Do you own a business in the Salem, Oregon area? Are you preparing for the eclipse on August 21st? Here’s what you need to know to make sure you aren’t caught flat-footed for this once-in-a-lifetime event!
Open or close on Aug. 21?
Management should discuss if they plan to keep open or close their business, adjust work schedules to have employees arrive earlier or later to work or allow employees to work from home. Discuss plans ahead of time with employees so they know the expectations. If your business needs employees at work, consider temporary housing arrangements.
Encourage employees to carpool. Have your employees check road conditions at tripcheck.com or call 511. To report a roadside hazard, call 1-888-275-6368, option 1. Make sure they fill gas tanks of their personal and company vehicles at least a week before the Solar Eclipse and have food, water and emergency supplies in their vehicle. Expect traffic to be at least as bad as Civil War Game Day traffic on all major roads and highways from August 17 through August 22.
Talk about it
By having a plan in place, it will reduce stress and employees will know what to do. Cell phone service may not be reliable so have a backup communication plan.
Two week supply
Update your preparedness kit making sure you have enough water and food for two weeks for your staff, along with a first aid kit, backup generator and other items. To see full list visit, oregon.gov/OEM/hazardsprep/.
Talk to your business neighbors
Have a meeting with your neighboring business managers to discuss ways you can work together and know who has what resources in case of an emergency.
Staycation at work
If your business is open for the eclipse, consider having meals for your employees so they don’t have to leave or encourage your employees to bring breakfast or lunch. Also discuss if work will stop for employees to see the eclipse and make sure your employees have glasses to view the eclipse. If employees have to stay the night, consider ways to entertain them such as providing movies, board or card games or books.
Big trucks are grounded
ODOT has restricted all over dimension loads everywhere in Oregon from noon Friday, Aug. 18 to 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22. ODOT scales will be closed and the areas may be used for staging by law enforcement and emergency response vehicles.
Talk to suppliers
Some suppliers may be considering delivery schedule changes due to the solar eclipse. Suppliers may be looking at how the increased traffic on rural roads may impact delivery times. If your business depends on deliveries, try not to schedule them when traffic is expected to be slow from Thursday, Aug. 17 to Tuesday, Aug. 22.
Be prepared for uninvited guests
Have a plan for how to handle guests who are lost and ask for directions, stop and park at your business to watch the eclipse, or want to use your phone or restrooms. With the massive influx of people into the Salem area, there is a good chance many of them might want to use your bathrooms. Make sure you have enough sanitation supplies — toilet paper, soap, paper towels etc. — on hand. Also plan to clean the restrooms more often.
Cross train employees
If one of your employees is stranded on the road, the role needs to be filled by another employee.