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Solar Eclipse Preparation Information From Campus Safety

August 04, 2017

I am sure that many of you are aware of the solar eclipse that will happen Monday, August 21.

There has not been a solar eclipse in Oregon since 1979. Our state population is 4 million, and the eclipse is expected to draw 1-2 million visitors to the state for a few days. Most of the activity will be along the forecasted path of totality. However, visitors from Washington are expected to drive down the morning of the event which will clog up major roads in Portland during the morning commute. ODOT has unequivocally stated that it will be the worst traffic day in history.

Please be aware of some of the ongoing issues that Oregonians will be facing, and that Lewis & Clark employees, can plan for.

  1. Days leading up to August 21, make sure your food supply will carry you through a week. 
  2. Travel time to and from work will be compromised due to all of the extra vehicles on our roadways. Prepare for traffic delays, especially on August 21.
  3. Fill your vehicles with fuel ahead of August 21. There are some counties that will run out of fuel, because the fuel tankers will not be able to deliver fuel due to traffic.
  4. Oregon Emergency Managers and cell phone providers are anticipating that we will have limited cell phone coverage during the actual event and potentially lose coverage. Cellular service towers aren’t meant to handle the capacity of an additional million people. Cellphone, GPS, and smartphone internet services will likely be nonexistent near the eclipse zone.
  5. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at right) or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight. Learn how to view the solar eclipse safely

If anyone has any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask. As part of the Multnomah County Amateur Radio Emergency Services, I get a little more of the inside scoop of what Oregon is actually in for. 

Be safe,

Julie Couch, Campus Safety Officer