The much-anticipated total eclipse is quickly approaching, with less than a month to spare. On August 21, 2017, the solar eclipse will first make landfall in Oregon before gliding over the Midwest and Southeastern United States. It is the first eclipse ever recorded to cross the United States exclusively, and one of the few total solar eclipses to even make landfall. The once-in-a-lifetime event is luring visitors from all over the world. To experience the eclipse in all its glory, Oregonians should anticipate five key things.

Millions of “Outsiders”

Between 1 and 2 million visitors are expected to arrive in Oregon just for the eclipse. Eclipse tourists from all over the country and possibly several other countries are flocking to small Oregon towns that have never before received so many tourists in a year, let alone one for one event. There will be people on the streets eager to arrive at their destination who do not know their way around town, nor are they familiar with local customs and rules of the road. Mustering up patience in anticipation of a sharp, temporary urge in the state’s population will be important to maintaining your cool and maximizing your own personal enjoyment of the eclipse.

Ungodly Congestion

Interstate highways are expected to overflow in the days leading up to the eclipse and on August 22, 2017. ODOT recommends avoiding major highways like I-5, US 101, and US 26, if possible. While major highways are not expected to close, traffic patterns may change to optimize traffic flow.

Oregon’s coastal cities will be the first to receive the spectacle, which is why highways leading to and up and down the coast are expected to be the most seriously congested. Avoid traveling in the path of totality and, if possible, work from home. If you happen to find yourself stuck on the highway during the couple of minutes in which the eclipse is visible, be sure to arm your car with food, water, a first aid kit, and extra gasoline. ODOT suggests viewers “arrive early, stay put, and leave late.”

Reduced or Zero Cell Service

One of the immediate effects of a rapid rise in population is the increased strain on cellular networks. Expect to have trouble finding cell service and do your best to stay entertained in the moments leading up to the eclipse and directly afterward. Take games, books, magazines, and other forms of offline entertainment along if you plan to camp out to view the eclipse. Make way for face-to-face interactions with family, friends, fellow Oregonians, and visitors from around the world!

Booked Hotels and Campsites

By now, the odds of reserving a room or camping spot are extremely slim, if not impossible. Lodging is severely limited anywhere in the path of totality. Some hotels have even been sold out of rooms for the week of the eclipse for 2 years! If you haven’t already made plans, you may be able to find a last-minute spot where reservations are not needed.

Fire Concerns

Cities and small towns in the path of totality are all validly concerned about fire safety. The eclipse is coming at the peak of wildfire season and is gracing an agriculturally dominant landscape that is expected to be inundated with tourists. Naturally, there are several concerns about wildfires being started or exacerbated by human activity. As an added precaution, no campfires will be allowed.

Other Eclipse-Watching Tips

Anticipating large crowds, congestion, long lines, and limited availability of resources enables you to have a successful eclipse experience. Some other eclipse-viewing tips include:

  • Arriving early to your viewing location, preferably 2 days in advance. Interstate highways nearest the path of totality are likely to resemble parking lots on that date.
  • Be self-sufficient. Pack food, water, snacks, sunscreen, toilet paper, and gasoline anywhere you decide to go to view the eclipse.
  • Purchase authentic eclipse glasses that are ISO approved to safely watch the eclipse. These glasses are specially designed to block the maximum amount of harmful rays, including 100% blockage of ultraviolet rays, 100% blockage of infrared, and 99.999% of intense visible light. For more information about these unique glasses and how to safely view the eclipse, click here.
  • Emergency services will be stretched thin, and access to hospitals may be an impossibility when you are hours away from civilization. Have a first-aid kit with you wherever you go and be cautious.

Whether you are eagerly anticipating the eclipse or dreading its arrival, August 21, 2017 is sure to be an unforgettable day. Taking some time to prepare for what lies ahead can help you make the most of it. For more information about issues impacting safety, well-being, and justice, reach out to us at rizklaw.com. To schedule a confidential appointment to discuss a claim with an attorney, call (503) 245-5677 or email info@rizklaw.com.