For the first time in a century, a total eclipse of the sun next week will be visible all across North America Should fire chiefs care? Yes!
As always, it’s best for fire chiefs to educate your residents, businesses and institutions and prepare your fire department for worst-case scenarios when unique events are on the horizon. Media reports suggest thousands of Americans will travel distances near and far to place themselves within a 70-mile-wide path of the U.S. that spans from Oregon to South Carolina to get the best view of the eclipse.
In Canada, published reports suggest the best Canadian eclipse views will happen in and around Victoria, where as much as 90% of the sun will be blacked out. Vancouver and Calgary will both enjoy over 80% coverage, while a host of other cities, including Toronto and Edmonton, will see more than 70% of the sun blocked.
Eclipse-chasing viewers across North America may cause a significant surge in people traveling to communities to get the best look in their region.
Consider the following resources and share with your first responders and communities as appropriate:
NASA: How to View the 2017 Solar Eclipse Safely
FEMA: Special Events Contingency Planning (PDF)
FEMA: CERT Traffic and Crowd Management Module (PDF)
FEMA: Accessible Eclipse Safety Messages (video)
USFA InfoGram: The Day the Solar Eclipse Came to Town (PDF)
Oregon Solar Eclipse Preparedness for Fire Service (PDF)
Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal – Solar Eclipse Safety Information
Oregon State Police – Solar Eclipse 2017 Travel Information