in dry grass
    4. Dispose of cigarettes responsibly
    5. Report wildfires immediately by calling 911
    6. If you see something, say something.  Politely inform visitors of local burn ban restrictions.  Many visitors do not reside in places where wildfires are common and may not be familiar with our burn ban restrictions.

The Malheur County Eclipse Planning Team has also development a list of recommendations for local businesses impacted by the Solar Eclipse.  Please contact the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce at (541) 889-8012 for more information on specific steps you can take to prepare to welcome visitors in your business.

For more information on local Solar Eclipse planning efforts and what you can do to prepare, please contact the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce at (541) 889-8012.  Local information is available on the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce website at ontariochamber.com.