Like it or not, the eclipse is coming and it’s bringing with it as many as 250,000 people to the greater Salem, Oregon area. Here’s what the governments of Marion County and the City of Salem are doing to prepare for the eclipse. We will update this information as we get closer to the event.
Fundamentally, it all boils down to planning. We are coordinating with Travel Salem to make sure we have the most current information available regarding the number of people that might travel to the Salem, Oregon area. We’re also working with Travel Salem to figure out locations of the many events happening, as well as what kind of eclipse events these will be. We expect that our infrastructure, especially our roads and parks, will be crowded.
We are giving intense focus to five key areas:
The roads in the Salem, Oregon area were not designed to handle the number of visitors we may get. The City of Salem is coordinating with the Oregon Department of Transportation, and Marion County to strategically pre-position resources in locations where we expect they will be most needed.
2. Police, Fire, EMS
Our public safety services are preparing to face the same challenges as our transportation resources. Like our public works resources, we will pre-position public safety and medical units in key locations where we think they will be needed. This includes both sides of the Willamette River.
3. Parks & Other Public Spaces
We are looking at ways to address the increased need for water and sanitation services, as well as general public safety. As a precaution everyone should take extra water with them if they plan to travel, and they should “Go before you Go.” No one likes to stand in line waiting to use the restroom. We will issue more information regarding our parks soon.
4. Public Information
- This website and coordinated social media messaging between agencies are key components to make sure we reduce confusion and potential misinformation regarding the eclipse. Please bookmark this website, or add it to your favorite news reading app. Check it often to make sure you receive the most up-to-date information available.
- Communication channels specifically identified as part of our communication effort include:
- Traditional news media
- Capital Community Television, cable channel 21
- Social media
- City of Salem Community Alert System
- This website
- 211 for regional non-emergency questions, and 311 for City of Salem-specific non-emergency questions.
- Cities and counties are coordinating their messaging with each other and with the State.
5. Public Health
Marion County is working with the Oregon Health Authority to enhance the medical capability in the eastern part of the county. Marion County Emergency Management is also focusing heavily on public information needs throughout the county and canyon communities.
Salem Health has been working with the Region 2 Health Care Coalition for over a year to planning ways to optimize both hospital to hospital coordination, and coordinating with their own community partners. These include various EMS groups, city and county emergency managers, public health departments and the Oregon Health Authority.
We will continue to update this post with more information as we get closer to the eclipse. In the mean time, if you’re one of the lucky people with a campsite for the eclipse make sure you check out this post on Campfire and Wildfire Safety.