Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Part Three of Five
I know what you're thinking, Chamber-verse. This, again?!
So let's talk about why I keep hounding you about this eclipse thing.
A) it's been a hundred-ish years since an eclipse like this has been in our part of the world;
2) it won't happen again for a while (2024) and when it does, it won't have anything like the 2017 trajectory; and
III.) it's just cool darnit
Cashing In on Cool
Just a quick reminder: businesses stand to see a huge influx of customers during this time period, so do everything you can to capitalize on this amazing opportunity! See previous blog posts One and Two if you're in the dark (get it?!) about what you can do to make the sun shine on your business eclipse world. To recap how to make the most of this from a business standpoint (yes, again):
- Solar eclipse parties
- Eclipse menus or themes
- Eclipse deals of any kind
- Anything that mitigates the time people have to wait in line for seating or services
- Have technology in order
- Beef up staff
- Check licenses if applicable
- Stock up on business supplies
- Provide enough garbage cans!
(How I have always *loved* this song)
Okay let's get serious for a moment. There are going to be a million people coming through here to prime viewing spots (mainly, Madras). That means added risk, particularly when some of them don't make it...imagine this: driving for days and days to get to Eastern Oregon, on grid locked highways, and the eclipse happens RIGHT NOW. You stop, right where you are. After all, you've come all this way to see it! Does it matter that you're parked in the middle of Highway 97 for 2 minutes and 41 seconds? Naw...everyone else is doing it, right?
I wish I could say, "WRONG!" but I can't. The fact is, people are going to stop where they are and crane their necks upward for several long moments. And let's not discount the odd effects universal occurrences have upon carbon based creatures. Things might get mighty strange, friends.
Here are my tips for making sure you can do the Safety Dance during EclipseMania2017:
- Local hotels and campgrounds are expected to sell out for the period between August 19-23. ODOT is asking campgrounds to put out signs on major roadways to let travelers know if they have vacancies, to prevent issues with entering/exiting highways. This was also something I mentioned as a potential moneymaker but if you don't have room, or aren't letting out land for dry camp areas, make sure you post signage to that effect.
- One of the biggest concerns with the influx of people chasing the eclipse is fire and being unable to shutdown highways or respond around traffic. I assume ODOT and ODF/FS/fire agencies will address this, but let’s be aware of the needs of our emergency personnel. OSP and ODOT will both have increased staffing during this time period, as well.
- ODOT expects traffic through Klamath County to be similar to a “really bad holiday weekend” (coughunderstatementoftheyearcough), and they are pushing messaging out about turning headlights on, using caution, and no parking on highways/shoulders. Which, as I mentioned, will probably count for bupkis from traveling Eclipse Chasers once the showdown begins.
- Expect delays! Drive with caution! I can't stress this enough. This is going to be like a traffic jam in LA. Okay, maybe not but. Just be careful out there, Chamber-verse. You know what? Just stay home. Hang out in your backyard, make some S'Mores, see the eclipse from the comfort of your back yard or a neighbor/friend's backyard. You'll thank me later.
- Make sure you fill up on fuel and groceries the week before the eclipse. Do you want to be caught in a line that snakes out the door at Freddies? Didn't think so!
- RESTRAIN YOUR PETS. You think people are highly influenced by celestial events? Your dog, cat, goat, horse, chickens...pets of all scale, feather, fur, or fang are going to be losing their collective minds over this. To keep Fluffy safe, please make sure your fur babies are safely restrained. Preferably in your arms. Wearing a thunder coat. With a Xanax.
- If your business is open that week, make sure you have enough staff to cover every aspect of your business needs! Can you just see John Q Eclipse Chaser now, furious that you don't have enough staff to take his drink order immediately? Don't let enraged Eclipse Chasers get all full moon/sun agro on you.
None of this is meant to alarm you; we just want our peeps to stay safe out there. The eclipse is a fascinating, monumental, wondrous event and we encourage you to join in the fun! Just be safe and think ahead; it will be much more enjoyable if you do!
And Now, a Word from Our Sponsors...
"Hi Everybody! The Sun here, just wanting to stop by and say, come join me and the Moon for our event on August 21st, 2017! We are very excited to bring you this amazing, and dare we say, out of this world show! A little history for you...the Moon's full shadow hasn't passed over the U.S. since 1991 (in Hawaii, what a vacation that was!), and it hasn't crossed any part of the contiguous 48 states since 1979. Isn't that great!? Moon, do you want to add anything?"
"A total solar eclipse hasn't run coast to coast since 1918. That's all I got."
All right, thank you celestial bodies! We're all looking forward to seeing you BOTH on August 21st!
Next episode: Sample eclipse party (because I really want to throw one at my house, sue me), an eclipse checklist, some other eclipse related stuff that I haven't written yet.