Eclipse preparedness tips offered

In this June 10, 2002, file photo, Lise Richardson, left, views a partial solar eclipse with her daughters Sophia Richardson, center left, and Samantha, 6, right, at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Destinations are hosting festivals, hotels are selling out and travelers are planning trips for the total solar eclipse that will be visible coast to coast on Aug. 21, 2017. A narrow path of the United States 60 to 70 miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina will experience total darkness, also known as totality. (AP Photo/Krista Niles, File)

Idaho will experience its first total solar eclipse in 38 years on Aug. 21.

Due to the rarity of this event and the proximity of prime viewing locations being within drivable distance of so many people, eastern Idaho is expected to see a large influx of visitors from Aug. 17 to Aug. 22, an Idaho Department of Tourism news release said.

Idaho Department of Tourism officials recommend residents in communities within the path of totality take precautions in advance of the potential crowds.

Readiness tips for residents

• Stock up on food items, necessities, including water, groceries, prescriptions, gas, etc., in advance of Aug. 21.

• Have proper eclipse eyewear to avoid permanent eye injury while looking at the eclipse.

• If you are renting out space or allowing visitors to park or stay on your property for the eclipse, check with your local city ordinances to ensure you are in compliance with local laws and guidelines, and the Idaho Tax Commission regarding monetary collections.

• Depending on your location and property, consider posting “no parking” or “private property” signage.

• Plan for longer commute times, specifically on main or arterial roads.

• Help keep roads clear by limiting your trips. Staying off the roads helps make sure emergency service vehicles can get through.

• Visit 511.idaho.gov for real time highway reader board updates, such as accidents, lane closures, and fires.

• This is peak wildfire season. Residents and visitors should stay on pavement and avoid dry brush.

Readiness tips for businesses

• Ensure you have adequate staff, maintenance supplies, and products to smoothly manage increased business traffic especially during Aug. 17 to Aug. 22.

• Be prepared for more cash transactions and backup tills as credit card processing times may increase.

• Encourage employees to fill their gas tanks in advance.

• Talk to suppliers to coordinate delivery schedules around the days leading up to and during the eclipse to ensure businesses are adequately supplied and the trucks can avoid roadways during peak eclipse traffic.

• Businesses serving or preparing food at an eclipse related event must clear all temporary food license or exemption form requirements. Contact the public health office for more information.

• Consider posting local emergency contact information in addition to 9-1-1.

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